Thursday, 25 August 2011

ABC Wednesday F is for . . .


Another traipse around the garden will lead you to a few things beginning with F.
We have Fish in our pond . . .
golden rudd
silver rudd
. . . Frogs.
In summer there are French marigolds (Tagetes patula) which would speak Spanish, or possibly Portuguese, if they could, rather than French as they are native to South America. Hoverflies love them. They are useful companion plants, the roots producing a substance that deters eelworms (form of nematodes) and repelling whitefly on tomatoes. Medicinally, a liquid concentrate from flowers and leaves is used in eastern cultures to treat nosebleeds.
Yellow dye from the flowers is used in food and textile colouring.

The flowers of Tagetes patula can also be harvested to extract the essential oil which is blended with sandalwood oil to produce ‘attar genda’, a perfume popular in India. In the west research is being conducted to determine the efficacy of the oil as an antifungal remedy, particularly for the treatment of candidiasis (thrush) and fungal diseases in plants.

French marigolds were brought to England by Huguenots (French Protestants) escaping from France after the massacre of St Bartholomew in 1572. Under the influence of the French queen, Catherine de Medici, Roman Catholic mobs killed tens of thousands of Huguenots.

Forget-me-nots (Myositis) bloom in the spring and early summer. They prefer moist growing conditions when they will self-seed readily.
You can find out more about them here.

Also flowering at the same time as Forget-me-nots is Firethorn (Pyracantha) With its strong, sharp thorns this plant can be grown as a very efficient barrier to intruders. In addition, it provides dense cover for roosting and nesting birds. 
The flowers are profuse, attracting myriads of bees, and are a valuable source of nectar in June when there is a dearth of nectar-producing plants. 
The berries are yellow, orange or red and provide a feast for birds during the colder months when there may not be much else for them to feed on.

The first Fuchsias were discovered in Hispaniola (now the Dominican Republic and Haiti) by a French monk and botanist called Charles Plumier. He gave them the name Fuchsia in honour of the German botanist Leonhart Fuchs. Fuchsias are an important source of nectar, particularly for bumble bees. 
We plant them in hanging baskets but they can be grown as small shrubs or used for hedging. 

Click here to see more Fabulous Fs.

19 comments:

  1. A lovely post.

    Really interesting reading about the various plants.

    I love your fish!

    Thanks for the info.


    Fiona

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  2. Fuchsias are such intricate and beautiful flowers but I love forget-me-nots too.

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  3. Fabulous F stuff, Janice. I enjoyed this a lot.

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  4. These are great shots, all, and nice descriptions, too.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  5. Your garden does contain a fabulous array of things beginning with the letter f. Those frogs look so cute peeking out of the pond. I enjoyed the interesting flower facts and love the forget-me-nots. They don't seem to do well here, but I think they are so sweet.
    Thank you for your kind comments today. It has been a rough couple of years in my family. Visiting my sister was great, but very sad.
    I'm sorry to hear that your mother-in-law is struggling with dementia. It is so hard to watch them go through this.

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  6. The little frog couple look so happy. How lovely to have a pond! I love learning about plants and all this was very interesting.

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  7. Glorious renditions fo the letter F...thank you!

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  8. A fun tour of your garden!

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  9. I really enjoyed reading about the plants. That frog is a cutie!

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  10. I'm generally not a fan of frogs but those two sets of eyes peering up are rather captivating. I guess you could surmise that they're probably friends!

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  11. Terrific post! Love the flowers and the fish, as well as the froggies.

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  12. Lovely shots - those marigolds are delightful!

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  13. The frogs are adorable! I really enjoyed learning about those pretty plants. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  14. Fascinating words and photographs. Too bad all this summer beauty will so soon come to an end.

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  15. Great F photos and you've managed to make it informative as well.

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  16. You have more than one fish in your pond, lol ! maybe only one in red. The frog picture is too cute !
    My French guests went home yesterday, house seems empty !

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  17. That's interesting information about the French marigolds. We used to have them in our garden when we were children but they were full of earwigs, so I stayed away. But the blue forget-me-nots always remind me of my grandmother. She must have been the one who taught me their name. I love them especially because they are blue

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  18. Great post - lovely pics and lots of interesting information.

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  19. Fantastic collection of F photos!! I always love your Flowers, and the Fuchsia is a Favorite of mine. But Forget-Me-Nots are real heart-stealers too - so sweet!

    I just love your Frog photos! It looks like they and the Fish have a Fabulous home in your pond. I always thought it would be Fun to have a pond like that in our garden someday...

    I love how inFormative your posts always are! Thanks for another Fabulous one!

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