Roots 'n' Shoots: Garden Talk - Herbs, Bulbs & Flowers

Why is RnS Moving to

Google had brought out an algorithm update in May 2017. With previous updates like Panda or Penguin, Mr G had penalized blogs or websites with low quality content and those more focused on aggressive adverts (including multiple ads or pop-up ads in articles). However, many blogs/websites that weren't shady got penalized beyond recovery too and a lot of people lost their income. The May 2017 update has had wide-scale effect on blogs and websites, but without any explanation from Mr G as to why or what it does. RnS has been hit by it too and hard. RnS organic search stats (i.e. users from Google) have dropped by 75% since. Even though RnS is not a source of income, I tried to figure out why RnS is being culled. It seems that it doesn't really have anything to do with RnS per se, but likely because RnS is FREE and not paying for page ranking (via AdWords or Ad Ranking). Now it is likely being aggressively shoved to lower page rankings to accommodate the paid ads.

I cannot rely on Mr G anymore to get RnS' content where it is needed. So I am busy moving RnS to Wordpress where you can find me as Whisker Flowers @

I am also imposing 301 redirects from already moved posts and pages!

- The Shroom - (AKA Whisker Flowers)

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Garden Talk - Herbs, Bulbs & Flowers

Another talk we attended at Garden World

Garden World

Picture from Garden World's Website

Margaret Roberts has done for South Africa what Jekka McVicar has done for the United Kingdom when it comes to herbs. She has been a herbal pioneer for more than 40 years and has several (30) published books under her name. She consults and lectures on herbs, medicinal food and organic garden practises. She runs a herb farm; the Herbal Center @ De Wildt (about ~40km from us) . Her daughter, Sandy Roberts, runs the restaurant at the herbal center.

- P.S. for those who don't know, De Wildt sports a Cheetah and Wildlife reserve -

The University of Pretoria has given Margaret Roberts a Laureate Award in recognition for her contribution to the herbology field.


Hadeco is an international company specialising in bulbs and fresh-cut flowers: Website & Blog

... Again the talk was jam-packed with all interesting things, a fat goody bag, prizes (again my luck wasn't with me) and lively atmosphere.

I mainly went to this talk for Margaret Roberts and her daughter, Sandy Roberts. Margaret Roberts is very big on an 'edible & healthy garden'. Her latest passion is edible flowers - how to use them in your food and their medicinal uses. Sandy specifically mentioned that flowers with more fragrance and 'higher tones' are more suited to sweet dishes (lavender, tuber rose), whereas herb flowers are more reserved for savoury dishes (thyme, sage).

Margaret Roberts gave us a quick cream recipe for dry skin and general purpose moisturising.

1 Cup of Flowers petals (Carnation & Calendula - AKA Marigold)
1 Cup of Aqueous cream

Boil for 20 minutes in a double boiler or until the flower petals have 'melted'. Cool the cream and run through a sieve to remove any petal remains. A natural preservative to add, would be 2 teaspoons of Vitamin E oil. An optional extra is 2 tsp of almond oil for a richer lotion. Place in sterile jars (boil jar for 5 minutes).

Another recipe is her Health Juice:

Celery - 1 stick per person
Parsley - 4 sprigs per person
1 Cup of wheat grass
1-2 peeled apples
1-2 beets
1-2 carrots

To remove most unwanted chemicals form store bought fruits - was the fruits with a solution of apple cider vinegar (1/2 cup vinegar to 2 liters of water).

Margaret Roberts has several herbs and fruits that must be part of an edible garden for all their health benefits:

Berries (raspberry, blueberry, cape gooseberry and blackberry)
Pawpaw or Papaya

We also had a specialist from Hadeco to give us a quick 101 on bulbs and a flower arrangement demonstration.

Previous Garden Talk: Jane Griffiths & Grow your own food

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