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8 Different Varieties Of Choisya

The lovable Choisya plant of the rutaceae family has it’s origins traced to Mexico and also considered native to South-western regions of the United States.

The orangy aroma that the fruit releases played a huge part in the conceptualization of it’s pet name – Mock Orange.

It was documented to have been brought to Europe in the 1800s and have flourished in the United Kingdom.

Today, there are 5 main varieties of Choisya. And each genre retains it’s unmistakable scent and distinctive white flowers.

1) Choisya Ternata

This is the most authentic and original plant before designer versions of them started to gain publicity.

Maybe due to it being the original, without artificial experimenting, it tends to grow it’s trademark star-shaped flowers more quickly and easily compared to other varieties.

It blossoms from April to May. With a very high probability of a second wind in the months of autumn.

With paddle-like green leaves and flowers with the whitest petals you will ever see, it’s no wonder that the striking plant is a foliage that you cannot miss when walking past it.

It flourishes well in areas with sun and shade.

They are known to grow up to 2.5m tall and approximately 2.5m wide.

2) Choisya Sundance

The sundance, also known as Lich, is one of the earliest variety of the original Choisya ternata.

It got it’s catchy nick name from it’s lime green foliage that looks breathtaking gorgeous in the sun. Some observers swear that the ternate leaves are bright yellow in color.

This is a very sturdy genre that gardeners love to use as hedges due to it’s ability to withstand onslaught from the weather. Sometimes even as shrubs.

Also flowering from April to May with a second flush in autumn, it’s flowers tend not to be in the masses as the original Choisya.

The size it can grow to is about the same as the original Choisya.

3) Choisya Aztec Pearl

The proper name of this plant is Choisya x dewitteana aztec pearl. So you must be able to see why we just affectionately call it aztec pearl for short.

This small evergreen shrub is known for it’s more pointy leaves that tend to be a darker green compared to the original.

With flowers up to 3cm in width, it flowers in late spring and autumn.

The most unique part of this range is it’s flowers tend to bloom in tight clusters all over the plant.

The buds are in an odd color that you can only describe as tinge-pink, hence the name aztec pearl.

It’s potential size is the same as the original plant.

4) Choisys White Dazzler

As with the aztec pearl, the scientific name of this variety is Choisya x demitteana white dazzler.

Also labelled Londaz with reference to London, it can be easily identified with it’s very pointy slim leaves, and flowers that can basically spruce up all over the plant in huge clusters.

The flowers have a golden stamens at the center, with petals in the purest of whites.

No problems guessing where it got it’s white dazzler name from.

Unlike it’s siblings, this genre grows to a lower height and is the hardiest of the lot.

You can basically just plant the seeds and it will come to life by itself without much maintenance.

As little to no pruning is required, it would be an ideal choice for lazy gardeners.

Known to grow up to 1.2m tall with a spread of up to 1m.

5) Choisya Goldfingers

With a longer name of Choisya x demitteana goldfingers, it is also known as goldfingers, and Limo.

It got it’s mysterious sounding name from it’s slender elliptic leaves that are bright yellow in color.

Thus, resembling gold coated fingers.

While it also flowers in late spring like the others, it’s second flush occurs in summer.

With proper care, it can grow up to 1.5m in height and up to 1.5m across.

6) Choisya Aztec Gold

With the aztec pearl as the parent plant, Choisya aztec gold was bred by Alan Postill.

It retain most of the features of aztec pearl but now with green gold at the heart of the plant and rich gold at the ends of shoots.

Slender waxy leaflets make it more resistant to weather, especially the harsh winter.

The trademark orange-like aroma of Choisya now includes a scent of almond for good measure. Making it even more of a magnet to attract bees, butterflies, and other insects.

You can expect it to potentially grow to about 1.2m high and 1.2m across.

7) Choisya Apple Blosson

With this plant being such a favorite about homeowners and gardening hobbyists, breeders have tried their hand at creating their own designer hybrid versions.

A lot of credit have to go to Peter Moore for his tireless work on developing different types of Choisya.

His latest creation is the Apple Blossom.

It has pinkish petals that split to reveal pink flower buds.

While the foliage is narrower than the original, the flowers has an innocently seductive aura of white and pink.

It grows at a slower pace than other varieties of Choisya and up to 1.4m tall with 1.4m across.

8) Choisya Arizonica

There has also been records of a particular species named Choisya Arizonica whetstone.

I have not seen it myself. So I cannot be certain that it is a totally different range of plants.

But from photos and images I could find of it, it resembles the Aztec Pearl.

I will just include the Arizonica in this list.

Choose your favorite variety most suitable for the garden. You’d probably not go wrong with any choice anyway.

5 Best Garden Tool Sets

While many people (including me) like to order their meals a la carte, there’s no denying that meat sets make the job of deciding what to eat at a restaurant so much easier.

In fact, now that I think about it, I find myself ordering more set meals than dish items individually.

When I walk into a fast food restaurant, why order just a burger and a drink when I can have an extra side item and larger sized drink with just another dollar.

I might not want to order the side food item in the first place. But when the set meal arrives, I always seem to gobble down the side feeling that I have done a good job in getting more value by ordering the set meal.

The same thing can be said of gardening tools.

You might think that all you need is a pruner and picked it up at the store for $2. A little while later, you find that you need a shovel and spend another $2 on it. Then a glove becomes necessary as you start finding cuts on your hands and fingers.

Before you know it, you will be spending a lot of money by buying some of the most common gardening tools individually.

And they are all in such a variety of colors that they look like Skittles in your yard.

Why not spend a little money up front to purchase a whole set of essential gardening tools?

That are actually inexpensive as a set. They match in design and color. And you are going to eventually need some types of gardening tools that you don’t think you need.

Moreover, you might be using a particular tool to do a particular task, when a more appropriate tool would make the job much easier increasing your efficiency and effectiveness.

Here are some of the best garden tool sets for your consideration.

Best Overall – Vremi 9 Piece Garden Tools Set

The metallic parts of this tool set is made of stainless steel and rust resistant aluminum for durability and toughness.

The tool set consist of:

  1. Spade
  2. Cultivator
  3. Weeder
  4. Rake hoe
  5. Trowel shovel
  6. Pruning shears
  7. Watering spray bottle
  8. Gloves
  9. Carrier tote bag

Branded as an all-on-one garden tool kit, each metal hand tool is manufactured with rubber handles for a comfortable and firm grip.

The handle is designed to be comfortable even for seniors with arthritis and kids.

The color theme of this group of Vremi gardening tools is yellowish green which blends in nicely with a yard full of flowering plants.

It also comes with a rugged-looking organizer tote bag with a large interior compartment and 8 external pockets so that you can fit all 9 tools nicely on it.

Pros

  • Elastic loops on tote bag secures tools
  • Priced right smack in between cheap and expensive
  • Great for beginners or as a gift

Cons

  • Design might be considered dull to some

This is a great package of tools for new gardeners and the occasional hobbyist.

However if you frequently do tasks that require more heavy duty gardening tools, then…

Best Heavy Duty – TACKLIFE GGT4A

If you are a regular gardener who spends a lot of time beautifying and maintaining the garden, you can hardly get anything better than the TACKLIFE Garden Tools Set consisting of 6 heavy duty stainless steel precision-made hand tools and 1 sturdy tote storage bag.

The lineup of tools are:

  1. General purpose trowel
  2. Transplant trowel
  3. Soil scoop
  4. Bypass pruning shears
  5. Cultivator
  6. Weeder
  7. Tote bag

With one of the highest level of hardness fused into the heavy duty stainless steel, you will have little worry with the hand tools breaking apart when digging and cutting.

There is also no need to worry about rust corroding the metal parts.

With a 9-slot tote bag made with a mixture of cotton and polyester, it can store all the tools and more.

With attention to the details, the soil scoop is designed and fabricated with serrated edges for more efficient usage.

With a color theme of black and orange, the tool handles are engineered with ergonomic rubber grips meant to reduce pressure on wrists.

Moreover, holes at the end of the handles make it easy to hang them around.

Pros

  • Bag can store more than just the tools in the set
  • Strong, durable, precision-made tools
  • It’s all in the details
  • 24 month warranty

Cons

  • 7 tools
  • Expensive

If you are taking gardening seriously or as a career, this set of garden tools will not just help you do more easy duty tasks easier, they are going to last you a long time too.

Best Value – UKOKE UGP02G

Just slightly pricier than the Vremi set, which is considered the best overall, the UKOKE UGP02G garden tool set consist of 12 items.

This extended line up consist of:

  1. Trowel
  2. Cultivator
  3. Pruning shears
  4. Snips
  5. Gardening gloves
  6. Hand rake
  7. Weeder
  8. Transplanter
  9. Spray bottle
  10. Kneeling pad
  11. Waterproof apron
  12. Tote bag

Yet it’s not just the higher number of items that make this product more worthwhile.

The feature that really makes this a best value buy is that the metal parts of the tools are made of heavy duty cast aluminum alloy.

Except the pruner blades that are made of high Carbon SK-5 Steel for sharpness and toughness.

That’s almost military grade material!

By including a kneeling pad and waterproof apron into the pack, UKOKE shows that they understand gardening is not all about tools and passion.

There are other physical problems that gardeners face as well.

Pros

  • 12 item set
  • Kneeling pad and waterproof apron
  • 12 month replacement warranty

Cons

  • Odd color combination of bright orange and bright green

Whether you need the gardening tools for loosening soil, digging, or cutting, you will find everything you need in this set.

Best Budget – Wrapables Indoor

Maybe you are taking on a gardening task and need appropriate tools. And you would like to get a set of essential tools in case you need them again in future.

Maybe you live in an apartment and just need to attend to a few indoor plants.

Maybe you want to spend as little as possible to try out as a hobbyist and then purchase a much better tool set when you are sure that you are into gardening for the long haul.

Maybe you are just a little tight on cash.

Whatever the reason you are keeping your budget in check, the Wrapables Indoor set of gardening tool set is packaged with 7 essential tool items and very friendly to the wallet.

This good valued product has:

  1. Trowel
  2. Snips
  3. Pruner
  4. Rake
  5. Shovel
  6. Glass spray bottle
  7. Tote carrier bag

You will find the most basic set of tools very suitable and able for light work with potted plants.

There’s really no need to get high end gardening tools when you don’t need them. That would be excessive.

The tote bag has a huge internal compartment if you need it to contain other items.

But what’s really an eye-opener is the gorgeously-looking spray bottle which you might mistake for a perfume bottle at the mall.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • All you need for small plants

Cons

  • Smaller sized tools
  • Ugly tote bag
  • Not for extensive gardening works

Best aesthetic design – Scuddles SC-GB-01

The gardening tool set don’t need to just show that you are a hands-on person who’s not afraid to get your hands dirty.

It could be a fashion statement as well.

The Scuddles SC-GB-01 is a 8-piece tool set that is both practical and stylish.

It is made up of:

  1. Shovel
  2. Mini rake
  3. Construction grade heavy duty gloves
  4. Spade
  5. Hand weeder
  6. Trowel
  7. Cultivator
  8. Designer-style tote bag

With tool heads made with anti-rust stainless steel that is coated matte black, they might pass off as kitchen utensils in a modern kitchen.

Think oversized forks and spoons…

Combines with wooden handles, the gardening tools looks so much more appealing than other sets of tools we’ve reviewed.

The tote bag comes in a Choisya colored background with love floral prints on external packets.

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Great looking hand tools
  • Competitively priced

Cons

  • Only 1 available color theme
  • No pruner and snips

If appearance is a critical factor in your buying decision, then this set from Scuddles is one you need to take a look at.

Which one to choose?

As with most products, the garden tool set that is most suitable for you depends on your needs.

If you cannot decide, then you can’t go wrong with Vremi. And UKOKE UGP02G if you have a few more dollars to spare.

If you need heavy duty equipment, the TACKLIFE GGT4A won’t disappoint you.

Finally, do be mindful that these tools are not going to transform you into a veteran professional horticulture expert instantly. Gardening skills have be learned and harnessed.

And do be careful when working with these tools as they can become a safety hazard when you use them wrongly. Accidents can happen.

How To Attract Bees To Your Garden

If you have got past a fear of bees or never suffered this fear in your life, having bees see your garden as a little playground can do wonders to your garden.

Honey bees for example can help beautify your garden by doing their business of pollinating.

This bring more life to the garden while making plants more lush, abundant, and dare I say it… more juicy!

While different homeowners might have varying reason why they’d want to attract bees into their front yards, who are we to judge.

Here are some simple steps to make your garden irresistible to bees… should they come across it.

1) Plant native plants

Bees are small insects. Some people consider them animals. I guess they can be categorized as any of the two.

The point is that because of their size, they can be very affected by the climate they live and play in. This makes them more receptive to things that they are used to instead of trying something new.

And with how robotic bees can be, you wouldn’t bet on one going against the grain and do things that they are not “programmed” to do.

Native plants and flowers, the stuff that they grew up with will be more tempting than a sturdy evergreen they’ve never encountered before.

Plants that can survive very well in the wild is best. Again, because these are what bees are most likely to be used to.

A mix of wildflowers from the local store should be good to go.

2) Include single-petal flowers

Flowers with single petals tend to contain more pollen than others. They also have a bigger surface area for a bee to land and stand on.

This can make a huge difference in the eyes of a hungry bee.

Other than that, it sure look more aesthetically pleasing when you see one on a single petal.

Some of the single petal flowers bees love include:

  • Clover
  • Cone flowers
  • Foxglove
  • Marigolds
  • Roses
  • Sunflowers

3) Colors

You might have never thought about this before. Yet it makes perfect sense.

Bees don’t have the color range of human beings in their vision. But they can differentiate and distinguish between yellow, blue, green, violet, orange and purple.

This means that flowers with these colors will mean a higher probability that they would come pay a visit soon.

However, there seem to be general acceptance that they like blue, purple, white and yellow best.

This might explain why bees love Choisya. As the color of it’s flowers contain both yellow and white.

4) Plan blooming periods throughout the year

If you have a seasonal garden, it might be a turn-off. Imagine thinking that there is happy hour going on at your residence and only to arrive to find the shop closed for the season.

That’s very bad customer service on your part.

To maximize your garden’s potential to attract bees, it’s best to have blooms throughout the year.

5) Aromatic and fragrant plants

The more wonderful your garden smells with an array of scents, the better your chances.

You don’t need to restrict yourself to aromatic plants. the freshness of vegetable and fruit plants can be helpful too.

  • Lavander
  • Choisya
  • Snowberries
  • Angelica
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkins
  • etc

6) Make it a chill-out place for bees

If bees do not find a conducive spot to take residence or just relax, the odds are that they would move on to the next clubhouse.

Leave empty spaces in your yard. Even better if you can have them against a wall or structure. Having bald spots in the garden can be a game-changer.

Note that not all bees build their hives on trees or other places suspended from the ground. Some bees actually live in the ground by digging a hive underground.

This means that sometimes they would need access to mud or loose soil to build their homes.

Surely you are not going to be a bad neighbor and deprive them of such basic bee rights?

7) Access to water

It goes without saying that bees are living creatures. And living things need water to survive. But they don’t just need water to drink and hydrate themselves.

They need them for bathing and grooming too!

Please don’t ask me why. It’s just the way they are.

I won’t confuse you with how to create a bee bath. You need to figure this out for yourself.

Be mindful of the following when creating this mini pond of water:

  • It has to be shallow enough not to drown them
  • Bees should be able to drink from the edge if they don’t want to get wet
  • Be mindful that you might be breeding mosquitoes or other pests

8) Stop using insecticides

If you are using insecticides in the garden, it’s time to stop.

Nothing is more clearer that you don’t welcome them than if you are using chemical mean to exterminate them.

This point should not require any explanation.

While it might add to the tranquility of your home to welcome bees into your garden, do be mindful of the safety hazards that you might run into. Even if you don’t mind the trouble your neighbors might.

Health Benefits Of Choisya Essential Oil

Using oil extracts of plants for medical purposes has been around for centuries. How else do you think people get medication in the years before factories started to manufacture western medicine by the masses?

But in recent decades, there has been a rising trend towards holistic healing and the application of more traditional methods of health maintenance.

And one of those major trends has been the rise of essential oils in the application of aromatherapy among others.

Aromatherapy is basically using the aromatic scent contained in the essential oil of flowering and non-flowering plants for healing purposes. Some essential oils are so harmless to skin that spas and massage parlors even use it as a massage oil.

But be warned.

If you don’t know what you are doing, you shouldn’t use any essential oils directly on your skin. This is because these are very concentrated substances that can cause allergic reactions on the human body.

In extreme cases, it can even cause death. This is why you should always practice caution dealing with essential oils of any plant.

Choisya has an indulging scent of Mexican orange. And as you would expect, so does it’s oil extracts. But that’s not all you get with Choisya.

Here are the benefits of Choisya essential oil.

1) Anti-inflammatory

This is an eye-opening discovery when I first looked into the essential oil of Choisya ternata… because how many types of essential oil do you know that has anti-inflammatory attributes?

But the laboratory research report is conclusive.

2) Pest repellent

If you grow Choisya in your garden, you might notice that it’s beautiful and delicious scent can attract various types of animals and bugs.

But on the other end of the scale, it’s scent actually repels a lot of pest that causes us harm like mosquitoes.

So use this as a great natural insect repellent and leave the toxic that comes in spray cans at home.

3) Sleep enhancer

Sleep is a healing activity for almost all types of health conditions because it allows the body to get into a recharging mode.

It’s not always about the quantity of sleep you get. It’s about the quality too.

In fact, you can find it as a remedy or all types of conditions including for weight loss, skin care, influenza, etc. Good rest is not something we can indulge in everyday.

The scent of diffusing Choisya is so relaxing that you’d be sleeping like a baby before you know it.

4) Anxiety

The scent of Choisya essential oil has a calming effect on users.

This nerve-calming quality makes it a great remedy for those who suffer from anxiety disorders and panic attacks.

The implications of this goes even wider.

Because of the calming effect it can arouse, it can be helpful in alleviating headaches, migraines, nervousness, depression, and general mental stress.

So next time you get home from a bad day at work, dropping a couple of drops of Choisya into the diffuser might help you relax faster than you think.

5) Respiratory stimulator

You wouldn’t believe how lovely the scent of Choisya is until you try it for the first time.

Because this is not a shrub that flourish in any climate, only people who live in specific geographic areas or those who have a specific interest in it will have the pleasant experience of smelling it.

With it’s stimulating nature, it can loosen up the phlegm while relieving congestion issues associated with respiratory conditions.

This makes it a great home remedy for mild conditions like cough, cold, sinus issues, etc.

Using Choisya essential oil

While the scientific community continues to put hours into research on Choisya’s essential oil extracts, there is still no definitive answer on how safe it is to be applied directly to skin in large quantities.

So for now, if you are going to put this scent into your home or office, it’s best to just use it with a natural or electrical diffuser to spread the aromatic scent around the place.

Even if Choisya cannot heal you from a bad headache or stress, it’s lushful beautiful scent will still become a highlight of your day.