So Succulent Gardens

  (Columbia Station, Ohio)
www.sosucculent.com
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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

 
 

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!

 
 

HERB TONIC FOR HEALTHY PLANTS

1 1/2 teaspoon dried plantain herb
1/2 teaspoon dried nettle
1/2 teaspoon dried horsetail herb
1/2 teaspoon dried yarrow
1 clove garlic
1 kelp tablet (about 150 micrograms) crushed
6 cups boiling water
Combine all ingredients, pour on the water, and let steep, covered, for 5 minutes. Strain and use to water herbs. Or make a sun tea, letting the herbs steep all day. This tonic provides nutrients that herbs needs, and helps keeps pests away. ~ from "The Good Herb" by Judith Benn Hurley   
 
 

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.

 
 

Herbal Mint Recipes, as promised----

GARDEN PARTY MINTS
2 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
4 t. Whole Milk
2 T. Melted Butter
4 drops Peppermint Essential oil
1 ½ T. finely chopped chocolate mint leaves
8 oz Semisweet Chocolate
Mix powdered sugar, milk and butter, when smooth add chopped mint and peppermint essential oil. Form into patties and chill. Melt chocolate in double boiler. Dip patties into chocolate and allow to set.

MINTED SALAD DRESSING
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. mint vinegar
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper, ground
1/4 cup good olive oil
1. Combine all but oil in medium bowl.
2. Using a fork or whisk, gradually beat in olive oil.
Makes about 1 cup. This dressing is especially good with a fresh green salad of baby greens or spinach.

MINT SYRUP
2 cups water
1 cup mint leaves, loosely packed
4 cups sugar Food coloring, optional
In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the mint leaves, cover, and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain out the leaves. Bring the liquid to a boil again and add the sugar, stirring until it is dissolved, simmer for 20 minutes, or until the syrup is reduced by about a third. Add coloring if desired. Pour the syrup into small, sterilized canning jars and seal. Place the jars in a boiling-water bath and process for 5 minutes. 1 ½ pints.


Moroccan Mint Meat Rub
2 tablespoons combination peppermint or spearmint leaves, or 1/2 cup fresh leaves.
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Use on poultry or beef before grilling.

SWEET LAVENDER MINT VINEGAR
1 cup lavender mint leaves
Zest of 2 lemon
2 cups white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
Put mint and lemon zest in a jar and fill with vinegar. Seal jar and let stand 2-3 weeks in a cool dark place. Shake from time to time. Strain and add sugar shake until sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle on with fresh fruits.MINT SAUCE FOR FRUIT
½ c. honey 1/4 c. water 2 T. fresh lime juice
2 T. fresh mint leaves, chopped Pinch of salt
Dissolve honey in boiling water. Add remaining ingredients and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, cover, and steep until cool, strain. Pour over fresh melons, berries, or kiwis. Allow fruit to marry in sauce before serving.

 
 

MINT PART 2 Recipes to follow

Here are other Mint Plants I have available in spring.


Mentha piperata 'Chocolate Mint'
Chocolate Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:  Bronze green leaves with a surprising chocolate peppermint fragrance. Add a few leaves to your coffee grounds before brewing for a special chocolate peppermint coffee. Can be added to brownies, cakes and ice cream recipes.
    

Add a few chocolate mint leaves to you coffee grounds. Add a tablespoon of dried chocolate mint herb to your brownie mix.  
 

Mentha x piperita 'Lavender'
Lavender Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Sweet lavender floral fragrance used for potpourri, herbal teas and cooking.
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Mentha pulegium
Pennyroyal
Height: 3"     Zone: 5-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description: Creeping growth habit, effective in repelling mosquito, fleas and ticks. A strong infusion of pennyroyal is an effect flea dip. Can cause spontaneous abortion so avoid using if the animal is pregnant. Make your dog a pennyroyal flea color by braiding pennyroyal around a string and placing around the pets’ neck.
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Mentha sp.
Blossom's Favorite Tea Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun - part shade
Description:  This is our creation from the farm, it is a chance seedling.
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Mentha requienii
Corsican Mint
Height: 1"     Zone: 6-9     Light: part shade - shade
Description:     Very dainty with tiny green leaves with a cool Crème de Menthe fragrance. Prefers a shady moist area between stepping stones, nooks and crannies and along a waterside. Seems to be hardy to only Zone 6 but reseeds freely.
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Mentha species
Basil Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade Description:     Dark green heart shaped leaves emitting a spicy floral fragrance.  Running short of basil?  Try this in pesto.
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Mentha 'Sweet Pear'
Sweet Pear Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     It really gives off an unmistakable hint of sweet, ripe pears.  Make a light sweet tea with pear mint, or use the tea to simmer fruits, (apple, peaches, pears, etc.) until soft, let cool and marinate in the frig for about an hour.  Also try in yogurt, punch, cream pies and fruit jellies. It is wonderful in salads.
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Mentha spicata
Spearmint 'Kentucky Colonel'
Height: 24"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Cool mint flavor, a classic ingredient of mint juleps, herbal teas or as a skin astringent.
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Mentha X gentilis
Ginger Mint
Height: 15"     Zone: 5-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Bright green leaves variegated with gold mottled stripes, with the taste of mint and ginger. Lovely container or basket plant for the porch.
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Mentha suaveolens
Apple Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Large woolly leaves with a sweet apple scent.  Herbal teas, cooking herb and fragrant garnishes.
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Mentha suaveolens 'Variegata'
Variegated Pineapple Mint
Height: 12"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Fruity, fragrant and very lovely variegated green and white leaves. Would be nice as a container plant.
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Mentha piperita 'Variegata'
Variegated Peppermint
Height: 12"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:  Creamy variegated peppermint is more of an ornamental variety of Peppermint,  but with the same great peppermint flavor. 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. 
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Mentha species
The Best Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:  The Best" Mint is so called because it is the most vigorous growing form of spearmint. The green, wrinkled leaves make a soothing and refreshing tea and may be used to scent linen closets and woolen chests, repel moths, in fact all mints are good repelling insects.

Recipes to follow in part 3

 
 

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!
    

 

 
 

STOP MURDER IN THE LANDSCAPE!

With proper planting a perennial garden will provide years of enjoyment with much less care than annual plantings. When placing new plants in the border, be sure to consider mature height. In designing a perennial border we recommend selecting plants from every height class to achieve a pleasing progression of size from the front to the back area. “In his garden every man may be his own artist with-out apology or explanation,” Louise Beebe Wilder wrote in the classic book Color In My Garden. In gardening you always get a second chance every spring.
Time spent on bed preparation initially will pay off in the end. Turn the soil, remove all weeds, and add plenty of organic matter. If gardening on clay, the best solution is a raised bed. In winter, clay soil merely act as a bathtub with no drain. If planning a rock garden, add small gravel for drainage. On new plantings, it is best to incorporate a slow release fertilizer. On established plantings, feed just prior to growth in early spring.
When you have removed your Blossom Farm plant from its pot, check the roots. If they are tight and circling round, it will be necessary to score the roots lightly around the rootball and loosen up the roots gently with your hand.  After planting, keep plants well watered until they begin to root into the soil usually about 4 weeks. Be sure to water thoroughly to saturate the soil surrounding the crown. Applying 2” of composted bark to your garden will help suppress weeds and keep roots cool. Avoid putting mulch directly around the crowns.
Many people will purchase plants and wonder why they die. Most perennials must have good drainage. Experiment, observe try again.
Over-watering or under-watering is often the key to the problem or sticking them in a hard ground to be ignored. Before watering get down and stick your finger in the soil to check the soil moisture. I
f possible do not water in the evening, as doing so invites disease pathogens into your garden.Removing spent blossoms, will prolong bloom time, and remove old foliage as plants die down in the late fall to reduce the spread of any disease pathogens.
Fall, is it safe for planting? The soil temperatures and night-time air temperatures are much warmer than in spring, and the plants respond by really “taking off” and forming new root growth. Then in the following spring fall plants will begin growing sooner and even outperform plants just planted in spring.
 
 

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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