When I think of a soothing, healing and calm/peace-inducing time of renewal for me, it’s working in the garden, especially my herb garden. Digging around with my hands in the soil, smelling the fresh earth as I turn it over as I prep the beds, the sensual and heady scent of the herbal mixtures swirling around my head… it’s just a little bit of heaven for me. I love watching them grow from baby buds to beautiful and strong plants with their leaves and flowers and stems rising up to the sun.
It's also a perfect time to be alone with my thoughts, weeding out my life in my head as I tug away the weeds in the garden. Somehow pulling and cleaning away those nasty critters physically help me do the same in my brain. Use this time to reflect, to meditate and pray as well. Tending the garden of my soul and spirit while the birds serenade me as I work the earth... ahhhhh...
Whenever I garden my grandmother comes to mind, a woman who could grow anything! She taught me so much about gardening and knew how to plant daffodils so they would be sure to bloom on my birthday in early April. Because of Grandmom, I have a deep love affair with flowers and herbs (and birds and nature). She taught me how to grow and harvest lavender and make it into little lacy sachets that we’d tuck away in my lingerie drawer. She used to cut the stems and place them in the top of a cardboard shirt box, and place them under the bed until they dried. I even smile now as I write this, remembering the stalks so neatly placed next to one another in their drying rows, patiently hiding in the cool darkness until it was time to remove their grey-purple heads and place them into the hand-stitched lace pockets. Later on I also learned how to make lavender wands that could be hung in the closets.
Because I don’t like to take medications unless absolutely, 100% necessary I have studied much over the years about alternative medicines, using herbs for healing. Of course, I also love to use fresh herbs when cooking as well. It is beyond satisfying to be in the middle of creating a sumptuous meal for friends and have the blessing of scooting out back to my herb garden to gather just the right herbs to add to the various dishes – from mocktail/cocktails to the appetizer, to the main dish and tea/desserts. From taste to the beauty of a well-placed garnish, you can’t go wrong with fresh herbs. Even when I lived in tiny apartments, I was able to always have a planter of herbs on the kitchen window sill, or in a container on the front porch or patio. That’s one of the wonderful things as well – you don’t need a lot of space or money to have these luscious and lovely friends around you! They feed the body and the soul!
I’d like to share with you today two websites that I came across recently about herbs. One will give you information on herbs that can be used for medical purposes (always remember to CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST), and then a fun site that recommends “Happy Hour” herbs! Just click HERE for medicinal, and HERE for happy hour.
Now that May is here and we’ve passed, for the most part here in New Jersey, the chance of frost, it’s a good time to try your hand at growing a few of your favorites. Exercise your inner gardener muscles, and give it a try – it’s such a fun, fulfilling and enjoyable hobby that can be shared with friends. And please write me or comment here and share your experience with herbs, your favorite herbs and recipes!!!
And you can bet that this weekend these hands will be digging around in my herb bed!! I can’t wait!!!