September – Fresh Start

Hey there,

I know I’m not alone in thinking that really, September is the start of the new year.  Everything is new and beginning again.  I don’t like to rush the seasons…OK, now I’m fibbing…we all know how I feel about Winter – it’s OK for a little while, but then, enough already.

It’s not officially Fall yet, but it’s in the air.  Especially this year, after the “Summer that wasn’t” here in Southern Ontario.  I love the Fall and it’s normally such a short season, but September and October – FAB!

There are many activities art related in my area in September and October…all the things I love: shows, tours, classes.  The food is amazing with the fresh harvest.  I get the urge to make things with my hands. There’s a coziness to it all and yet, I still have my gardens…it’s still too early for “Jack” to take them from me.  Ahhhh  Mums and pumpkins and all the rich colour.  The sky is a deeper hue.  The fields are dotted with gold, purple, white, rust and warm shades of brown.  Darker at night a little bit earlier, but not too early yet.  Cooler for sleeping, blue jeans, maybe a light sweater or jacket, but most days, you can still wear sandals and Pearl still wears her pretty summer wheels. YAY!  What’s not to like?

Mercury has been in retrograde and I have not been at all inspired to write.  Mercury being the planet of communication – you see where that came from.  Mercury plays a big role in my birth chart.  Not an excuse, just a statement.  Besides, I’ve been spending every spare moment outside and not in front of my computer. There will be lots of time for that later.  I’m going with the flow.

Round two of seeds have been planted in the veggie gardens.  Peas, radish, spinach and lettuce, hoping for a second crop in the cooler weather.  Swiss Chard is still going strong.  I’m harvesting tomatoes daily, made some dill pickles from my cucumbers (where I often find Niles peeking out from beneath the vines…)

← Meet His Royal Cheekiness, Niles!  Looks like he’s wet (again) from being out in the rain (or in the garden).

There are squash on the vine, green beans are yummy as are the yellow zucchini. Carrots and beets processed and round two planted.  I’ve really enjoyed my veggie gardens this year and so glad that my plan from last Fall – the apple harvest bins – have worked out really well.  They seem to be just the right size for the amount I need.  Easy on my back and easy to plant and harvest – not large enough for me to go too crazy with amounts planted – but you’d be surprised at how much I can sneak in. 🙂 A saunter out to the barn in the morning with my scissors and my basket is the routine…what will I bring in today?  Happiness.  Soon, I’ll be harvesting and drying the culinary herbs. Oregano is already in the jar.  Hello homemade pizza!  Can you smell it?



Some of my harvest!

Oy, the drying frenzy hasn’t really started yet, but it’s coming.  As is the bringing in of the plants. Very soon. My big pot of Rosemary has not had a happy Summer.  Even sitting out on the deck on the South side, where it sits every Summer, it’s been too wet.  It was actually happier inside the dry house in the Winter. I’m hoping it perks up and am thinking about bringing it in now.  I’d hate to lose it, it’s a good sized plant and one that I use often in Winter for flavouring.  On my bucket list is visiting those countries where it actually grows as a shrub…one day.

Not a wild greenie here in Canada, but Rosemary is an awesome plant.  It tastes and smells divine and is the herb of remembrance.  Even Shakespeare said so!  One of those culinary, curative and cosmetic herbs that may be used year round.  Not only tucked into bridal bouquets and wreaths for centuries, but once used as a religious herb as well.  It has been burned as incense in ceremonies as protection against evil and at funerals. Sometimes mixed with Juniper to cleanse and purify the air.  I like to use it for adding flavour to roasting meat and potatoes.  I will also make an oil with it for use in cooking and/or the bath.  A very clean scent when mixed with Lavender.

The oil from the plant leaves is antibacterial and anti-fungal.  A good “breathing” herb to relieve headaches. Used in a tea, it makes a good mouthwash.  All good reasons to bring my potted plant in sooner, rather than later!

What else am I harvesting?  The Moon’s energy.  Tonight she is full in Pisces and the Sun is firmly planted in Virgo.  So an excellent time to dream big, as Pisces is ruled by Neptune and is the sign of dreams, whereas Virgo, a very grounded, Earth sign is the one to get things done and make those dreams a reality. A powerful combo.  Win-win!  The September Full Moon is the Harvest Moon, a little earlier this year.  Watch for the orange colouring.  I will be straining some bath oils this evening and using the preserved energy in the cold months ahead.

Today’s colour is white.  Appropriate in speaking about the Rosemary in bridal bouquets and wreaths above.

What will you dream of under this Harvest Moon?  Make it big and then make it happen.

Until next time,


Lemon Balm floaters

Hey there,

I’ve got my Lemon Balm floater beside me here.  More on that later.  Ready to go?  What should we talk about?

Here we are a third of the way through July.  High Summer and gardens are peaking.  We’ve had lots of rain, so the wild greenies are pretty happy too.  Lawns and trees are lush.  Considering myself fortunate where I am here in Southern Ontario, as others on our west coast are experiencing terrible heat and fires.

My veggie gardens are going full tilt and I’ve been eating salads, waiting for the peas to ripen and the radish, lettuce, spinach and swiss chard have been reseeded.  I’ve cut the garlic scapes and they are waiting in the freezer for the basil to be ready and then I’ll make some pesto.  Once the garlic bulbs have been harvested in another couple of weeks, I’ll use that empty space to plant some cold weather veggies – broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts – those plants I can harvest up until the heavier frosts.  All the reading and scheming that I did over last Winter is paying off and I’m really happy with the bounty, so far.

Sometimes, being anal and uber organized is a good thing…just sayin’ 🙂

I’m out there harvesting the wild ones too.  Right now I’m drying yarrow (the wild one, not the garden variety).

An ancient plant used medicinally over the ages.  I use the dried flower heads and leaves in a tea to promote sweating and cool a fever.  Combined with Elderflowers, it is a very effective tea remedy for cold and flu season over Winter, or any time, for that matter.  I discussed Yarrow and Elderberry flowers here.  Don’t get too close – we don’t want to catch whatever that was again!

So I’ve already got my Elderberry flowers dried and in a jar in the pantry cupboard.  I like to keep some of my woo woo goodies in with all the dry goods and everything is in jars – just to freak everyone out. 🙂  I do label the jars…there are many jars…If there is ever anything I want to keep around without having it immediately consumed, I just have to put it in a jar without a label.  That usually does it.  Easy peasy…

Freaked out one:  “Um, what’s this?”
Me:  “Yarrow”
Freaked out one:  Silence

There used to be more questions, now it just gets put back in the cupboard.  It’s not like there are shrunken heads in there or anything…

Carry on.

Same as when I make a tea.  A cup of tea for me usually contains some kind of “floater”.  Even if I’m having black tea, something else gets poked into my cup.  No more questions asked, other than, when making tea, maybe “Do you want to put stuff in this?”  It’s easy for me to figure out which cup is mine…it’s the one with the green stuff floating in it. 🙂

My favourite greenie “floater” in a cup of black tea – or sometimes, all on its own?  Lemon Balm.  Actually, Lemon Balm is my favourite herb, period.  Melissa is from the mint family and has a lemony smell and flavour (duh).  Melissa is the Greek word for bee – so, you guessed it, bees like this plant.  That’s a good thing.  She is a mild sedative, so, very calming. Nice to drink before bed…unless drinking tea before bed makes you get up in the night – your call (pun intended).

Lemon Balm is for longevity.  Enough said.  She carries antioxidants in her oils and any plant that contains lemon is anti-viral.  She gets popped into my cold/flu tea as well.  Because she is from the mint family, you only have to plant once.  She is a very friendly and generous greenie and loves to spread her goodness.   I use a Lemon Balm Infusion in my face toner; it’s calming for your skin.  I also make a Lemon Balm vinegar for salads.

She is used holistically for depression.  I use her because I like the scent and the taste – and my skin likes her too.  I enjoy Lemon Balm from April, when I wait impatiently for those first little leaves to appear out of the Earth, to somewhere in September.  The leaves tend to wane as the Summer progresses, but still useable.  She doesn’t dry that well because you lose the volatile oil in her leaves.  This year I’m going to try to freeze the leaves.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  You can, of course, combine Lemon Balm with any number of other herbs in your tea.  Experiment!  Yum.  She originated from Europe many years ago, but has escaped many a garden (I did tell you that she was from the mint family, right?).  If you don’t let the plant produce seeds, you have a little control.  Many nurseries sell this plant with the herbs.  I always like an excuse to visit Richter’s Herbs (it doesn’t take much).

I’ve got lots of Monarch Butterflies dancing through the meadow and the Milkweed is just starting to bloom. Lots of Dragonflies and other Butterflies this year too.  The Swallowtails loved the Lilacs.  Magic.

The young birds are leaving the many nests I have around me.  I like to sit on the porch with my binoculars and watch a young Robin hop around under the trees.  This year I’m watching a mother Savanna Sparrow and her young one.  They will sit on a fence post together and Mom will pop down into the meadow or the garden and bring back a snack to feed her charge.  They land in the nyger seed feeder together and she was teaching the little one how to groom and take a bath in the bird bath.  I could watch them for hours. 🙂 Nature is so wondrous.

Speaking of wondrous, I have my garden club meeting tonight.  Yay!  The speaker is going to be speaking about mushrooms.  Double yay!  There is also a flower, vegetable and design show tonight and I’m thinking of entering some stuff.  One of the categories in the design show is “Past Present and Future – your interpretation”.  That sounds neat to me.  I have a number of old fashioned herbs here, some of which many wouldn’t have heard of…hmmmm…I like to keep ’em guessing. 🙂

Just past last night’s Full Moon, the Blessing Moon in Capricorn, tonight the Moon sits in Aquarius in her third quarter.  Ooo perfect for the past, present and future category and leaning more on the future and all things new. Breaking the rules. I will have to repress my smarty pants side from the judges…there is an imp trying to get out, under this Moon.

Today’s colour is ivory.  Off white.  Off colour?

Back to my favourite greenie, Lemon Balm’s astral projection is Success and she is ruled by the Sun.  I’ll take both of those with my tea, thank you.  Enjoy our fleeting Summer.  I’m going to go out and pick some greenies for my display entry. Maybe I’ll tuck a stem of Lemon Balm in there and see how that goes!

Until next time,