Just keep BRAINS!

Cemetary-Travels and the life of a german Darkling.

Tag: plant


Hey there, Internet!

Long time no plant post, huh? Last was Seeds and new plants back in March when I told you about the seeds I planted a few weeks earlier. Those moved to bigger pots already and are doing great. Amongst them probably is one plant that has a slightly more intense mystical background than the others have. Talking about my Mandragora off. V. Autumnalis, Mandrake here.

Biological background: While as today most people might know those screaming Mandrakes from the Harry Potter movies it is a plant that has been used as medicine and for witchcraft for hundreds of years. They are categorized as Solanaceae, related to tomatoes or peppers. The roots in ancient documents are shown in human (male or female) shape and with its long, branched shape it indeed does resemble somehow. The different species do differ in size and color of leaves and petals

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Mystical aspects: Probably everyone remembers the screaming mandrakes from the Harry Potter movies but it is a plant that was said to be a strong medicinal herb that would prefer to grow close to galow spots and that you would die if you would pick it with your own hands. That’s the reason why often dogs were used for picking, one end of a rope bound to their tales, the other end to the mandrake. It also is said that the mandrake helped witches to fly – but don’t worry if you happen to find a bottle of the amazing mandrake liqueur, so far I didn’t experience any of my guests flying around my flat after a glass.

Medical aspects: Besides the belief of helping witches to fly Mandrakes were also used as medicine for rheumatic and other painful diseases. The juice of the roots was used as some kind of anesthetics or to cure possession, it indeed does have narcotic and hallucigenic agents. And tinctures are still used until today but yes, Mandrakes are poisonous.

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My Mandrake: I am planning to grow both, the v. autumnalis and the original, spring blooming one but started with v. autumnalis, it might not grow as fast as my herbs do, for the first few months I even thought it was not going to grow at all. By the way, the pot in direct sunlight shows as much growth as the pot in part shadow. I also am not sure if it will be used for anything besides looking beautiful in the end but I am happy to have this finally growing and am looking forwards to next year when the spring growing Mandragora off. will join my family of plants! By the way, anyone else who thinks the first leaves of a plant coming through the soil looks similar to the lovely zombie movies when they crawl with their hands out of their graves?

If you liked this post maybe take a look at my previous plant-posts? Ivy! and Patchouli!

Any interesting gardening things happening right now? And who else is already preparing for the next year? Have a nice evening!



Hey there, Internet!

Back in August I wrote a post about my patchouli plants (see that post here) with a bit of plant-history. Been 4 months now and so I thought with a previous post featuring a painting with an ivy leaf I should do another plant post soon.

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(Some of my Ivy’s / Hedera plants)

Poison or cure?

Even though some birds & bees enjoy the flowers & berries, for a lot of other animals & humans the berries or other parts, like the leaves or ivy in general can cause major health problems like skin irritations, fever, breathing problems or even coma.

Ivy also has been used to cure different health issues as well. (Still, don’t try this on your own, as mentioned, it also is toxic) It is said to help against arthritis, asthma, skin irritations to name a few.

The plants…

Ivy’s (Hedera) belong to the family of Ginseng (Araliaceae) with English Ivy (Hedera Helix) probably being the best known member. They are evergreens, some woody vines and often is used to decorate buildings or will climb up and grow around trees or to cover large areas on the ground. Leaves usually have three to five lobes, some entirely green, some with white markings. They bloom in autumn / early winter. There are plants that are called ivy actually are not real ivies / hederas, (poison ivy, swedish ivy, devils ivy or wax ivy for example).

It is native in parts of Africa, Asia and Europe but due to its good adaptability would grow in most parts of the world. In various areas / countries the once cultivated ivy now is considered as an invasive species. Ivy’s prefer to live outside, even in winter which is the reason most of mine live outside (two live in my kitchen since it is colder than the other rooms, so far I didn’t try to take them somewhere else). My ivies unlike most of my other plants won’t get their water frequently, instead whenever the soil feels dry adding a bit of fertilizer maybe twice a month.

Are you also an ivy mom / dad? Which ones do you like best? Have a nice evening!

Random 15-06

Hey there, Internet!

Monthly Post of Random Pictures / Thoughts & Questions / Links and other things that happened during the past month and would not fit into another post…

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Maybe these thoughts / questions would be useful as inspiration or someone knows the answer?

* Holy BAT! Reached 100 followers on wordpress – aigain thank you so much for that, you can now follow via facebook / like justkeepbrains.com on facebook, too (since wordpress is wordpress, blogger users or non bloggers would only be able to follow via email and I totally see how annoying email newsletters can become)
* Why does a blog these days need a disclaimer and why is it so difficult to put together? – Do I need an english AND a german one because the blog is in english but I am in Germany?
* Learned quite a lot about dolinks and nolinks on my blogging researches this month so I removed most shoplinks (got told with dolinks google might put both sites to a spam list O_O) only links I left are to social media & blogs… for other things: google(for the moment, until I figured the nolink thing out). sorry.
* Who will be at Amphi & Mera Luna Festival this year? Let’s have a drink together!
* What is it with everyone getting hurt the past months? blood and broken bones news from so many friends (with or without photos included to their messages)
* Tiny spiders killing a lot of my plants, what are they and how can I get rid of them?! (They were able to kill one of my baby ivy’s within a few hours!)
* No other big things on my mind this month, was a really positive one, hoping it was the same for you, too!

And here are my most favourite / inspiring posts from other blogs / websites this month:

* Staples & Train Tack’ssass-a-fr-ass is a lady I only met a few weeks ago via wordpress, still, happy to see whenever she posts something new, hoping her foot will be fine again, soon!
* Ever would want to know what you would look like as bird? I definitely would look like this: The jury is still out on this rainy day hairstyle… found on blog: a window to this woods
* When Taxidermy goes wrong on little black submarines – had to laugh so bad but also feeling sorry for these poor creatures…
* Is Goth Just a Phase? – A survey that was shared in several Facebook groups and that probably should be done by as many people as possible (that if it still is open)
* My friends Olli’s Flickr – Finally one of my friends sharing some good news / pictures of his holidays and other nice photograph projects!

What was inspiring for you this month? And, Amphi, Amphi, Amphi? Have a nice evening!

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