3 months ago

Colorful Tulip Carpets in Netherlands

Visiting the Netherlands from March to May every year after the grey winter, tourists have opportunities to see a forest of tulips, hyacinths and all manner of other flowers. A good way to view the sights is to rent a bike cycling across streets or walk along some flower gardens.

People also have chances to attend the world's biggest flower auction at Aalsmer, visit spectacles produced by over seven million flowering bulbs at the Keukenhof gardens, pose behind traditional Dutch windmills and see the world's only floating flower market Bloemenmarkt, where they can buy all sorts of plants, flowers, bulbs and seeds.

3 months ago

Gardening :: Poppy Seed | ArticleBiz.com

For centuries, man has consumed and burnt poppy seeds for its supposed sleep-inducing and hypnotic effects. Literary references to poppies include those made in the book The Wizard of Oz. The poppy derived its name from the Latin word "somniferum", which means, "to bring sleep". However, this is just a myth and modern science has proven that merely eating poppy seeds does not have this effect.

When a pollinated bloom shrivels, it leaves behind a casing filled with gradually maturing seeds. This type of blossom is indigenous to Asia and Europe. Many societies also use these mature seeds as a spice. These seeds are dark blue or gray in color and miniscule in size. An Indian variety of poppy seed is whitish in color. These seeds can be used as an alternative to sesame seeds in some food preparations.

Turkish and Indian cuisines have mastered the art of using poppy seeds. They can be combined into main dishes, salads and desserts. They can be used to coat roasted turkey, baked into muffins, or prepare loaves of lemon bread or cookies. When these seeds are cold-pressed, one can manufacture flavored oil, which can be used as an alternative to olive oil.

In due course of time, communities embarked on ways of concentrating the alkaloids contained within poppy seeds to make opium and heroin, which are now controlled substances. They are also used to develop the anesthetic drug, morphine. Poppy seeds are produced in various countries including the Netherlands, Australia, India, Romania and Turkey. The United States imports most of its poppy seeds from the Netherlands.

Though the quantity of alkaloids in poppy seeds is insignificant, it is believed that if a person consumes enough poppy seeds and goes for a drug test, the results will come back positive for opium usage. Many diners around the world enjoy eating poppy seeds because of their taste, crispy nut-like flavor and smell.


3 months ago

Home Vegetable Gardening - Growing Cucumbers

Cucumbers are a great vegetable to grow in any garden. They are excellent for salads, or to simply dip in some ranch dressing (or your favorite flavor).

There are a variety of great dishes you can make with cucumbers and if you have time to learn it, the skill of "pickling" can take your cucumber even further.

More importantly though, is, all of that is for naught if your vegetable garden does not produce plenty of healthy cucumbers.

Here are some steps you can take to increase your chances of healthy and more abundant harvest in your home vegetable garden.

Most cucumber plants grow on a vine. Although there are varieties that have been engineered to grow on a bush, chances are the seeds you are buying in the stores or online will produce a cucumber plant that wants to climb. Given that you have already picked the spot in your garden (full sun of course) where your cucumbers buy flower seeds will go, the first step is to put in a trellis to give your plants a place to go and grow. Once they start growing, the vines should work themselves up the trellis. If they do not, that is ok, you can help it along by doing some light maneuvering. Your trellis can be as simple as some fencing attached to wooden poles to the one shown in the picture.

When you are ready to plant the cucumber seeds it is best to sow them one half inch to one inch deep into the soil for optimal germination no earlier than one week past the last frost date as specified in your area on the USDA website.

Even though you are growing your cucumbers up a trellis, you should not space the seeds any closer than eighteen inches when planting.

Cucumbers should always be planted in full sun with moderate watering until the cucumber plant starts flowering. Then once it has started to flower, water heavy throughout the harvest.

Keep in mind when it comes to cucumbers that letting grow to larger than normal sizes will produce one that has way too many seeds and won't be as crisp and tasty as their smaller counterparts. So follow the steps above to create the optimal growing environment and harvest early and often.

3 months ago

Gardening :: Jacaranda Tree (Page 1 of 2)

Jacaranda is a kind of flowering plants and native to tropical and subtropical regions of South and Central America. In many parts of the world, the blooming of this tree is welcomed as a sign of spring.

Jacaranda's size varies from 2 to 30 m tall. The leaves are bipinnate in most species, pinnate or simple in a few species. The flowers are produced in conspicuous large panicles, each flower with a five-lobed blue to purple-blue corolla. The fruit is an oblong to oval flattened capsule containing numerous slender seeds.

Several species are widely grown as ornamental plants throughout the subtropical regions of the world, valued for their intense flower displays. The most often seen is the Blue Jacaranda. Some are also commercially important. For example the Jacaranda copaia is important for its timber because of its exceptionally long bole.

Young trees are upright but assume an irregular branching pattern that produces beautifully asymmetric open crowns as the trees age. From April to June the tree covers itself with showy trumpet shaped flowers that are about 1.5 inches wide and are arranged in panicles that grow at the tips of branches.

Most jacarandas are big size trees, and are not for small properties. Occasionally certain varieties are available that are smaller and can be enjoyed in suburban yards and for patio plantings. Since this is a deciduous tree it is best planted among evergreens that will hide its bareness in the winter and provide a green backdrop for the vibrant flowers in the spring. This tree is especially impressive when reflected in the still waters of a lake.

The jacaranda boasts some of the most electric and intense colors that nature has to offer. It stays in bloom for more that 8 weeks, this makes it even more desirable. Jacaranda are inexpensive and easily available from most nurseries and garden centers in areas where it will grow.

Jacaranda prefers enriched sandy, well drained soils but is tolerant of most soil types. It is not a salt tolerant plant. It prefers bright sunny conditions. This tree will tolerate some shade but will bear fewer flowers. It likes moisture but will tolerate some drought. Doesn't like soggy or poorly drained situations. Selected varieties are grafted. But in most situations, it propagates by seed.

Pretoria in South Africa is called as The Jacaranda City due to the enormous number of Jacaranda trees planted as street trees. In flowering time the city appears purple in color. The time of year the Jacarandas bloom in Pretoria coincides with the year-end exams at the University of Pretoria, and students believe that if a Jacaranda flower drops on your head, you will pass all your exams.

The University of Queensland in the city of Brisbane in Australia has a very high concentration of the tree, and due to the impressive display of purple flowers in mid-Spring, students claim that one will not start studying for exams until the jacarandas have molted. At Sydney University, stundets claim a similar expression: By the time the jacaranda in the main quadrangle flowers, it is too late to start studying for exams.

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3 months ago

A Selection of Plants Suitable for Use with Water Gardens

Suitable Plants for a Water Garden

There is any number of plants which are suitable for use as water plants either in or around a water garden. Some of those suitable are listed below.

The Dwarf Bullrush (Typha laxmanii) (also known as dwarf cattail) can be an interesting addition to a water garden. As it is nowhere near as rampant as its invasive cousins, this variety has a place in small ponds or even barrels. The dwarf bulrush is a native of North America and has round seed heads. It averages a metre in height and will tolerate a water depth of up to 40cm during the spring/summer growing season.

Indiana (Nymphaea hybrid) is a small to medium water lily and is classed

3 months ago

Communal Vegetable Gardening With Friends and Neighbours

This Communal Vegetable Gardening project is a prime example of where the 'whole' is greater than the sum of its parts.


Our neighbour who are not natural gardeners, are partially disabled, and don't get much time for gardening have successfully grown a few vegetables organically in their back garden in the last few years and would like to expand on their success by growing more vegetables. As Vegetarians, they are keen to grow more vegetables (organically) primarily for healthier eating and to save money on their food bill.

The proposal they put to me is that if I prepare the ground initially for them (which they struggle with because of their health condition) a

3 months ago

International seed breeding company Enza Zaden of Holland purchases the breeding programs and facilities of Yates Vegetable Seeds in Australia and New

International seed breeding company Enza Zaden of Holland purchases the breeding programs and facilities of Yates Vegetable Seeds in Australia and New Zealand, establishing a new company: Enza Zaden Australia Ltd. Through this acquisition, Enza Zaden obtains additional breeding programs in cauliflower, lettuce, onion and pumpkin as well as an expanded line of commercial varieties for export to South America, South Africa and the Middle East. Enza Zaden also gains a fully functional breeding location with an expert staff in the Southern Hemisphere, accelerating Enza Zaden's international breeding programs, particularly those for leafy vegetables.

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