Tales from the garden

We have been admiring these two pretty plants that appeared in our garden until we were able to identify them as poisonous and invasive species.

Jimson Weed. All parts of this plant is poisonous including flower, leaf and seeds.
Velvet Leaf. Highly invasive.

Do not hesitate to remove them if you see them in your garden!

Here is some more information about the two unwanted species.

Jimson Weed.

All parts of this plant is poisonous including flower, leaf and seeds.

Angel Tulip, Chasse-Taupe, Datura, Datura inermis, Datura lurida, Datura Officinal, Datura Parviflora, Datura stramonium, Datura tatula, Devil’s Apple, Devil’s Trumpet, Endormeuse, Estramonio, Herbe du Diable, Herbe aux Magiciens, Herbe aux Sorciers, Herbe aux Taupes, Higuera del Diablo, Jamestown Weed, Locoweed, Mad-apple, Man Tao Luo, Nightshade, Peru-apple, Pomme Épineuse, Pomme Poison, Pommette Féroce, Stinkweed, Stinkwort, Stramoine, Stramoine Commune, Stramonium, Thorn-apple, Trompette des Anges, Trompette de la Mort, Yiang Jin Hua.

Jimson weed is UNSAFE when taken by mouth or inhaled. It is poisonous and can cause many toxic effects including dry mouth and extreme thirst, vision problems, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate, hallucinations, high temperature, seizures, confusion, loss of consciousness, breathing problems, and death. The deadly dose for adults is 15-100 grams of leaf or 15-25 grams of the seeds.

Velvet Leaf

This is not poisonous
What is Velvet Leaf?
This pesky plant is a member of the mallow family, which also includes desirable plants such as hibiscus, hollyhock and cotton. An upright annual weed that can reach heights of 7 feet, velvetleaf is named for the huge, heart-shaped leaves, which are covered with fine, velvety hair. The thick stems are also covered with hair. Clusters of small, five-petaled flowers appear in late summer. Controlling Velvetleaf Plants Velvetleaf weed control is a long-term project because one plant creates thousands of seeds, which remain viable in the soil for an incredible 50 to 60 years. Cultivation of the soil may seem like a good solution, but it only brings seeds to the surface where they are able to germinate readily. However, it’s a good idea to mow the plants while they’re small to prevent them from going to seed. Rapid response is key, and eventually, you’ll gain the upper hand.

Abundance of herbs and tea blending

Our tea fundraiser is starting to get under way, we have an abundance of herbs in the gardens and we thought it was a great idea to link the herbs we harvest and the love of herbal teas to create unique tea blends.

So far we have harvested and dried:

  • Spearmint
  • Chocolate mint
  • Sage
  • Lemon Balm
  • Oregano
  • Raspberry leaves. 

Not only are we going to make regular tea bags, with a one portion application. We will also make our individual blends in small jars.  These blends will give you the opportunity to be creative and design your own tea blends in the comfort of your own home. Do you have a secret family recipe for a tea, which you wish to share?

 Herbal teas are not only used to sip and enjoy but to use as medicinal purposes also, for example: winter time blend of sage, oregano and ginger with a dash of honey is a wonderful immune booster, for colds and flu. Mint is very soothing for an upset stomach. We are in need of:Very small mason jars and lidsCraft paper, ribbon, twine for decoratingLabels

Volunteers Needed

To work on creative tea blends and to put together a guide to the medicinal herbs (and their properties) we have harvested. So we can educate others on their benefits.

  • Dry edible flowers for the teas.
  • Dry organic citrus fruit rinds
  • Harvest and dry more herbs.
  • Dry organic ginger pieces
  • We need dried lavender buds to mix into the tea blends
  • Olivier is drying some apples to add to the blends.
  • Ideas for creative labels.


Volunteers to promote and distribute the finished product.  

On Monday 14th September, we will start the tea blending & tea bag making process for our fundraiser in October, details to follow. Let me know if you wish to participate and in which way, I can arrange  a time and day for you to pickup the necessary herbs and jars/tea bags. 

We need volunteers to make this fundraiser a success.

Let Catherine, our garden coordinator know your ideas and recipes. Let’s have fun with this and expand our knowledge of herbal teas at the same time.  

 Some facts:In the United Kingdom around 165 million cups of tea are drank everyday!That’s 62 Billion cups a year. The total value of the worldwide tea market is around $20 Billion!