M D Scott

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since Dec 29, 2015
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Recent posts by M D Scott

Hello permies! I have a few weird and wonderful plants in my garden that I am eyeing with a certain trepidation and wondering if the leaves can be used for anything?

Fuchsia arborescens - beautiful plant with gorgeous berries but can the leaves be eaten? I've read that fuschias aren't actually poisonous but not sure if that applies to arborescens?

Camellia sinensis/japonica - I know both these plants can be used for tea but i'm not actually sure if the leaves make good eating or can be used in foods?

English Lavender - I've heard that the leaves CAN be eaten but they always seem overly perfumy to me.

Cherry - I read that the leaves can be used as a medicinal tea, but also that it is extremely poisonous; anyone have any experience?

Chilean Guava - Beautiful little bush with tasty berries; I heard the leaves are also good for tea but can they be cooked or eaten raw? Are they worth using in such a way?

Love to hear your recipes and also heard about any other unusual and overlooked leaves that are surprisingly good in foods.
4 days ago
I'm wondering if any of you lovely permies has any experience with Leptospermums? Particularly Leptospermum grandiflorum

I know that tea trees can be used as an alternative to tea, particularly Leptospermum scoparium but i've seen no mention online of grandiflorum also being a tea substitute; i'm assuming that anything that is a Leptospermum functions as a tea substitute but I was hoping someone could confirm that.

Are there any other uses for these plants than tea? I'm wondering if the leaves are also acceptable in foods or if the texture and taste is unpleasent unless used as a drink.

I'd also love to hear peoples experiences of growing tea trees in the UK; I believe I may struggle even in the midlands with scoparium but I believe grandiflorum is slightly more hardy, anyone have any advice?
Thanks for the replies!

Sounds like its a bit of a mixed idea then on the one hand for some of my maritime species this'll probably be excellent but not too sure my herbs (mainly from the Mediterranean originally) will be happy with this!

This might be more an A-Level sciences question but how does Capillary Action function?

So as far as I understand water functions in such a way that water molecules 'draw' neighbouring molecules towards them. This means that as long as plants are stood on a base that is kept wet even if the plants are comparatively large and tall water will be drawn up to the top of the pots.

But how does this actually function? if you had a large pot containing a seedling and it was stood in water would the pot itself need to be moist before drawing up water? Is this an efficient way of keeping seedlings moist?

I have some pots with capillary matting (special matting designed to be kept damp) but how easy is it to make a capillary system ourselves? I was wondering if the same principle would apply if I used a plastic container, with a little water pooled at the bottom, and set a standard plant pot inside it to stand in the water (provided a glorious illustration below) if this would also work? I've always heard conflicting things about standing plants in water however; my grandmother used to always insist it was the best way of watering plants however i've always been told it leads to roots rotting; is there a difference between doing this with seeds that haven't developed roots and developed plants?
Thanks for the advice thats really useful!
I love the look of it! I know this might sound like a stupid question but what is edible? Is it simply the 'stem' near the base, the whole stem or everything including the wispy leaves?
Thanks for the great replies guys one of the things I really love about these forums is that everyone is full of ideas and experiences and particular thanks for the photo!

Camellia Sinensis and Ceanothus? Never even heard of them but now i've read up on them they sound absolutely fascinating; I think for my garden they would't really work but I love the idea of these on an allotment so will definitely keep these in mind.

In terms of foundations I imagine i'm not that far off from my neighbours foundation in places; another issue is with the house i'm in being a few hundred years old I often find buried 'masses' in the garden; big concrete lumps and pipe-working which I have no way of knowing whether it is active or inactive. This might sound over cautious but my neighbour, who has the same problem with buried infrastructure, found that an old abandoned tap buried at the back of his house seems to issue clean fresh water from who knows where! I assume some of these pipes must be main pipes or power lines so i'm wearing of inadvertently breaching something 'active'

That is my main issue with trees and with bay trees specifically; I love my bays in pots and would be encouraged to try a hedge of them (even though i'm in UK zone 8 so it may be a bit rough for them) but I fear some of the things i've read have led me to believe they can be somewhat invasive.

The pictures of asparagus are stunning; I had no idea they created that sort of 'fan' effect; are they productive plants in cool climates?
An interesting article thankyou very much! It seems to have a limited season of availability in terms of use (about 3 weeks?) after which it wouldn't be usable as an edible in the same way, would that be right? Other than that it looks like it'd be a strong contender though!
I know that hops is used in brewing, of course, but is it a good edible plant to?
Oh thats good to know! Was it the standard rosemary or have you tried any of the large rosemary varieties? Its surprisingly hard to find pictures of the tall varieties of rosemary to see what the actual end result of a rosemary hedge would be.