Friday, 31 October 2014

Spring Tea


A memory booster tea.


Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis being a perennial herb has once again sprung back to life now that we are in spring. It is a really easy herb to grow and it seems to spread. I find it self sowen in the geese yard where it thrives - possibly due to the manure they leave about.

The leaves are slightly rough and hairy to touch and give off a lemon scent when you rub the leaves together





 Pineapple sage  Salvia elegans - I thought mine had died but nope it is coming away again, The leaves and flowers have a sweet pineapple flavour and I pop them in fresh fruit salads. Bees love the flowers too.

Both of these herbs are perfect to have in the garden for children - children (and Big kids) get quite a buzz out of touching, smelling and even tasting these herbs.

To make the herb tea pick fresh leaves I pick a small palm full. Fill the jug with fresh water (spring water) and bring to just before boiling point. Pour some of the hot water into teapot to warm it and swish is around, tip water out. Place leaves in teapot and pour hot water over, Leave to brew for at least three minutes. Pour tea using a tea strainer, pop a slice of lemon in your cup if you wish and enjoy.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Lily of the Valley

The nodding bells of Lily of the Valley Convallaria majalis

Oh my! What have I done - old folklore of West of England (phew I'm safe as live in New Zealand) say to plant a bed of lily of the valley is a bad omen, in fact an invitation to an early death.

Water distilled from the flowers was called golden water and so precious that it was stored in gold or silver vessels 

The flower is a symbolism of many legends - eg the Virgin Mary and is known as Our Lady's-tears. Lily of the valley appears in many paintings of her. Medieval monks named the flower ladder-to-heaven due to its even step like arrangement of the flowers along the stalk. The flower is also dedicated to Ostara

In the language of flowers Lily of the valley signifies return to happiness, purity and sweetness,

My garden is full of blooming beautiful scents what with Lily of the valley and lilacs oh my swoon wish there was such a thing as smell a blog so I could share with you all.


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Thyme



Thymus vulgaris is now flowering in my garden
Being allergic to bees I will weed the patch after flowering,
It's on my bucket list to visit the wild flowering thyme growing in Central Otago. especially the Alexander Thyme Festival.