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Secret #11

The Angel Trumpet

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Angel Trumpets are not as heavenly as they sound.

This beautiful plant is common in the south and makes a stunning show piece. It gives off a wonderful scent in the evening and attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It is commonly used in the landscape as an ornamental tree or large shrub.

My mother has several, in yellow and dark purple, and I’m always amazed at the number of butterflies that circle the plants. The flowers are huge! 5-6″ long with a deep throat which holds pollen in a protected area for the hummingbirds to access.

All parts of the Angel Trumpet are poisonous. Ingesting the plants and the alkaloids they contain can cause hallucinations, paralysis, tachycardia and memory loss. It can even be fatal. Gloves are a must when working with this plant and be sure to shower after you finish. Hose off those tools, too.

This is one of those plants that are best left along to admire without touching. Leave it to the birds, bees and butterflies.

Posted in Uncategorized

Secret #10

It’s almost Valentines day, and our thoughts turn to love and romance. And one of the most common flowers used to express these deep sediments; ROSES.

Each rose color has a special meaning, but the red rose is the ultimate symbol of love.

Yet, roses have other uses than expressing our feelings for a loved one. Did you know that the fruit of the rose, the Rose Hip, has a high content of Vitamin C? They can be used in soup, tea, jam, jelly and marmalade.

Compounds extracted from the rose are being used to fight against depression, Alzheimer’s, heart problems and HIV.

Rose Oil is used in antioxidants, skin care, and with other compounds can treat nausea, ulcers. dehydration and some infections and sore throats.

Rose Water can help with constipation and was used to treat measles.

Rose Tea is made from the petals, leaves and hips helps relieve congestion.

Rose Jam (a mixture of rose petals, honey and seeds) calms the nerves and helps with stress.

So, when you give your loved one a bouquet of Roses for Valentines you are giving so much more!

To me there is nothing sweeter than the smell of walking through the gate of a rose garden. However you celebrate Valentines day, I wish you a happy one.

Cindy and Bob Ellis’ pink painted cottage in Redlands, California • photo: Cindy Ellis, from Pinterest