Thursday, January 6, 2011

Indoor Winter Harvest

We are in the midst of winter and not much is going on in the Bliss garden. The Viburnum Bodnantense Dawn is in flower and fills the garden with a delightful scent, the Winter Jasmin is doing its best to cheer up a bleak winter's day with its golden trumpets.
And there is of course the stalwart Viburnum Tinus, bless its brave little heart, about to burst forth in flower but apart from that, it's a bit dull outside.
So we turn indoors for our garden entertainment. Let's go to the conservatory where there is much to delight a gardener's heart.

 I have 3 citrus trees overwintering in my conservatory and they are such a fount of joy as they flower and fruit pretty much year round. Both my orange and kumquat tree are full of fruits so it's time to harvest them and turn them into
marmelade. I make about 7 to 8 pots a year. Not a vast production but enough to keep me in marmelade all year round. And of course there's nothing better than spreading your very own homegrown &made marmelade on a hot bit of toast. Yum!

Another useful plant I grow in my conservatory is Aloe Vera.  Not everything I grow is for eating; from my Aloe Vera plants I harvest 1 leaf about once a week and spread the contents of that leaf all over my face, neck and hands. Aloe Vera is added to many a skin care product because it is so very good for human skin. I go one better and use pure Aloe Vera. If you want to have a go at growing and harvesting Aloe Vera be my guest as they are so easy to grow but, please pay attention,  do NOT rub the stuff all over your face before trying a bit on the inside of your elbow. Wait 24 hours to check if you are not  allergic to it and then, and only then,  you can put as much Aloe Vera goop on your face as you want.

About  a year ago I bought 1 Aloe Vera plant and now have 5 of them. They grow like the clappers and produce babies by the bucketful. I love taking a bath after I'd put on a face mask of pure Aloe Vera as it's utter Bliss!

For my regular visitors:

It can't have escaped your notice that I haven't been blogging regularly these past few months and my visits to yours and other blogs  have been few and far between. Not by choice but of necessity as I haven't had much time on my hands lately. Both my aged parents are not very well and need a lot of extra care and attention. My mother has Alzheimer and is trying to cope with a body that doesn't function as well as it used to after suffering a minor stroke. My dad was rushed to hospital last November with an severe infection of bladder and kidneys. Shortly before Christmas we received the news that my dad also has cancer (prostate) and has to have an operation soon as the major artery in his belly is about to burst. Not good news as I'm sure you'll agree.

copyright 2011 Y.E.W. Heuzen


Irene said...

Ik volg je blog al een hele poos, maar heb geloof ik nog nooit gereageerd. Maar met dit bericht kom ik toch maar uit m'n meelees-hoekje om je veel sterkte toe te wensen met de problemen rondom de gezondheid van je ouders.

En voor 2011 alsnog de beste wensen. Dat het maar een mooi jaar mag worden waarin dromen uitkomen.

patientgardener said...

I am very envious of your oranges - I wish my greenhouse was bigger so I could have one. But I do have aloe veras - lots of them. I have one in the kitchen and when I burn myself cooking, which is frequent, I break a bit off to rub on the burn, it is very good. I haven't thought of using it as a face mask so I may be doing that shortly.

stadtgarten said...

Dear Yolanda, I can absolutely understand that you are not in the mood to blog now. My best wishes for you and your parents,
groetjes, Monika

Glo said...

So sorry to hear that you are dealing with the worry of your dear parents. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could have a lotion, such as that healing aloe, to spread over all the wrinkles of life as they appear! You are such a caring person (just ask your cats!) that I know that you will be doing what you can for your parents. I send heartfelt thoughts your way.

By the way, I love marmalade ... and could just imagine how delicious your homemade variety would taste on toast! How lovely that you have a conservatory to tend to your inside garden.

Jenny Schouten Short said...

Dear Yolanda,
I am so sorry to hear about your parents. That is all time consuming. I will pray for you and them. My aunt had the aorta anurism the size of an orange and the doctors fixed it before it burst.
I am glad you put your winter garden on your blog. It is so dreary here in Holland in the winter and I am having a hard time with it. Enno and I will go to Texas in two weeks and stay four months. Next year I'll leave in November after all that snow we had for a month in Zeeland.
Take care and blog away. We are here for you. xoxo Jenny

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yolanda I am glad that you have your garden, greenhouse and pets to comfort you while you have to attend your aged parents. Do take care and know you and yours are in my prayers.

Chookie said...

Dear Yolanda, I am sorry to hear your parents are unwell and will keep you and yours in my prayers. I hope your garden is a comfort to you in difficult times.

Plantaliscious said...

Oh now I have conservatory envy! I don't have room for one here, but it is on the dream list, mainly for citrus! I too keep Aloe vera in the kitchen, something MIL introduced me to. Amazingly, since we started doing this I've not burnt myself. This is unusual!

Alex aus dem Gwundergarten said...

Dear Yolanda
Well, that is really bad news. I wish you and your parents so much power for this hard time and I send you a big hug. It must be so hard to see the beloved getting sick an sicker.
Your post reminded me that I've got some berries in my freezer from last summer and that I wanted to make jam out of them. Well, maybe this weekend I will get in production.
Take care

Anna said...

You are right Yolanda - there is not much to cheer us in the garden at the moment - even my winter jasmine has been zapped by the cold this year. It is heart warming to have indoor interest.
I am sorry to hear to hear about your parents. My father has dementia so I know what a cruel disease it is. Keeping you in my thoughts. I hope you are able to get some time to take some comfort from your garden when the days start to lengthen.

Matron said...

Some of those earliest blooms do have the most exquisite perfume! Sorry to hear your family news, please find time to blog when you can, you have lots of blogger friends out here! Love to Tara of course xxx

Babara said...

I just wanted to wish you a good and happy new Year and then I read your last sentences and now my wishes even get another meaning. I really wish you and your family all the very best. My thoughts are with you (I know what you're going through as I had the same experience with my parents too until this summer).
Take care of you as well!

easygardener said...

At least we know more flowers will be appearing before too long.
Sorry to hear about your parents - it must be a very stressfull time for you.

Gail said...

My dear, I am so glad you are surrounded with the garden and your delightful pets~Hugs to you, gail

healingmagichands said...

I was wondering what had happened to you! I'm sorry that your life has become so busy and stressful. Aging parents are very consuming of love, time and energy. Alzheimer's is hard for everyone; I hope that you have some help.

Meanwhile. we love you when you do have time to share the beauty and bounty of Bliss with us. I will have to try that aloe vera masque trick -- I have a very happy plant and have been wondering what to do to keep it under control. sounds wonderful. I love baths anyway.

Stay well.

Naturegirl said...

Yolanda I agree nothing better than homemade anything on hot toast!Comfort food.
Bless you for taking time to post and keep in touch while caring for your parents. I know only too well the toll it takes on you and the time as well in caring for elderly parents who now are in a sense the child and YOU the parent.When things are complicated and overwhelming I wish you simple beauty and peace.Holding you and your family in my prayers.
love and light Anna.

fer said...

Beautiful blooms, it must smell great around your house.
Wish your dad gets better soon

Ewa said...

Dear Yolanda, I feel sorry for your tough times.
I'd like to see you around more often :) Take care.

em said...

yolanda, i'm so sorry to hear about your parents... my husband's parents are also not well and we've been busy... so i've the same excuse for my limited blogging. i hope things are better soon for you...

Carol said...

Dear Yolanda
I have been following your blog for several years. My great-grandfather was born in Dinteloord in 1857. I love your garden. I live in Arizona so my garden is quite different. I have two large clumps of ever-expanding aloe vera.
My sympathy to you regarding your parents. My Dad died of Alzheimer's and my mom is 84 - so far she has kept her mind and health.