Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Will Try This Again, Herbally Speaking!

Lovage is Popping Its Leaves Up!
Don't Forget to Leave The Dandelion Flowers for the Bees!
Angelica is Quite Perky on a Sunny Day!
Square Eleven Done!  One More to Go!
Seems like a while since I have been by.  The weather has continued to be up and down.  We finally have daffodils blooming.  Some of the bushes and trees that had started to leaf out will have to start again.  We covered a lot of plants with ornamental grass clippings.  Will probably have to pull more grasses than normal this year because of seeds growing.  We have gotten out in the front garden and clip things down and took out a redbud that had died.  It was right by the walk and I don't want anything to happen to the mailman or delivery people!  We had one car stop while we were working and tell us how much she loved our garden!  That really means a lot!  Thanks to her!

So the lovage is up in the main herb garden.  We had planted one in the back gardens and I don't see signs of it.  The angelica is up and looking very happy.  Hope the building of the new arbor doesn't hurt their leaves!  We looked for signs that the lemon verbena has come back that we left in the ground.  No signs of life yet.  And please, please don't take out all of your dandelions.  Leave some flowers for the bees.  It is one of the first flowers of the season for them.

Been very intently trying to finish this cross-stitch throw.  Coral bells is square eleven as you can see in the photo.  I am working on the twelfth and final square.  Hoping to get it done by Friday.  We shall see.  There is still a chill in the air here.  So we will move with baby steps to get covers off.  Hope you are having a fabulous day wherever you may be.  Still have so much to say and hopefully will get back on track soon!  Talk to you later!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Day of Herbs For Health and Well Being with the Western Reserve Unit at the Cleveland Botanic Garden!

A Folder Chock Full of Great Herbal References!

The Beautiful Centerpieces Made with Mulberry Creek Herbs!

A Full Room Eager to Learn About Herbs for Well Being!

At the Lunch Break, Bonnie and I Had To Go Out in the Herb Garden!

The Thyme Garden and the Mill Stones Give Structure!

Two Happy Herbies in the Winter Garden!

Even This Walk Is Grand Among The Roses!

This Is One of My Favorite Parts--The Knot!

Someone Found Some Green Shoots to Nibble On!

One of the Beautiful Tussie-Mussie That Was Won By Someone At Each Table!

We Even Made An Herbal Product to Take With Us!

And the Delightful and Old John Bartram Paid Us a Visit!
Bonnie and I are always looking for herbal escapes in the dead of winter.  This so-called winter has not been as bad as usual.  So when our wonderful herbal Ohio friend, Kathleen Gips mentioned last fall that the Western Reserve Unit of the Herb Society of America was having a Day of Herbs for Health and Well Being in March, 2017 we thought we should go.  Madame Vice Chair also offered us a room or two at Chez Gips.  We were definitely in then.  The day started at 9:00 AM and to be in Ohio at that hour from Pennsylvania would have had started about 6:30 AM for us to get there on time.  So thank you gentle herb lady and her bionic husband, Jack for being gracious hosts.

The speakers were a wide variety of subjects, including ancient herbals and their histories, historic medicinal gardens, a visit from John Bartram, American Medical Herbalist, creating a personal herbal retreat where we got to make an herbal product to take home and enabling gardens for the older herb gardeners.  Then there was a break and an additional evening programs were cocktails with an herbal twist along with a visit by Frederick Olmsted.  Bonnie and I decided that we needed to leave after the afternoon programs and head home.  It was a break that both of us needed to get recharged for the season to come.

As I have said on many occasions in this blog, any garden should have four seasons of interest and when you have a winter such as we have in the north, pathways, monuments, fountains need to be the structure to define your garden.  It doesn't have to be as elaborate as the Cleveland Botanical Garden but I hope you get the idea to have a visual feature in your herb garden.  Something for the birds to sit on or the chipmunks to dig around.  You get the idea.

I didn't realize that Holden Forests & Gardens a/k/a Holden Arboretum is part of CBG now.  I think I will have to pay them a visit because I have some old herbals, but the ones that were shown in the talk were very interesting.  The rare book room houses collections from Warren H. Corning, a founder's collection of the Holdens and the rare books of the Herb Society of America.  An extra road trip this summer.  The room is only open certain days and by appointment as well.

I also got some additional names of medicinal gardens to visit during our travels.  Some of them I have written about in this blog such as the Chelsea Physic Garden and the University of Oxford Botanic Garden which is England's oldest.  I just got to see the Oxford one last year and have yet to post about it.  The speaker talked about The Poison Garden in Alnwick, Northumberland, England where you must be escorted by a guide so that you are not tempted to touch the plants!  This is one that I think I must see soon.  She also showed The Cloisters garden north of NYC.  One of my favorites.  You get the idea.  I will work on putting a post together of some of the other medicinal gardens she spoke about.

The Western Reserve member who did the Creating a Personal Herbal Retreat talk talked about being the owner of a jewelry store and that she used to go out to her car to escape at lunchtime and took time for herself with various herbal aids.  We did a workshop at the end of her talk where we made a sugar exfoliating scrub with lavender and bergamot oils.  Delicious!

There was also a speaker who talked about making the garden more accessible and isn't that what some of us need right now.  She showed us many raised beds and tools that would help reduce fatigue in the garden.  Got me thinking for sure.  I think it would be good for The Herbal Husband to garden for as long as he can and these raised table beds from Gardener's Supply she showed maybe just the ticket.

So can't really have a great conference without the reenacting of Kirk Brown.  This time he was John Bartram.  Bonnie and I are always amazed that he embodies the character he is portraying and he never misses a beat.  You forget he is a contemporary.  All in all it was a wonderful day and we got home safely even with snow showers.  So glad we were able to go.

Very cold here.  Yes, I know I was too cocky about our weather and OK Phil you were sorta of right.  Maybe we are going to have two feet of snow this season, our normal.  So I really need to talk about my England trip and so that will be what I will concentrate on.  I have also started to read about Cilantro/Coriander.  So as always I have a lot to talk about, herbally speaking.  Hope you are staying warm and dry.  Will talk to you again soon.


Monday, March 6, 2017

A Giant Roller Coaster of Weather This Winter!

First and Maybe Only Crocuses to Bloom!
Square Six-Thistle!
Really where did winter go?  I hope it doesn't appear in April or May!   Now I am afraid we will just jump right into summer from here.  It has happened before.  I am pretty sure that we are under our "normal" snowfall totals for the year less than two feet!  It is pretty amazing.  I really do like to be snowed in just one time during the winter.  We are two weeks or so away from spring beginning.  The daffodils still just have leaves, but soon the flowers will be appearing!  The trees and shrubs and rose bushes have started to leaf out and although we are not out of the woods as far as frost goes. We have had frost as late as mid May some years.  But it has been a giant roller coaster of weather this winter!

We were hoping to get out in the front garden this morning and work, but it just didn't materialize.  I guess we have time to do things, but the chores will just start piling up.  Also hoping to get the elderflower tree dug and transplanted.  Probably should have done it last fall, but we ran out of energy!

The afghan had a brief interruption for some gift making.  As you can see Square Six is a thistle.  The spines of the thistle actually work quite well to trap the stink bugs, but only some, not all.  Working hard on Square Seven which will probably be done for the next post for certain.

Hope you are having a fabulous day wherever you may be.  Waiting for rain to arrive.  In the 50's today and 60's tomorrow.  Still a roller coaster of weather!  Talk to you soon.