So Succulent Gardens

  (Columbia Station, Ohio)
www.sosucculent.com
[ Member listing ]

Mother's Day Garden Live Herb Garden Gifts STILL TIME TO ORDER!



There is still time to order Mother's day Gift Baskets.
Visit my members listing above to see all the great gift ideas I offer at local harvest.

Thank you and have a Blessed Day,

Gayle At Blossom Farm.com

 
 

LOVAGE AN HERB TO KNOW AND GROW



Large dramatic specimen plant used as a celery substitute in pickling, salad dressings, stir fries, stews and roasts. We often freeze some of the tender leaves in water and then use it making stock.  

The Greeks and Romans chewed lovage seeds to aid digestion and legend tells of seeds put into potion to conjure up love spells, an infusion of lovage seeds is said to erase freckles and a lovage herb bath is said to make you more beautiful.  The French call it céleri bâtard, or false celery.  Growing OVER 5 feet tall, once the flower spikes start showing, lovage becomes awfully strong,  using the leaves can be used sparingly in stock.

Lovage Butter
Ingredients:
4 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of minced lovage
Salt & Pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a small pan and add the salt, pepper, and lovage. Heat gently for 3-5 minutes. Serve over vegetables

Lovage Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
12 lovage leaves, minced
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt and black pepper
Melt the butter in a pan with lovage leaves for about 3 minutes. Add the wine and simmer for a minute. Stir in the mustard and season. Use sauce is nice served over pork or chicken.

Lovage Soup  
    4 Tbsp. olive oil
stale bread
    1 bunch lovage leaves, chopped
    1 clove garlic, chopped
    1/2 small bundle of parsley, chopped
    3 oz butter
    2 pints good chicken stock
    2 whole eggs and 1 yolk
Pour the olive oil over the bread and grill until brown. Sweat the lovage, garlic and parsley in butter until wilted. Pour on the stock and simmer for 2 minutes. Beat the eggs with salt and pepper. Place one slice of bread in each warmed bowl. Bring the soup to the boil and slowly pour in the egg, stirring gently to separate the egg into strands. Serve over the grilled bread slices.
.

 
 

Herb Jelly Made Easy

Sometimes I am in a rush and do not have time to make herb jellies from scratch.
So I need to improvise....  
Simply buy a jar of your favorite brand of Apple Jelly (16 OUNCE) warm gently in pan -- DO NOT BOIL, and infused your choice of 1/3 cup clean organic herbs.  Pull out leaves and store in refrigerator until ready to use.
Any variety mints, lemon verbena, English lavender flower buds, lemon, lime or purple basil, anise hyssop, cinnamon stick, anise star are a few examples.
Enjoy! Gayle at blossomfarm.com
 
 

Mint Refresher

Growing up in a family greenhouse business, my grandparents put everything on hold at 3 o'clock....  Grandpa would always serve the women employees (of age) the classic highball and Grandpa would drink his weidleman's beer.   Now I prefer to have a deep dark great lakes porter, that my waistline has to show for it,  so I have made up this refreshing low cal virgin cocktail, that makes 3 o'clock break a special time.
Since I grow and sell over 15 varieties of fragrant mint, I try a different flavor every other day in my club soda.

Mint Surprise Refresher
6 Washed Mint leaves  You choice of variety.
1 key lime squeezed, add rind in glass (or 1/2 regular lime)
1 leaf of Stevia plant OR 1 tablespoon Slenda
Muddle the above together
Then add lots of crushed ice to the top of glass with club soda water. allow ice to to mingle and serve with straw.
Enjoy a moment to reflect on the day!

 

 
 

Who's Idea was the wedding Cake?

In ancient Rome the tradition of breaking bread over the brides head right after the wedding ceremony.  The wheat in the bread symbolized fertility and the crumbs were considered good luck. This is how the wedding cake evolved.

Looking for unique wedding toss visit our members listings for Herbal Wedding Confetti

 
 

Hot Ticket to The Herb Guild 25 th Scholarship Luncheon

If you are near Westlake, Ohio you may want to attend the following fundraiser.  It is a wonderful afternoon to spend with your friends, daughters, sisters or invite an elderly widow.   I know you will not be disappointed.  Make sure you get your tickets soon-they sell out fast.

The Herb Guild 25th Annual Scholarship Luncheon 
August 5, 2009
Wagner’s Country Inn  
30855 Center-Ridge Road, Westlake, Ohio 
    
Speaker: Parker Bosley, past owner of Sammy’s and Parker’s restaurants, chef extraordinaire & sustainable farming advocate.
Mr.Bosley will give a PowerPoint presentation on Local Seasonal Foods, Saving the Farm and Restoring the Family.

Entertainment: Gary Richards at the piano

Menu: Chicken crepes, glazed carrots, green beans almandine, herb rolls, salad, chocolate mousse for dessert. Beverages included. The Herb Guild Herb tea blend 2009 will be served as an option. A wine cash bar will be available.

Basket Raffle & Silent Auction.

The Boutique will include Herb & Garden related Gifts, Vintage treasures, culinary herbs, teas, herb mixes, herb dips, herb vinegar, herb jelly, Bakery and more. Our own herb bread recipe baked exclusively for us by the Breadsmith of Lakewood. The featured Herb of the Year: Bay Laurel.

                 Donation: $30.00.  Tickets go on sale May 12.

Contact Joyce Hayward, ticket chair for reservations
330-801-7202
Mail checks payable to: The Herb Guild
7229 Songbird Lane
North Ridgeville, Ohio 44039

All money raised is towards an educational scholarship for students entering college to study horticulture related fields.

 
 

What can you say bad about LAVENDER? ------ NOTHING!

There is evidence of lavender being used for centuries, in Egyptian times in perfumes and massage oils. The Greeks used lavender as medicine during the first century AD. The Romans used lavender to scent the public baths where it was believed to restore vitality to bathers.

Romans also used lavender oil to massage and heal the skin and to repel insects. There are even several references to lavender in the Bible. The Queen of Sheba offered King Solomon "spike," an early name for lavender. Judith rubbed lavender oil on her body before seducing Holofernes. In France, lavender flowers were strewn on the floor to freshen the air and mask stinking smells of the unsanitary streets. In the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth I drank 10 cups of lavender tea a day to ward off headaches and promote her sense of well being. The history of lavender's benefits is long and well documented.

Emotion: With antidepressant and sedative qualities, lavender lifts depression, eases stress and anxiety, and is useful in overcoming headaches, migraine and insomnia.

Insomnia: The sedative quality of lavender can induce sleep and ease problems of insomnia, restlessness and agitation.

Skin: Lavender is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory; healing cuts, burns, sunburns, insect bites, acne, eczema and even dandruff.

Breathing: Lavender is an antiseptic and can kill germs. It is also an expectorant, which breaks up congestion. It can help fight colds, throat infections, coughs, sinusitis and flu.

Circulation: Lavender is a sedative and hypotensive, and reduces high blood pressure and palpitations.

Digestion: Lavender use aids in easing indigestion, flatulence and nausea and alleviates bad breath or toothache.

Muscular: Lavender is analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic; the oil is good for aches, pains, sprains, cramps and spasms.

Source: Lavender, Nature's Way to Relaxation and Health by Philippa Waring

 "Lavender's blue, diddle diddle"- So goes the song;  All around her bush, diddle diddle, Butterflies throng;  (They love her well, diddle diddle, So do the bees;) While she herself, diddle diddle, ways in the breeze! Lavender's blue, diddle diddle, Lavender's green;  "She'll scent the clothes, diddle diddle, Put away clean- Clean from the wash, diddle diddle, Hanky and sheet;  lavender's spikes, diddle diddle, Make them all sweet!

 
 

ATTRACT Good SPIRITS with Our Sweetgrass Plants

Sweetgrass is used in prayer, smudging, and purifying ceremonies and is regarded as a sacred plant by the Native Americans.  It is not well known that it was also sacred to early Europeans and is still used in churches on festival days. Sweet-grass aroma is strong only when moistened or burned. As the grass dries the fragrance intensifies. When burned it does not produce an open flame but smolders. Just as the sweet scent is attractive to people, it is also attractive to good spirits. Native Americans often burned the grass at the beginning of a prayer or to attract positive energies. A tea is brewed by Native Americans for coughs, sore throats, chafing and venereal infections. It is warned that because the roots contain coumarin that it may be considered carcinogenic.

The botanical latin name Hierochloë translates from Greek as sacred (hieros) and grass (chloë) Native Americans  call sweetgrass the “grass that never dies.” Even when it is cut, it retains its fragrance and spirit.
Today, sweetgrass is used inter-tribally throughout the United States.
Sweetgrass was used ceremonially by many tribes, including the Omaha, Ponca, Kiowa, Dakota, Lakota, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Pawnee, and Winnebago. The Cheyenne, Blackfeet, and Lakota use sweetgrass in the Sun Dance.   Sweetgrass symbolizes life’s growth for the Cheyenne.
Sweetgrass used as perfumery of the Blackfeet, who braided it and kept it with their clothes like a sachet or carried it in small bags. Blackfeet women also used it as a hair rinse for shine and the men drank the tea to treat VD.  

Among the Chippewa, sweetgrass was used as an incense or smudge in ceremony, as a spiritual medicine, and in basketweaving. The use of incense is more characteristic of the Plains Indians than of the Algonquian tribes. “Men would smudge before hunting to purify body and spirit. Medicine men kept sweetgrass in the bag with their medicinal roots and herbs. Strands of sweetgrass were made into coiled and tied with strands of string to create baskets.


Sweetgrass is extremely easy to grow and enjoys a well drain but lots of compost.   They spread by underground rhizomes, and you can harvest once to twice a year. 

This plant from the BLOSSOM FARM cannot be shipped to Washingtion, Oregon, California or Arizona due to there state regulations on grasses.

Source:   U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 
 

Over 20 varities of Mint Plants and still counting PART 1

I get crazed when it comes to certain type of plant groupings. I get obsessed and need to collect them all.  MINT was one I had to find every fragrant and tasty variety - it is still a collection in progress, but now I have around twenty varieties and my newest is mojito mint from Cuba.  I hope to have enough Mojito mint by fall to offer for sale at my website.


Here is some interesting notes about MINT:
The Greek God Pluto, ruler of the underworld, fell madly in love with a beautiful nymph, Mentha. His jealous wife, Persephone, pounded her into the earth. Pluto then turned poor Mentha into a wonderful healing, fragrant plant that gave him some consolation.

Fresh leaves make a pleasant addition to hot or iced tea, garnish for beverages or fruit deserts. Mint is cleansing and makes a nice addition to herbal bathing products.

Folklore: To carry a few leaves in the wallet is said to attract money, stuff sachets with mint leaves to ward off disease.

Mentha
LEMON MINT
Description:     Lemon scented with slightly ruffled leaves, perfect for blending or using alone in herb teas and savory recipes.
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Mentha aquatica citrata 'Eau de Cologne'
Eau de Cologne (Orange)
Height: 24"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shadeDescription:     Refreshing citrus orange flavor and is tantalizing in teas, fruit salads and chasing those fleas and ants away. The oil is an ingredient in chartreuse liqueur and perfumes.
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Mentha avensis 'Banana'
Banana Mint
Height: 12"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Pale green, slightly fuzzy leaves with the unusual fragrance of bananas, add to fruit salads, breads or as a garnish. Blend with chocolate mint for a great herbal blend to add to baking brownies.
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Mentha spicata 'Chewing Gum'
Chewing Gum Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
 
Description: Extremely fragrant and flavorful, very similar to Wrigley's spearmint chewing gum.
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Mentha piperita citrata 'Lime'
Lime Mint
Height: 24"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun - part shade
Description:   Bright green leaves with a strong lime scent and flavor. Great as a garnish were a lime flavor is required. Try it in your salsa recipe  or guacamole or toss a leaf in your margarita.
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Mentha citriodora x. M. arvensis
GRAPEFRUIT MINT
Height: Zone: 3- 9 Light: sun part shade
Description: Crinkled, light grapefruit-scented leaves with mild spearmint undertones.
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Mentha piperata 'Blue Balsam'
Peppermint 'Blue Balsam'
Height: 12"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shadeDescription:  Peppermint is an excellent digestive aid and has been used for the treatment of morning and motion sickness, as well as an inhalant to treat congestion. Flavorful herb tea, hot or cold. Blue balsamic is an improved peppermint with purple tinted, dark blue/green leaves; it has a much cleaner peppermint flavor.

THE REST OF ARE VARIETIES WILL BE POSTED WITH RECIPES==

KEEP LOOKING!
    

 

 
 

Valerian Herb Plant --- Natures PROZAC

VALERIAN HERB PLANT

 

Valerian herb (Valeriana officinalis) not to be confused with the beautiful Red Valerian perennial plant, has been used as a medicinal herb for insomnia since the time of ancient Greece and Rome. While it can be a sedative, it sometime can cause agitation, headaches and night terrors.Other fun facts form my webpage:

Valerian comes from the Latin word valere meaning strong referring to the strong odor from the root system, quite frankly it reeks of the worst moldy smelling dirty socks or dog. Do I make my point?

But when it is in blossom in June through September the clusters of small white to light pink flowers sweetly perfume the air and bring butterflies and bees in droves. Cultivation of valerian does well in all ordinary soils, but prefers rich, composted loam, well supplied with moisture. This also makes harvesting of the roots easier.

When I make my catnip blend I always add a small amount valerian root to the mix, it seems to send the cats into a passionate zone. Actually the active ingredient in valerian is similar to the active ingredient in catnip and might mimic the odor of cat urine and is also attractive to rats so much so that it was used to bait traps. Legends of the Pied Piper of Hamelin used valerian as well as his pipes to attract rates.

 

Masses of strongly fragrant scented white to pink flowers, used at one time for sedative tinctures and called the "poor man's valium." The valerian holds a prominent position as one of the best herbal tranquilizers and muscle relaxants the plant kingdom has to offer. Caution: valerian may cause headaches, muscular spasms, and palpitations. It is not recommended for long-term use. Tincture of valerian helps clear dandruff. Folklore: Used in protective sachets or place under the pillow to help you sleep. Powdered valerian roots are considered a substitute for graveyard dust.

 

 

 
 

Comfrey HERB Plant Heals bruises and tonic recipe for your plants


Symphytum officinalis
Comfrey or Knit bone
Height: 30"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to shade
Description:     Comfrey herbs contain the active ingredient allantoin, a skin healer proven to heal wounds and skin ulcers. Allantoin adheres to the skin to stimulate the growth of healthy tissue. Beware: it heals the wound so fast that many times the infection is still in the cut. Softening and soothing, it is used in creams, lotions and bath brews. Use it to treat burns, bed sores, insect bites, athlete’s foot, psoriasis, eczema, and sprains. Fresh leaves can be mashed in a blender and applied to the skin. In folk lore it was carried for protection during travel and is used in money spells. Comfrey produces a brown dye with a mordant iron.

COMFREY TONIC
Comfrey significantly is high in potash and other essential for plant nutrition, which makes it ideal for feeding your plants. Put comfrey leaves and water into a water tight container with a brick on top to weigh the leaves down and allow the mixture to stand for 4 weeks. The result is a ready to use evil smelling brew that can be diluted and watered onto plants. I add 1/8 to 1/4 of the comfrey tonic to a watering can and fill the rest with water to use the comfrey spray, dilute 1 tablespoon with 2 pints of water. Add a drop of dish soap as a spreader sticker.

COMFREY SALVE 
    2 oz dried comfrey leaves
    2 cups olive oil
    1 oz pure beeswax
    4 drops tea tree
    4 drops lavender essential oils
    1 400 vitamin E
Heat herbs in olive oil over low heat for about 5 hours. Do not let the oil boil or bubble. A Crock-Pot or the lowest temperature setting on a range should be suitable for heating this mixture. (If the lowest setting is too hot, turn off the heat once it has warmed the oil...it should keep warm for at least and hour....then repeat the process twice.) After cooking, strain out the herbs while oil is still warm. Place 1 1/4 cups of the herb oil in a pan, add beeswax and heat just enough to melt the wax. Add essential oil and stir. Finally, pour the salve into wide mouthed jars. Store at room temperature. Use for minor scrapes and cuts, to protect and promote healing.

HINT:  DIP METAL SPOON IN SALVE BEFORE POURING IN CONTAINERS, TO SEE IF IT HAS THE RIGHT THICKNESS.

 
 
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