Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Gold and Purple
Denver Gold columbine...I love this spring bloomer. It always reminds me of "nothing gold can stay" and puts on its show until the weather starts to warm up, then disappears. I've another columbine which blooms later and lasts longer than the Denver Gold, but doesn't have the effect that Denver Gold has with its cheery yellow.
Love the way this cluster of comfrey blossoms kind of spiral out with its little purple bells and hairy leaves - the delicate and the coarse are such a nice juxtaposition.
Comfrey has enjoyed a long-standing reputation for healing wounds and broken bones. Its very name, a corruption of the Latin "con firma," means "grow together." Similarly, the Latin name, "symphytum," is from the Greek "symphyo," meaning "to unite." In the early 20th century, allantoin, an active ingredient in Comfrey, was frequently prescribed as a remedy for wounds and ulcers. There is considerable justification for this reputation. The allantoin in Comfrey stimulates reproduction of cells, thus promoting the formation of new tissue. Other compounds in Comfrey effectively reduce inflammation and swelling, and a recent trial of Comfrey ointment confirmed its efficacy for certain types of joint paint. Nevertheless, this herb--particularly the root--also contains toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids that are known to cause cancer in animals, inflict damage on the liver, and harm the digestive tract and the kidneys. Internal use of any part of the plant is therefore ill-advised; and the root should be avoided entirely. (PDR Health)
Comfrey fertilizer: With its' high levels of potash comfrey tea can be used as an excellent fertilizer for tomato, pepper, cucumber and potato plants. The smell while it is "cooking" is strong. Pick a good sized handful of leaves. Place them in a container with enough water to cover the leaves. Cover and let this cook for 4 weeks in cool weather or 2 weeks in hot weather. Then squeeze the leaves to extract as much juice as possible Strain and use at a rate of 1/3 cup 0f comfrey juice to one gallon of water Use as a foliar feed and soil drench around the plants. Put the solid wastes into the compost pile. (Gold Harvest Organics)