Monday, 28 March 2011

Persimmons; sweet harvest;

End of summer, through March Persimmons ripen in the Orchard. This is one of the Miracles of Nature.
So delicious and packed with vitamins and minerals.
While the bounty lasts my breakfast consists of

1 soft boiled egg from my happy hens and 
1 Persimmon...
I might have another one for morning tea... they are irresistible.

Persimmon fruit nutritional  facts

Sweet, delicious persimmon fruits are rich in health promoting nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that are vital for optimum health.  Botanically, the fruit belongs to the family of Ebenaceae of the genus: Diospyros;

The fruit is low in calories (provides 70 cal/100g) and fats but is rich source of dietary fiber.

Persimmons contain many health benefiting phyto-nutrients flavonoid poly-phenolic anti-oxidants like catechins and gallocatechins as well as important anti-tumor compound betulinic acid. Catechins are known to have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic (prevents bleeding from small blood vessels) properties.

Fresh persimmons contain anti-oxidant compounds like vitamin-A, beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. These compounds functions as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.

zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions; thus, helps prevent "Age related macular disease"(ARMD) in the elderly.

The fruits are also very good source of vitamin-C, another powerful antioxidant . Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.

The fruit is good in many valuable B-complex vitamins such as folic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), thiamin...etc. These vitamins acts as co-factors for numerous metabolic enzymatic functions in the body.

Fresh Persimmon fruits also contain healthy amounts of minerals like potassium, manganese (15% of DRI), copper (12% of DRI) and phosphorus. Manganese is a co-factor for the enzyme superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger. Copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as cofactors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Copper is also required for the production of red blood cells.  .

Believe it or not:
Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance.
Yoko Ono

Photos TS

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Lycoris aurea; Golden spider lily;

  The beautiful Lycoris are flowering now in my garden.  I had years when they did not show a flower. The strap like leaves are also very decorative. I have not thought to make a photo when they are out. As soon as the flowers have finished the leaves grow.

Lycoris aurea is the golden spider lily and originates from limestone areas of China. The spidery flowers face upwards and are a orange-cadmium yellow. It can often be a difficult species to get into flower. It requires a hot dry resting period during summer to promote flowering. Dressings of potash and lime are also helpful. Lycoris are splendid autumn-flowering bulbs when their requirements are met, and make excellent garden subjects and provide a good supply of cut flowers.

Lycoris is a genus in the Amaryllidaceae family from eastern Asia, mainly China and Japan. They are dormant in summer, bloom in autumn, and then grow in autumn, winter, and spring. Most grow best in the ground and they need summer warmth and some summer moisture to bloom well.

Photos TS My garden;

Believe it or not:
What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?
J.J. Rousseau;

Friday, 11 March 2011

SkyWatch Friday; where mountains meet the sky;

Flumserberg, Switzerland, outlook to the Churfirsten; end of summer.

Photo TS

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SkyWatch Friday Episode 35

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Orchid; Bulbophyllum flabellum veneris; Venus fan;

It is one of my favourite Orchids I am growing. It is flowering now. It is such a dainty flower.

Wandering all over and under the pot.

Many buds.

Bulbophyllum flabellum-veneris is a small plant which will form a large clump if grown well. It produces 4cm fan-type umbel which is variable in colouration but often yellow flushed redpurple at base of petals. This species is a good grower and will wrap around a basket to form a nice specimen. Likes plenty of water, so treefern slabs tend to be too dry unless well watered.

Plant is found on mossy rocks and tree trunks in semi deciduous forest inIndia, Burma, Laos, Thailand, penninsular Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia at elevations of 300 to 1100 meters

Keep plant in warm temperatures. Keep moist in summer seasons and do not allow mix to dry, in winter keep the mix slight dry and reduce watering. Keep good air movement to avoid fungal growth. Keep plants in shade. Pot plants in sphagnum moss, fine bark, or mounted.
Common Names:Venus' Fan Bulbophyllum

Believe it or not:
"What is a rebel? A man who says no" -  Albert Camus

Friday, 4 March 2011

SkyWatch Friday; White capped Noddy;

White capped Noddy; Anous minutus; have a rest under a brilliant blue sky;

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Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Odds and ends in the late summer garden;

Thai Basil is a vigorous grower, beloved by bees and butterflies and also by people for its flavour, a little different from the Sweet Basil, Ocimum basilicum, which I use more in my kitchen, as I like to cook the Mediterranean way.

A miniature, double Bougainvillea, miniature flowers and leaves; the shrub/climber grows to a considerable size if not pruned.

The ever popular Geisha Girl, a cultivar of Duranta repens. Letting this one grow it is very gracefully weeping, the branches laden with flowers.

In late summer Tibouchinas are in flower, this is Kathleen.

Hibiscus are still putting on a nice show of flowers.

Pink cleome has flowered all summer long. I grew this from a cutting, my neighbour Miss V. gave me in spring.The pink has faded a little. As soon as I cut it back I will make more cuttings for my daughters and  myself.

 Daylilies are having an other go, as they usually stop flowering in the hottest time of summer.

Bromeliads are putting on some colour;

All photos from my garden TS

Believe it or not;