Vintage looking - British native Geums (water avens) are my must grow choice this year . Perfectly pretty for the lower sections of my herbaceous borders against our the west facing Cob wall in shade for good parts of the day, warm and sunny in the afternoons. Strong and easy to grow, they will benefit from splitting in the autumn.
With three main types of cultivars to grow from around 30 -40 cm tall to the lofty Totally Tangerine above at around 90-100cm in height, with semi-double flowers and soft apricot shades introduced in 2010 by Hardy's plants
Geum - Bellbank below with its quite the loveliest rose vintage pink flowers, full bloom in May gradually
fading to delightful soft creamy pink, forming the most attractive fluffy seed heads when finished flowering.
Medicinal action and uses - Astringent, Styptic, Febrifuge, Sudorific, Stomachic,
Antiseptic, Tonic and Aromatic.
In earlier days the roots were not only used medicinally, but to flavour ale, and put among the linen to protect from moths and impart a pleasant odour.
'It is a wholesome heathful herb. Good for diseases of the chest and breath, pains and stitches in the sides. It dissolveth inward congealed blood occasioned by falls and bruises and the spitting of blood.
Roots either green or dried boiled in wine and drink. In spring-time steeped in wine gives delicate flavour and taste and drunk on fasting every morning comforteth the heart and is a good preservative against the plague and other poisons. It is very safe and is fit to be kept is everybodys house'.
Visit the National Collection of Geums at Brickwall Nursery, Frittenden, Kent.
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Britain has embraced cafe culture with huge enthusiasm. Cafes and coffee shops abound in even the smallest town or Village.
The first coffee house (above) was opened in Oxford in 1652. Still on the same site a cafe bar called the Grand Cafe. Slightly later - Queens Lane Coffee House has been serving coffee in Oxford for 360 years - established in 1654.