January 7, 2013
Basil is an annual herb that likes full sun. It is best known for being used in Italian cooking and making pesto
Basil is easy to grow in the summertime either from seed or seedlings. Do not store basil in the fridge it does not like the cold and will turn an off colour. Trim the stalks and store in a pint glass with water on the counter which makes it easier to use in cuisine.
||annual herb picked all through summer
||digestion, nerves, respiratory, urinary, reproductive system
||Digestive conditions: digestive upset, gas, bloating, inflammation, liver congestioninfections, digestive, IBS, mucus colitis, nausea, pain,
Nervous system: tension, stress, nervousness, fever, headache, exhaustion, depression, fatigue(mental, physical)
Respiratory: flu, congestion, coughs, colds, sinusitis, asthma
Reproductive system: infertility, Nutritive
Head: headaches, earache (external use only with essential oil), migraines
Used as insect repellent and for treating insect stings and bites.
||Anti-inflammatory, anticatarrhal, antispasmodic, antiseptic, anti-depressant, antimicrobial, antibacterial, astringent, emmenagogue, expectorant, digestive, relaxant, nervine, nutritive, hepatic, carminative, stimulant, warming, tonic,
||Phenylpropanoids: eugenol, trans methyl isoeugenol,Monoterpene alcohols: linalool, geraniol,
Phenol: methyl chavicol-40-50% Methyl ester: methyl cinnamate,
Monoterpenes: pinene, camphor, ocimene, mycrene, terpinolene,
Sesquiterpenes: caryophyllene, terpinolene;
Tannins 5%, saponins, flavones, ursolic acid
||Mild remedy. Do not use during pregnancy
||Tincture: 2-4ml Tea: 2 tsp steep 10 min
September 29, 2012
Wildflower Power Movement: Making wildflower mud seeds ‘bombs’
As a response to cities ripping out wild gardens that people have planted for growing food and a sense of community, make some wildflower mud bombs to seed cities and other areas with wild flowers and plants. Looking down on the earth from a plane in the sky, square green boxes are all the eye can sometimes see and one wonders where have all the wildflowers gone? Turf the square green turf and return the wildflowers!!! Make sure you plant native flowers for your area.
here are some other strange alternatives
Making Wildflower Mud Seed Bombs:
Packets of wildflower seeds or any seeds you want to grow
Mud or plant soil, compost
Mix seeds in soil in 5:1:1 ratio. Wet soil and form into mud balls
Throw mud seed bombs wherever you want them grow.
Best time to mud seed bomb is right before rainy days. Even if the flowers don’t grow, birds will eat the seeds. Their food supply has dwindled due to monoculture in society and lack of wildflowers.
June 16, 2012
What is blooming in the garden? It feels like everything! Plants are blooming so fast, I turn around and it is almost summer. More delicious smells and tastes emerge I wish I could capture them all!
June 1, 2012
Oregano is a perennial herb but in colder climates it may become an annual, but it might come back every year. Oregano is native to the Mediterranean region and warm temperate western and south-western Eurasia parts so it likes it hot and sunny.
Oregano grows from 20–80 cm tall, with opposite leaves 1–4 cm long. The tiny purple or white flowers 3–4 mm long grow in erect spikes and in clusters around the stem.
- Oregano about to flower surrounded by Viola flowers
Fresh or dried Oregano is used in Italian cooking and it is stronger than Marjoram.
Consider Marjoram Origanum majorana Oregano’s sister.
||Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
||Perennial- herb picked in spring/summer growing season
||Digestion, stomach, respiratory, nervous system, musculo-skeletal, female reproductive
||Digestion:digestive stomach upset, gas, bloating, indigestion, inflammation, liver congestion, infections
Respiratory:sinus congestion, infections, coughs, colds, flu, sore throat, bronchitis
Nervous system: Stress, fatigue, mental, physical
Musculo-skeletal: Arthritis, aches, stiffness, pain,
Female Reproductive: balancing, spasms
||Antibacterial, anticatarrhal, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory (general, local) antioxidant, antiprotozoal, antirheumatic, antispasmodic(digestive, respiratory, uterine) antiviral, anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, astringent, warming carminative, circulatory stimulant, decongestant, diaphoretic, stimulating emmenagogue, expectorant, nervine, rubefacient, stomachic, uterine relaxing/stimulating, vasodilator,
||Essential Oil Yield: .2% Esters: linalyl/geranyl acetatePhenols:63% carvacrol, thymol,Monterpene alcohols:50% borneol
Monoterpenes:10-40%, paracymene, terpinenes, cymene, caryophyllene, pinene,
Oxides: 1, 8 cineole,
Other: coffeic/ursolic/rosmarinic acids, gum, tannins, bitter, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron
||Mild remedy in tincture form
||Tincture: 1-4ml Tea: 1-2 tsp essential oil always dilute
May 29, 2012
For an easy herb planter partner combination that comes back every year with no maintenance plant: Thyme and Chives!
Chives are an onion tasting herb that are hardy and are grown in pots or in the ground and come back every year bigger and better. The purple flowers which bloom in spring are edible and make a great garnish in soups. Garlic chives have white flowers that bloom later in the summer and they taste more like garlic. They have flat leaves instead of round tubes like purple flower onion chives.
There are many varieties of thyme that are hardy and easy to grow. Thyme is a sturdy sub-shrub and there are creeping and hanging varieties. There are different flavours of thyme and many chemotypes to choose from.
This is my planter I took out of the garage and I haven’t added annuals yet or done anything to it, and the thyme and chives keep coming back every year. This is the second year for this pot.
Partner herb combo:
Plant chives or garlic chives in the middle of the planter pot, and place thyme around it. You can plant a hanging thyme, a creeping thyme and a regular thyme or leave some room for annuals to fill in during the growing season. This planter keeps coming back every year even when I overwinter it in the garage. This herb planter is (dare I say) easy to grow by anyone anywhere.
Enjoy fresh herbs!
May 23, 2012
Coltsfoot ~ Tussilago farfara L. is one of the first wild flowers to bloom in Ontario in spring time.
Coltsfoot grows all around Georgian Bay and prefers to grow near water in wetter areas near stream banks and ditches. It looks like dandelion flowers and it is from the same Aster family. The flowers resemble a bent horse leg before and after flowering because they nod.
The leaves appear after the flowers have gone to fluffy seed that fly through the air in puffy white little clouds.
The leaves look lung shaped and treat lung conditions helping to reduce inflammation and spasms. It is mildly bitter, demulcent, astringent and cooling.
||Coltsfoot leaves/ flowers
||Perennial flowers bloom first in spring and then turn to seed, leaves follow in May/ June
||Lungs: acute chronic lung chest infections, irritating dry coughs, External leaves: wounds, bruises,
||relaxing/ secretolytic expectorant, demulcent, vulnerary, anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic, diuretic, anti-catarrhal, emollient
||Flowers: flavonoids: rutin, carotene, taraxanthin, arnidiol, farfardiol, tannin, Essential oils
Leaves:mucilage, polysaccharides, tannin, bitter glycosides, inulin, sitosterol, zinc
Traces of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, hormonal substances, calcium, magnesium, sodium, trace minerals
||Due to traces of pyrrolizidine alkaloids do not use for extended periods of time at high dosages. Do not use with children under the age of 8, during pregnancy or lactation.
||Tincture: 2-5ml Tea: 6-14g
May 15, 2012
Garlic mustard Alliaria petiolata L.
is another wild nutritious edible green food that has A, some B and C vitamins in it.
Garlic mustard is an alien invasive weed that displaces native plants so pick as much as you would like to eat. It is a biennial that flowers in the second year.
Eat it raw in salads or use it as a herb, the stem cut be cut like chives or use the leaves. Garlic mustard is also steamed, sautéed or cooked in soup and stews, eaten as a side green or made into pesto.
May 9, 2012
Tip-toe through the tulips of my garden
Plant Tulip bulbs in the fall for bursts of amazing colour in the spring time and they come back every year!
Happy Mother’s day to all Mothers and all women who nuture! <3
April 18, 2012
I can see why gardening is the number one hobby, it provides so many benefits. It is more than a hobby to me, it provides food and medicine for the mind, body, and spirit. Gardening is my connection to nature where I can recharge and rejuvenate.
Come and let’s take a walk, rejuvenate and see what else is blooming this time of year…
Forsythia is blooming and that means it is time to seed the grass. Forsythia is grown as a shrub or hedge border. It flowers first and then the green leaves grow in as a cover.
Periwinkle Vinca minor blooms early and looks good all year. It is a low growing ground cover that looks good spreading under trees or shrubs.
Glory-of-the snow are spring bulbs that put on a show of blue to white colours.
Violets are one my favourite spring flowers because the leaves and flowers are so sweet and edible.
Who can forget forget-me-nots? Their sticky buds cling to you when they turn to seed and they spread so quickly and easily they certainly do not let you forget them. They grow in cheerful clusters of white, blue and pink colours.
Thanks for stopping by the garden!
Come back soon and see what is in flower next…I have a feeling the tulips are about to bloom next :)
April 5, 2012
If you are thinking about wild-crafting or collecting herbs for medicine or food there are certain rules and guidelines to follow. Correct identification is important to avoid fatal errors so when in doubt buy herbs instead.
Smiling Eastern Tree Frog
Do not harvest herbs in urban areas unless it is an emergency. Harvest herbs in healthy wilderness areas that are free from any sources of pollution. Don’t harvest near any major roads, road-sides or any area that has any intense agricultural activity. Herbs for wild-harvesting must grow 50m away from any road or be 100m away if it is dirt gravel road. Pick herbs at least 200m away from any agricultural industry other than organic farming. If there is running water nearby there shouldn’t be any sources of urban, industrial or agricultural pollution upstream. When in doubt buy herbs instead.
Follow these wild-crafting guidelines for health and abundance.
Make sure you have correctly identified plants because errors are fatal.
- Only harvest common species in the area you are harvesting. Do not harvest endangered species.
- Only wild-harvest herbs that are plentiful in the immediate area you are harvesting.
- Only wild-harvest herbs that have a healthy and strong local population.
- Never wild-harvest from more than 10% of herbs in any specific area.
- Never wild-harvest any herb if there is evidence that someone else has harvested in that area.
- Always find at least three different areas from which you can get each species of herbs that you need to wild-harvest from so that you never wild-harvest any species from any area more than once every three years.