Posts tagged ‘lavender’

May 6, 2013

Edible Flowers

There are many edible flowers that are delicious and nutritious. Flowers have flavonoids which is a powerful antioxidant group that is responsible for the colour of the plants. Antioxidants also help protect the plant against stressors and protects our cells as well when we eat them.

Violas have a mild sweet fresh flavour and flowers are always best used fresh. Put in tea or toss raw in salads and add as a garnish to brighten any dish.

Viola

Viola

Learn more about Violas or Violets here >>> http://earthelixir.ca/2012/04/19/sweet-violets/

Besides stuffing squash and zucchini flowers with soft nut cheeses use other flowers like Nasturtiums and stuff them with herbal soft nut cheeses or thick dips. Nasturtiums are also a great addition to salads and the flower buds are pickled like capers, they have a real spicy flavour.

There are also many other flowers to use as a garnish or add to a salad. Flowers are better eaten raw because they are too delicate to cook and will lose nutrition and flavour.

There are also edible herb flowers that make an attractive garnish like chive flowers which look great floated in soups or added to salads. Add Mint flowers like bee balm, peppermint, spearmint, oregano, thyme, hyssop, rosemary to drinks and salads and they also make attractive and pleasant smelling garnish. Get creative with combinations.

Pansies look like Violas but don’t have much flavour like Violas do. They do make beautiful decorations for cakes, desserts and salads though.

Carnations have a sweet clove like flavour that makes it a nice addition to chai tea or desserts.Dianthus   Sunflower petals have a nutty flavour that make a nice colourful cheery addition to salads. image

Marigold/Calendula have a mild citrus fresh flavour and have brilliant orange yellow petals that remind me of saffron and are used in the same way. Use in desserts, salads, drinks and sprinkle on rice after cooking. There are so many varieties with varying flavours. I like these petite French citrus one I grow,  it packs flavour taste.

Calendula

Calendula

Learn more about Calendula here >>> http://earthelixir.ca/herbs/calendula/

Lavender is used a lot in dessert recipes and the flavour is still strong even after baking with it.

trees 031Learn more about Lavender here >>> http://earthelixir.ca/2012/07/12/lavender/

Dandelion flowers are best known for use in making dandelion wine. Pickle the buds like capers. Young flowers are used in salads but old ones might need to be steamed for a minute or two.

dandelion wineLearn more about Dandelions here >>> http://earthelixir.ca/herbs/dandelion/

Wild roses are beautiful in drinks, salads or desserts.

backyard bliss 048 - CopyLearn more about roses here >>> http://earthelixir.ca/2012/06/04/roses-for-you/

November 18, 2011

DIY Dried Botancial Aromatherapy Wreath

Dried Aromatherapy Wreath

Our Aunt sent us the most beautiful bouquet of roses just before she died of cancer. I dried the roses and decided to make a wreath out of them. I am going to give the Aromatherapy wreath to her surviving twin sister, who is still having a hard time dealing with the loss of her identical twin. I know she likes lavender too so I put some dried lavender flower heads from my garden and added some boxwood leaves as greenery. I added essential oil of lavender to the dried flowers to make it smell even more wonderful.

I used a round 12’ straw wreath form.

Straw Wreath form 12'

I used a wire ribbon to form the double bow for the front, and a solid green ribbon to wrap around the wreath.

Bow

I added the dried roses first with a low temp. glue gun. Have a bowl of water ready if you burn yourself with hot glue, especially if you use a high temp. glue gun. The low temp glue guns make the glue stringier, but you don’t burn yourself as bad. Have lavender essential oil on hand in case of burns.

 I added clove essential oil to the middle of some flower heads for antifungal, antibacterial action and to make it smell great while I worked on it.  I love the smell of clove and roses together. Add your own favourite essential oils.

I added boxwood leaves around the sides of the roses to fill in and cover the straw form. Boxwood is a good choice because it dries well. The leaves will shrink when dried so it is better to use the straw form than wire, because the wire one may fall apart.

I filled in any imperfections or holes with lavender flower heads and added French Lavender essential oil to make it a true Aromatherapy wreath.

To hang it I used green wire and twisted it around itself to form a hole, and attached the wire to the top of the back of the form.

wire hanger

I hope this gives you some inspirational ideas to work with to make your own Dried Botanical Aromatherapy Wreath.

 

 

 

November 9, 2011

Botanical Arrangements

Bring the garden inside with dried botanical arrangements.

This time of year when the garden is finishing and plants are preparing for sleep, I miss having the aroma of fresh plants around. It is getting cold here and before its snows (dare I say it) I raided the garden to see what was leftover. I want to make some botanical arrangements to bring inside to adorn my tables and bring in some fresh scents. If you live in the city and don’t garden plan a walk in nature.

Lavender, Rue, Yarrow dried arrangement

I found some Lavender flowers, dried right on the stock. If I had picked it earlier the colour purple would have been brighter, but it still smells wonderful. I pruned some lavender leaves and added them to the bouquet.

The Rue flowers were starting to turn into interesting green headed seeds that look like tooth molars.

Rue seed heads look like green molars

It shouldn’t be flowering this late but I had cut it back and it bloomed again on Halloween. Rue plants help to keep away cats from doing their business in your garden, and it works because it has a strong smell. Be cautious with Rue, it is poisonous ingested in large doses. To complete the fantastic threesome, I added some Yarrow with its feathery leaves.

This is a dried flower arrangement put in a vase with no water. It will dry and it will keep its aroma for a long time.

Dogwood and Pine in sake vase

I can see why red dogwood twigs are a popular choice, they keep their brilliant colour even when dried. Dogwoods are great ornamentals or grow in the wild near marshy wetlands. I cut some twigs and matched it with a small pine tip and put it in a saké vase for a simple natural look.

Sake vase with pine dogwood and nut

I added a halved nut I found in my backyard from a squirrel no doubt. This is a dried arrangement with no water, making it maintenance free. If you add water make sure you change it often, or it can start to smell.

Dogwood, Spruce and greenery

I also put the red dogwood branches on a larger scale in a vase and paired it with a Spruce branch tip and a green creeper from my yard that dries green and keeps its shape. I put it in a vase with rocks in the bottom and I added water to this one to keep it fresh longer, but it will dry nicely as well.

All of these arrangements smell wonderful and will last for a long time with no maintenance.

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