Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Summer Splendor

Each day is full of wonder at this moment in the middle of the growing season. Everything is trying so hard to get the bees to notice, wanting to set seed, blooming with wild abandon. Stepping outside, there are blossoms everywhere if I bother to stop and look. And you KNOW I do.
Right outside is the lovely Anise Hyssop (below). These tiny flowers, along with the leaves of the plant, contain a delicious anise flavor. Delicious in teas, our favorite use of the flowers is to sprinkle them over slightly sweetened fruit. Yum!
This section of the front garden was a-buzz with bumbly bees. There are two on the echinacea, but they are hard to see when the picture is downsized for the blog. In another week or so, they will turn most of their attention to the large butterfly bushes and the towering vitex bush on either side of this view. I know that the balloonflower has some medicinal uses in Chinese medicine. The root, I believe. Below I have a variety that opens to shell pink star-like blooms after the balloon "pops". Typically this flower is sort of a cobalt blue.Last week we went to Farm at Coventry for Susan Hess' lavender workshop. Right outside her kitchen door I stumbled into these luscious hollyhocks. They are the happiest looking flowers I think I've ever seen.

Inside the kitchen, we filled the lavender and showed the attendees how essential oil and hydrosol is made. The whole place smelled wonderful.
That little still has been one of my favorite investments, taking us places and putting us in front of some wonderful people. It's a lot of fun. Over the past few days I have distilled more lavender, a couple runs of chocolate mint, some catnip, elderflower... and there is still more lavender to be done. The catnip made me dizzy to be near!


comfrey cottages said...

gorgeous pics tina! your still sounds like lots of fun! i found a site to make a homemade one and thinking about giving it a whirl sometime! thanks for sharing! hugs :)

Patricia said...

Love the pictures from your walks. Everything is looking so beautiful and healthy. Your little still sounds like so much fun, going to have to start a jar for saving up for one.
Patricia Rose-A Potpourri of Fabric, Fragrance and Findings


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