Summer gardens are steeped in aromatherapy

I can’t even begin to describe the rich and heady aromas when working, or basking, in the garden. They inundate every physical sense that we have. The lavendar, basils, mints, and celery are near the top of the heavenly scented herbs you would want surrounding you. Buzzing bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and my bunny’s binky-ing around the raised beds all add layer upon layer of therapeutic benefits providing the balm I/we need to unwind from life’s rapacious hold.

Plucking the occasional raspberry and savoring the pop of its juicy, sun-warmed tartness gives me yet another layer of restorative energy while the textures and colorful imagery deepens this holistic occasion. I love it. I want to live here, and I mean IN the garden. I live in a house next to it so I guess I will be content with that right now but to live IN a garden, my home would have to be surrounded by it. Goals!

Todays harvest of herbs for drying

I have been on a mission to grow healthy, organic food for my family. Part of that includes growing my own herbs and spices and to make my own teas and beneficial drinks. Therefore, I am constantly adding more herbaceous plants to my beds. I browse farmers’ markets, roadside walkways, hiking paths, even campsites to find local varieties to add to my arsenal. Plants are our healthline; they are our medicine.

I take a pair of scissors out with me when I’m walking the garden as well as a basket to keep the harvest in. I snip off calendula and chamomile heads, also borage and nasturtium. I create bundles to hang of lavendar, basil, sage, thyme, oregano, cilantro, mints, fennel, dill, hyssop, rosemary, lemon balm, and others. Then I wrap the stem end with hemp twine and hang to dry in smallish bundles. If the bundle is too big, there won’t be enough airflow to dry it evenly.

When completely dry, and easily crumbles, break the leaves off the stems and crush or cut ino appropriate size or grind with a mortal and pestal before storing. I keep my fresh-dried herbs in mason jars with an air-lock lid. They keep great until next year and sometimes I go 2 years before replacing. My countertop was getting full so I invested in these great stainless steel tins that are magnetized. They even came with labels! I love them. My spice cabinet is all cleaned out which made more room for the jars of dried flowers.

Spices! I keep 6 of the more used spices on the microwave, right above the stove top.

I don’t grow/harvest all my spices yet, but many of these I do. I’ll just keep looking for more and adding them to the garden.

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