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Marjoram: The Herb of Happiness
Called the "herb of happiness," Origanum majorana, commonly known as sweet marjoram or knotted marjoram, is an herbal symbol of peace and well-being. Marjoram is grown as an annual in the colder parts of the world but is perennial in warmer regions. To keep it growing as a perennial, bring it indoors for the winter. Marjoram may be grown as a houseplant and as it has a tendency to trail when grown indoors, it makes a nice hanging basket. Marjoram has small, grey-green, oval-shaped leaves that are velvety to the touch. Tiny white or pink flowers, reddish stems, and the grey-green colour of the leaves make marjoram an attractive border plant.
Marjoram grows 10 ? 24 inches (25 ? 60 cm) tall. Cultivation requirements: does best in full sun (will tolerate slight shade); well-drained soil; no fertiliser; water soil sparingly but do not let dry out; pinch back the tips or harvest sprigs to use in cooking to keep it bushy and productive.
Marjoram is easily grown from seed or cuttings. For spring planting, start seed indoors 6 ? 8 weeks before your last frost date. Keep the soil moist during germination. After germination, move the seedlings into a sunny position, and transplant into the garden after all danger of frost has passed. If you are bringing marjoram plants in-doors for over-wintering, pot up in fresh potting soil. Check for critters and if your plants are infected, spray with a soap and water spray.
Marjoram requires at least 5 hours of sunlight a day. If you are growing marjoram on a windowsill, turn frequently to ensure all sides receive light. Marjoram can be grown under fluorescent lights. Hang the lights 6 inches (15 cm) from the plants and leave on for 14 hours a day.
In the garden, marjoram entices bees and butterflies for maximum nectar production and pollination. It is a good companion plant for all vegetables especially beets, eggplant, pumpkin, onions, and zucchini as it aids in their growth and fights off insects. Grow marjoram in pots in the garden as well as in the soil. In the kitchen, use in tomato dishes, onions, dairy, eggs, potato salad, soups, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, oil dressings for salads, carrots, and cauliflower. Fresh leaves and young shoots can be added to salads. It is a major ingredient, usually dried, in sausages, poultry seasonings, Italian recipes, or stuffings. Sprinkle fresh or dried marjoram on pizza. Sprinkle finely chopped fresh leaves on meat or fish before roasting, grilling, or baking. A tea can be made with marjoram to treat colds, headaches, and stomach upsets. Add 3 teaspoons (15 mL) fresh marjoram to 1 cup (250 mL) boiling water. Let steep, then drink slowly. Use marjoram sparingly as it is deceptively potent. Add during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Marjoram will keep several days in the refrigerator. The leaves can be harvested as soon as the plant starts blooming. The leaves dry easily and can also be frozen. Many cooks prefer marjoram rather than oregano (closely related), as marjoram is much less pungent. To make potpourri, dry leaves whole and then crush to release the scent.
Gwen Nyhus Stewart, B.S.W., M.G., H.T., is an educator, freelance writer, garden consultant, and author of the book The Healing Garden: A Place Of Peace ? Gardening For The Soil, Gardening For The Soul and the booklet Non-toxic Alternatives For Everyday Cleaning And Gardening Products. She owns the website Gwen's Healing Garden where you will find lots of free information about gardening for the soil and gardening for the soul. To find out more about the books and subscribe to her free Newsletter visit http://www.gwenshealinggarden.ca
Gwen Nyhus Stewart © 2004 ? 2005. All rights reserved.
Sculpture Can Bring Life to Your Garden
I should know: I've been a sculptor most of my life, and I have plenty of years behind me of experience. Most of my sculptures reside in the gardens and landscaped outdoors of residences. My work is also in public places such as parks and downtown areas. But in this article, I want to focus on residences.
Are My Grapes Ready to Harvest?
This is the time of the year that I keep hearing the question "When do I harvest my grapes?" Or sometimes the question is phrased "Are my grapes ripe yet?" And then there's the "Are they ready yet?"
When to Plant Vegetaibles
Planting times for vegetables and other annual plants vary from species to species. In much of the United States the prime consideration is the date of the last spring frost/freeze. Many vegetables can be planted up to four weeks before the last frost, while others need to wait until a couple of weeks after the frost.
This is a project I've had on the back burner for many months now, but now it's finally ready!
How To Attract Hummingbirds
Yes! You can attract hummingbirds to your home. Even if you live in the middle of the city, and even if you've never had any luck getting them to come in the past.
The Advantages of Silk Flowers
The silk flower is growing in popularity among young couples and families for many different reasons. Many event hosts or planners struggle over whether to choose fresh flowers or artificial flowers. Silk flowers are non-allergenic, will never wilt and can be maintained as keepsakes for years. There are many more positive effects in ordering or owning silk flowers.
Specific humming bird migration patterns differ by species and habitats, but there are a few common points linking the different species' migration habits.
No Dig Gardens - How to Build One
The no dig garden is exactly what it describes...a fertile garden bed with no digging at all. It involves layering clean, organic materials that will literally compost around your plants as they grow.
New for 2006 - Granite Flexible Preformed Rock Ponds
Traditionally, preformed ponds are large shells, which are extremely burdensome and difficult to transport. For example, a typical preformed pond kit would come in a box that is 60" x 48" x 24", which is too large for many car trunk sizes. Liner kits, on the other hand, present many difficulties for the beginner pond gardener. Since every liner pond shape is different, pond gardeners must customize their own pond and ensure that it is level, and that it does not have excessive wrinkling.
Viburnums are related to the honeysuckles, so it should come as no surprise that many of them have fragrant flowers. But that's not all they have in their favour. No, this genus includes plants for all seasons and all reasons; foliage, flower, autumn colour, scent, groundcover, shrub or small tree, evergreen or deciduous, it's all there among the 120-odd species and the many hybrids and cultivars. Indeed, they're so variable that it would be quite possible to have an interesting garden of viburnums alone.
Suet Facts and Tips
If you are like many people, backyard birding is a hobby for you whether you actively encourage visits from birds or not. One way to attract birds is to put out suet -- beef fat -- and watch the crowds stop by and devour the treat. Suet is an inexpensive food source and should become part of your bird feeding program if you desire to attract a steady flow of birds.
Chicken Soup for the Soil
Keeping Your Soil Healthy
How to Buy a Porch Swing
The Porch Swing is enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to the latest Home & Garden trend towards building "Garden Rooms". Patio Furniture Retailers have responded by flooding the market with so many options that making a choice can be a daunting task. Here are some factors that you should consider to help you make the best Porch Swing choice for you:
Wild Flower Garden - Plan to Plant
In the previous article I discussed design for your new wild flower garden. The next stage is planning the planting. This is an exciting stage, we are just a few steps away from turning your garden design concept into a reality. But first things first.
Mulch Your Spring Bulbs In The Fall For A Beautiful Spring Display
Flower bulbs need a good, long, winters sleep. Like some people we know, if they wake up before they are fully rested, they get kind of cranky, and then they don't bloom well at all.
High Intensity Discharge Grow Light (Generic)
HID lamps are categorized in three groups :Mercury Vapor , Metal Halide, and Pressurized Sodium. For plant cultivation, Metal Halide (MH) or Pressurized Sodium (HPS and LPS) are the ones commonly used in grow rooms.Mercury Vapor - Mercury Vapor lamps are common, but they are not the most energy efficient for lighting plants or anything else. Mercury Vapor lamps have an average life of 24,000 hours. A black coating that deposits it's self on the inside of the bulb decrease light output after a significant amount of use.
What is the Right Plant and Where Do I Put It?
Know if your plants are disease-susceptible. Your choice of plants used in your garden is as important as the soil that you put those plants in. Select plants that are disease resistant and they will be much more easy to maintain and will give you the look you are wanting. Food for thought is use plants that are native to your area.
Daphnes for Scent and Colour
Anyone with even a passing knowledge of plants knows that daphnes have wonderfully fragrant flowers. And because some of them - usually the most scented - flower in winter, they're the sort of must-have plants that are usually among the first planted in any new garden.
Choosing the Right Roses for Your Garden
The selection of roses you can grow in your home garden is enormous. With so many to choose from, finding just the right ones may seem more like work than play. To make this process easier, here are a few important factors to help you narrow down your field of choices.
Set Out a Feast for Your Feathered Friends
February is "Feed the Birds" month in much of North America. And what great timing! If you're going through a cold winter, you can help the wintering birds that are going through it with you. If you live further south, you'll have not only year-round feathered friends to feed, but also an influx of migrating visitors from colder climates.
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