Archive for the ‘Health Benefits’ Category

Self-Care Week, Garden Feng Shui & Superstar Sea Buckthorn

This week is self-care week, which I bet most people need every week, especially with the harsh weather now making the early morning commute that less desirable. However it is not all doom and gloom, this time of year is one of the busiest and best times for events, socialising and enjoying all the festivities. So naturally we are all going to start feeling a bit tired and worn out. General advice like taking a long bath, finding yourself a quiet space to sit with your thoughts for an hour are drilled into us and we find ourselves spending money on a super fruity, vitamin packed smoothie that promises to make you feel like a spring chicken again, only to disappoint. You don’t need to go to such extreme lengths and effort to have a bit of ‘me’ time to get yourself feeling like you again.

 

If one of your main hobbies is gardening or just horticulture in general, then there are so many ways you can combine this with your health. For general well-being, try introducing some plants into your home, some of them have qualities that most people don’t know about. For example, Aloe Vera is great for air purification, the plant continuously releases oxygen through the night so it’s a good one to keep in the bedroom as it keeps the air very clean. Usually we read not to keep plants in the bedroom due to release of CO2. Another champion and one that might surprise you to have in your home is, English Ivy. Although more commonly used to climb up the sides of our homes, English Ivy (Hedera Hibernica) is a great air purifier, The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found that English Ivy can remove up to 78% of airborne mould in just 12 hours, taken from metro.co.uk. Most commonly know for its calming effect is the Lavender plant, used widely in lotions, candles and room sprays. Lavender is a market favourite for helping people who struggle with sleeping issues. Other air purifying plants include the Spider Plant, Peace Lily and Lady Palm. To view more plants that have health benefits, visit here.

If you are thinking about doing some re-development in your gardens, keep in mind what you can interpret in your designs that can turn your gardens into a ‘peace garden’. Adding a water feature, no matter the size, can be really beneficial in achieving a bit of zen and it will make your gardens a place you can sit and relax to the sound of trickling water.

Now I think it would be a bit rude of us to not mention the incredibly talented Sea Buckthorn hedge. This is a very interesting plant, the berries are edible and nutritious (15 times more vitamin C than an orange according to Wikipedia) but bitter and oily, the oils are used in cosmetic production. In China it is used a great deal as a herbal medicine for coughs, digestion, blood circulation and pain. There is also talk of cancer fighting properties found in Sea Buckthorn. Although it’s not well known, it has a lot of uses, Sea Buckthorn berries have long been used in India for their many health benefits and are most commonly used in herbal teas. A powerful antioxidant, Sea Buckthorn is known as nature’s most balanced fruit. Bursting with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals such as, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, K, P and Omeaga 3, 6, 7 and 9. Studies have shown that Sea Buckthorn can help with cardiovascular, memory, growth, anti-inflammatory, and skin health.

 

It is very prickly and is great as a vandal proof barrier hedge – the thorns are hidden amongst the berries so it could take an intruder by surprise. The leaves are an attractive grey colour, which is a common colour for coastal plants. The berries are bright orange and there are loads of them – it makes a spectacular display in Winter and the berries are often retained throughout winter. It is resistant to salt spray so that explains it’s name but actually as long as it is grown in full sun it will grow in any soil other than heavy wet soils. It is used to stabilise river banks and on steep slopes, it’s good as a windbreak and its roots fix nitrogen in the soil so it’s of great use in poor soil areas.


What a champion of a hedging plant! Hedges Direct hope you all have a fun and enjoyable weekend, even if it consists of a TV box set marathon, put your feet up, you deserve it!

 

The benefits of Hedgerows

Hedgerows and hedges are an important feature in the British landscape and have been around for centuries, planted to divide the land into different fields and pens; marking the boundaries of farms and parishes and controlling livestock. Nowadays, hedges offer food and shelter for wildlife, provide historical and cultural links to the past and still act as boundaries and screens. However, recently they have become under threat from removal and poor management.

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Hedging plants are important for both humans and wildlife. In terms of humans, hedgerows support the healthy functioning of the ecosystems around us by regulating things such as air quality, water purification and pollination. Hedgerows, like all plants and trees, help to manage air quality through the production of oxygen and removal of harmful gases. This is especially important in urban areas where more pollutant gases are released into the atmosphere. Hedges that act as a barrier between farms and fields, not only help to control livestock, but can reduce the amount of pesticides, fertilisers and eroded soils from the fields reaching water streams. When planted densely, hedgerows can also lessen the impacts of flooding by increasing infiltration rates and slowing water flows.

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British w4439196300_83c7e616e7_zildlife benefits hugely from hedgerows, and with an estimated 73 million hedges and park trees across our landscape, it’s no surprise that they are the most widespread semi-natural habitat in the UK, providing food and shelter for a large variety of different invertebrates, birds and mammals. The loss of hedgerow trees, and lack of future management and replacement, may lead to a decline in certain wildlife if they cannot find flowers, berries and nuts to feed on or habitats to live in. As well as shelter and food, hedges also provide corridors for certain wildlife, su12672946815_b7df8b8cd2_zch as hedgehogs and mice, to safely move through landscapes from one habitat to another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Woodland Trust is currently working to implement schemes and solutions to stop the decline in hedgerows and manage future growth more sustainably. Without this, there is the possibility of Britain losing a large part of its history and culture, and a huge number of wildlife losing both their homes and food supply.

Sea Buckthorn – Nature’s Most Balanced Fruit

Sea Buckthorn berries have long been used in India for their many health benefits and are most commonly used in herbal teas. A powerful antioxidant, Sea Buckthorn is known as Nature’s most balanced fruit. Bursting with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals such as, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, K, P and omeaga 3, 6, 7 and 9.

Now, Sea Buckthorn is making its way in to some of the most adventurous chef’s kitchens and becoming a very popular alternative in household recipes.

Use Sea Buckthorn berries instead of more traditional fruits in your favourite recipes.

Use Sea Buckthorn berries instead of more traditional fruits in your favourite recipes.

With a sweet, sharp flavour, Sea buckthorn berries add a fresh twist to many recipes and also make a refreshing health juice drink. Studies have shown that Sea Buckthorn can help with cardiovascular, memory, growth, anti-inflammatory, and skin health. Sea Buckthorn berries are popularly used in Denmark, especially in homemade pies and jams; a great alternative to more traditional berries.

Sea Buckthorn Health Juice Drink

Sea Buckthorn Health Juice Drink

As its name suggests, Sea Buckthorn thrives along the coast. The berries are ripe in autumn and can be picked to use at home. If you’re planting your own Sea Buckthorn shrub or hedge, they make a fantastic windbreak and are just as suited to inland positions as they are coastal sites. Hippophae Rhamnoides has unusual silvery, grey foliage that contrasts wonderfully with the brightly coloured berries.

When planting a Sea Buckthorn Hedge, remember the following:

  • Plant in a sunny position for optimum berry production
  • Avoid dry soils
  • Ideal for problem soils; Sea Buckthorn has nitrogen fixing properties that will improve the quality of soil

Sea Buckthorn is also a key ingredient in our Mixed Coastal Hedging Packs – perfect for achieving a wildlife friendly hedge with year round interest.

 

Sea Buckthorn Hedging

Sea Buckthorn Hedging