Such a short time after Winter solstice, first budding flowers on trees are already appearing
Bright sunshine brings busy gardeners. today its lively and warm. its also the school holidays, so mothers and kids are playing in the sandpit and enjoying the day in the shelter of a nestled garden space.
We identify together three plants which on first inspection have similar leaves. As you look more closely borage, comfrey and dock all have quite different colours and textures. Borage leaves are bumpier more rounded, a blueish green. Some are still displaying those distinctive jewel like petite blue star flowers now, so its a great one for bee forage. Comfrey leaves are dying back now, their greenery wilting quickly from view to turn into great food for the soil. Comfrey leaves are hairy too, and have much pointier ends than borage. Comfrey leaves are usually a deep dark green, not dissimilar coloring to nettle. Now they’re yellowing and quickly turning brown. Yellow dock, which we’re also awash with, has smooth leaves in contrast with the other two.
all three have medicinal properties, with different parts used for a number of remedies, so they’re truly multipurpose plants. Borage is also known as star flower, best known for being packed with gamma linoleic acid or GLA, bringing anti-inflammatory relief, used for treating skin complaints and along with evening primrose oil, for hormonal balancing. comfrey invites a whole book by itself, but the most requests we get for it because of medicinal use here are due to its bone and joint healing properties, coming recommended by word of mouth from on neighbour or relative to another,.
Dock’s leaves are edible but somewhat bitter, a taste which has to be acquired.Its the roots which i hear can be used as a detoxifying tea, in moderation.
There are lots of all three which can be harvested at the community gardens, some, remnants in a spot we are clearing of all non-local plants. So if you’d like to grow comfrey borage or dock at home please let a gardener know, and we can help you find some to take home. Both dock and borage self seed easily so be careful where you plant them.
One mission among many today is the propagation of trees. Sue girard, local horticulture and permaculture educator is running two courses over the next 6 months in propagation. Students will also be helping those recently affected by fire to restock their gardens.
Today, Blue Mountains Organic Community Gardens donates a dozen bay and walnut tree propagules (that’s seedlings) today for students to get and understanding of tree growth, and provide new tree beginnings for lost gardens of Winmalee. Walnut and bay are both used for their fire retardant properties.
The flyer below is just for you if you’d like to learn to propagate fruit and nut trees as well as vegetables in 2014 …