Friday, August 14, 2015

flower drying




Communicating with the plant spirits has been and will probably always be something I want to be able to do and do well. Over time I've learned that a nice way to approach a plant is to explain my needs, make an offering, and ask if I may proceed. Usually, things are a "go" but not always -- sometimes it just isn't the right time. If I need to trim or remove a tree/shrub/plant, I try to visit it with a heads-up warning a day or two beforehand. And I try not to bring death to a plant when it's blooming. Things like that, that I've read in books or heard from people who do this kind of thing. It all sort of goes on in my head, you wouldn't know from looking at me what I'm doing or trying to do. A lot of times I'm just talking to myself (in my head) but there are also times when I know there is very real communication going on between plants and people.

Today I collected elder flowers, Sambucus sp., but I forgot all of this.

I was so excited to see so many flower heads that I went ahead and just clipped whatever I wanted. When I realized how rude I'd been, I went back outside to settle up and things seemed to be okay. Plus I finally learned what was going on with this particular elder that has been suckering like crazy for several years now. It is trying to make a hedge but I keep interfering. And I realized that Elder is right, it is the perfect place for a hedgerow.

These elder flower heads will be dried to make soothing infusions for cold and flu. And there are plenty of flower heads left to form berries which can then be made into a powerful immunity syrup --  to ward off cold and flu in the first place.

Dyer's coreopsis, Coreopsis tinctoria, tops are also drying -- I just read that you can use the stems, leaves, flowers, buds, and seed heads fresh or dried or frozen and it all has color for the dye-pot! I've only used the fresh flowers before so this is an experiment.

Journal52 Week23 is small successes. Some regular life things have changed recently, I guess they fall into that category. Conjuring up these art journal pages still feels new to me.

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending to you!



10 comments:

Ms. said...

Thank you for commiserating with me about the moth problem. Things are improving. Would you be so kind as to make me a tincture if you can spare it (happy to send a check for materials and postage) - I know it would help me through Winter, and I understand if you can not. Email at chenrezigs@gmail. Curious what sorts of life things have changed for you...so much has changed for me this year and soon if all goes well with insurance and the surgery, I'll be sighted in both eyes. Still love to visit this place of peace.

liniecat said...

I talk to my plants, out loud, the neighbours think I'm potty. The unruly tomatoe plants I haven't staked that well are getting chivvied most days by me, I'm expecting them to revolt and drop all their beautifully misshapen fruits to spite me!
Last summer I collected elderflowers from fields to make an elderflower gin.
I w ent abit crazy with the amount and probably should have spaced the flowers out in 3 or 4 bottles of gin but no, I used just one litre.
It's a deep Amber colour and like whisky if you sip it!
I'm convinced I've made a medicinal cough medicine, all I need is the cough to trial it now lol

Debbie said...

This coreopsis is a plant I want to buy, useful to know you can use all of it, I hate just cutting off the heads. I am glad you went back and talked to the elder they can get very upset, its a tree I am quite superstitious about.

Chip Butter said...

"In some Native languages the term for plants translates to 'those who care for us.'" ~Robin Wall Kimmerer Your message is good!

Peggy said...

Michelle, I just sent you an email about the tincture. Was thinking about my changes -- seems like they are mostly an inside job. :)


Peggy said...

Lyn, you've got me smiling--envisioning you with a glass of that gin visiting your tomatoes! I would love to have a spirited neighbor friend like you.

Peggy said...

Debbie, you're right, Grandmother Elder is not to be disrespected. A wonderful experience in the end though to finally realize what all the suckering has been about. We've had two other elders in different areas of the garden that have never once suckered like this. I think the same variety even. Elder knows best.
You will love Dyers coreopsis, she just blooms her heart out!

Peggy said...

Chip Butter White Oak, I love that -- those who take care of us -- thank you for telling me!

Els said...

Elder flowers in bloom ? mine have berries already ...!

Ohhh I recognize that : I always feel kind of bed when I have to cut big branches .... Thanks Peggy, I hope I remember warning, asking, them before ...

Peggy said...

Els, yes, this variety is pretty late all right -- I have another type that has already fruited like yours, I picked enough berries for a jar of tincture and the birds and squirrels promptly finished it off. :)