One of the highlights for me in the Mediterranean biome in winter is when the Cape Aloes in South Africa throw up their towering, torch-like, gold and scarlet flowers. The Cape Aloe (aloe ferox) is a succulent with huge, fleshy leaves found in a variety of habitats from grassy fynbos to rocky outcrops and semi-desert, creating a stunning winter display.
In their homeland they attract a wealth of wildlife including many bird species like sunbirds, mousebirds, weavers and glossy starlings. Insects, monkeys and baboons also visit the flowers looking for nectar. This plant is a great favourite in South African gardens and can be grown here in milder areas, preferably on a south-facing slope where free-draining soils keep their stem and roots reasonably dry in winter.
The Cape Aloe is famous for its healing properties and is used in pharmaceuticals as an anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, cleansing and moisturizing agent and is reputed to contain more vitamins, minerals and amino acids than Aloe vera. It has been harvested as a renewable resource by generations of indigenous peoples, long before the arrival of European settlers. The yellow sap found just below the surface of the fleshy leaves is the source of ‘Cape aloes’ - an intensely bitter-tasting drug with laxative properties, also used in the treatment of arthritis. The gel-like flesh from inside the leaves is used in cosmetic preparations and also makes a pleasant tasting health drink. No wonder this plant has been called ‘a pharmacy in a plant’!
Shirley Walker, Skilled Horticulturist
Saturday 30 January 2010
The famous Biomes will be a stunning backdrop to second year of Bright Young Things – a talent competition laid on by the Eden Project to showcase the skills of young people.
The theme for this year’s competition is Real Cool Futures- we wanted young people to be inspired to think about how they could use their skills and talents to shape their future. Come and check out the best entries in the music, art, creative writing, performance and building design categories from 12.30pm.
The full programme of performances:
12.30pm: Welcome and dance performances – Med Kitchen.
1.30pm: Film Showing – The Core Film Room.
3pm: Writing readings – The Core Film Room
3pm: Artwork, building design and photography displays – The Core
4pm: Music performances – Mediterranean Biome.
7pm: Event closes.
And don't forget- admission is free to under 18’s on the day!
Latest figures suggest that in the UK the total number of unwanted mobiles exceeds 25 million- if you put all of them end to end, they would stretch from John O'Groats to Lands End and back again. That’s a lot of phones!!
So if you're staring the new year with a shiny new phone, don't bin the old one. Recycle it and raise money for Eden's pioneering educational work.
The Eden Project has teamed up with Corporate Mobile Recycling (CMR) to launch the Mobiles for Mud campaign. It’s a really simple scheme that converts unwanted mobiles into donations and also helps prevent mobile phones going to landfill. For every mobile phone recycled the Eden Project receives the second-hand value of your phone to help support our vital educational programme Mud Between Your Toes.
If you have less than 20 phones then simply send them in a jiffy bag, FREEPOST,to:
Mobiles for Mud
Or if you would like to request a FREEPOST recycling envelope please phone 01726 8187352.
If you're donating more than 20 phones, please call 0870 752 0999 to arrange a free courier collection.
Your support will make a real difference.
(For a bit of fun, every Friday our Plant Records Manager, Chris Bisson, the guy who maintains all the recorded information on our plant collections, will do a regular blog slot where he recommends his favourite “plant records” – that is, songs that are in some way linked to a plant. (Do you see what we did there?) )
‘Jerkin' Crocus’ Mott the Hoople (1972)
The appearance of the Crocus is a sure sign that spring is on its way. Belonging to the Iridaceae Family, Crocuses grow from corms, which are similar to bulbs and produce an array of charming blooms around this time of year. The stigmas of Crocus sativus can be dried to produce the spice Saffron which adds a warming earthy, bitter taste to food, for example the tasty Saffron Cake...YUM!
Released in 1972 Jerkin' Crocus is a cracking track, that is nice and upbeat in the true Mott the Hoople style.
Chris Bisson - Plant Records Manager - Eden Project
The Eden Project has been closed today and yesterday for only the third time in its history due to cold weather and concerns for public safety. But staff who did come in today found the home of the world famous Biomes blanketed in three inches of crispy white snow. Enjoy the pictures! If you want to see more pics of Eden in the snow visit our Facebook page.
As chosen by our Green Team!
Couples who are dreaming of a luscious backdrop for their wedding day, but don't want the carbon footprint of flying to the tropics, can now tie the knot in the beautiful surroundings of the Eden Project.
Eden has opened it's doors to allow weddings amid the rich foliage of the jungle in the Rainforest Biome, the fragrant surroundings of the Mediterranean Biome or overlooking the world-famous domes themselves.
A professional in-house events and hospitality team can work with the bride and groom to organise a day that ticks the right ethical boxes, including the cake, flowers, wedding favours, and a seasonal banquet with a strong focus on locally-produced food.
Stunning photo locations include the Rainforest Biome's tumbling waterfall, it's secluded Malaysian Hut and the Mediterranean Biomes after-dark, where reflecting lights create the illusion of thousands of stars.
Eden Events and Hospitality Manager, Di Hall, said: "It is truly amazing seeing the look on people's faces when I show them the unique venues for the first time. We are really excited to be part of the bride and groom's special day - and to help them live out their values in this iconic place."
Eden's eco credentials include composting food waste, recycling, harvesting rainwater to irrigate the Biomes and flush the toilets, and producing renewable power onsite.
Please contact the team to find about holding a wedding at Eden, on email@example.com