Every garden deserves a wild place.
Ours is filled with indigenous plants, medicinal herbs and healing plants. It wraps itself around the far corner and along the back wooden fence; closest to where we sit under the shade of the big bottle brush tree that is so often filled with birdsong.
It is still new – everything lovingly placed with intention in carefully chosen places.
All of these plants will act as companions to our entire garden as they attract pollinators & beneficial predator insects while also deterring unwanted pests due to their pheromones and strong scents.
Let’s go on a virtual tour … from the very beginning ~
Wire and Wooden Fencing in Place
Mother-in-Law’s Tongue; upright & tall with Bulbinella in front; slender, juicy leaves with orange/yellow flowers
When heated, the oil within the smooth upright leaves of the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue can be extracted and used to treat earrache. Here is a link to the recipe on our blog:
Bulbinella is a hardy indigenous shrub that multiplies generously without effort.
We use it to edge some of our beds; for beauty and to attract pollinators.
They do tend to attract snails but we have found that they seldom go further so we have chosen to place them specifically in wet spots where snails like to hang out.
The healing sap within the long slender leaves of Bulbinella
Gently remove a sap-filled leaf and slice it open along its length. Spread the sides open and apply the sap to dry and irritated skin, sunburn, healing wounds or insect bites/stings.
Bulbinella is a safe and beautiful teacher plant for young and old alike. It is heartwarming to see a small child applying the sap to an “owie” amidst the delicate blooms, knowing that Nature will take of them.
Wild Cape Rosemary aka Cape Snow Bush – along the fence at the back, with her silvery-green tufts of leaves along long slender branches, is a hardy indigenous herb.
When she flowers it is too beautiful for words!
Cape Rosemary has traditionally been used as a medicine for many ailments like coughs and colds, flatulence and colic, as a diuretic and a diaphoretic. A tea is usually made with 1 cup of boiling water and a sprig of wild rosemary.
In her book on indigenous herbs, Margaret Roberts mentions that wild rosemary seems to have similar qualities to ordinary rosemary as both have an invigorating effect on the skin and hair. She suggests boiling springs of wild rosemary (1 measure of twigs and flowers to 2 measures of water) for 15 minutes and when cooled to add it to the bath or to use as a hair growth stimulant and conditioner. Wild rosemary can also be used for cooking, in sachets and pot-pourris.
Equally beautiful is the indigenous Lion’s Ear aka Wilde Dagga.
This ancient, evolved herb has many medicinal uses – as well as attracting sun birds to Cape gardens.
Traditionally the flowers and leaves were dried and smoked in ceremony. People today still use it as a tobacco substitute.
Twigs added to the bath water relieves muscular aches and pains, itchy skin and eczema. A strong brew can be dabbed onto sores, bites, bee and wasp stings.
We hope you have enjoyed your first visit to our growing medicine and indigenous garden. We look forward to sharing more with you as our garden grows.
Till Next Time,
Shireen & Kathy
- From the Medicine Garden: Indigenous & Medicinal Lion’s Ear
- Making Herbal Oil Infusions ~ for Culinary & Medicinal Use
- The Medicine Garden: Mother-in-Law’s Tongue to Relieve Earrache
- A Shout-Out to Nasturtiums ~ Beneficial in the Garden & in Medicinal Food Recipes
- New Neighbours, Wonderful Weeds & Spring Planting ~ July ’17 Round Up