I thought this was Kudzu, Mile a minute plant, solver of addictions, remedy for many ailments, causer of headaches for gardeners who try to eradicate it… But thank you to Fran from Serendipity Farm in Tasmania who politely put me straight. It is more likely to be Morning Glory. Here’s a link showing the flowers of Kudzu…
Ginger, not from my bathroom windowsill this time…
Whilst away from Amsterdam, I’ve taken some photos of just a few beautiful Tenerife herbs. So many here are familiar to me and extremely useful. Many are available in Amsterdam as well at present. Some clearly not but most are probably familiar to readers of this blog.
Pennywort above. I remember this from my years in Somerset.
An extraordinary plant which looks quite like a type of Chicory or Dandelion. I need to look this one up. It grows all around the lush North of the island and is generally found alone, massive and growing out of cracks in stone walls and rocks.
Above is Chickweed. We’ve been feeding it to local chickens.
Above an unusual Mallow species, growing beside the Wine museum.
A familiar site, African Marigolds, Tagetes, non edible but an extremely potent herb and one used by many as a garden companion plant. They spread like a weed here, at the edge of the vineyard where we are staying.
Hibiscus. I can’t stop thinking about the usefulness of Hollyhock, even here. This plant has similar looking flowers and is also a useful herb. More about it later.
Pelitory of the wall. Growing prolifically. I look forward to seeing how out is fairing up I the Netherlands at the moment.
Beautiful, peppery and healing Nasturtiums. Growing wild and prolific. An old use of these on Tenerife is to use a leaf fresh as a natural substitute for toilet roil. It can cure hemorrhoids when used in this way.
That’s it for today. Time to get back to the plants and the sunshine.
I’m coming out of hibernation to ask if anyone has experience of growing a vegetable called Chayote, in Northern Europe or a similar climate.
I was given a plentiful supply of Chayote whilst on holiday in Tenerife recently. They are a member of the cucumber/squash family and in Tenerife most small holdings and vegetable plots have a large permanent frame erected purely for this plant. Chayote are apparently quite medicinal and are used widely in the Canary islands in everyday cooking and as a tonic for children. They are popular in many tropical and subtropical cultures, including Mexico where they apparently form a staple part of the diet.
Since returning from holiday with half a dozen chayote, I haven’t been able to find much information about their medicinal properties but I have found information about how to grow them. I am going to have a go at growing them here in Amsterdam; two are sprouting healthily in my fruit bowl and according to the instructions linked here in a 1980 article from Mother Earth News, they may even produce a crop! Chayote don’t form hard dry seeds, instead they sprout directly from the centre of the fruit and when the sprout is about 6 inches long, the whole thing can be planted in a pot.
So I am really keen to know if anyone has experience of growing this medicinal tropical perennial vegetable in a climate such as this. Please email me directly if you have…