Friday, June 30, 2017

right outside the door

I found perfection right outside the door the other morning -- rigor mortis had already set in so she'll join some fluff and pods and such in my little curio cabinet. Even if I could open her wings, I don't think I could mount her onto a piece of paper. That would just be wrong, to pin down someone's wings.

This is part of a small grove of bluish-white clary sage, Salvia sclarea, in our front moon garden. I adore this variety -- stocky with huge flower stalks, it glows on cloudy days and shimmers at night.

A bundle of the bluish-white clary sage was hung to dry. Do you notice that plant catalogs often refer to the color purple as blue?

Almost done stitching the last eco-dyed moon square on the linen drum case, but there is one more thing I want to add before hemming the edges and calling it done.

Elder flowers and more elder flowers. One of those white hollyhock flowers held a sleeping Japanese beetle. I let her sleep even though I knew she would go straight to the grape vines to devour at least three leaves immediately upon awakening.

Elder flower liqueur was begun.

I filled a quart jar to just below the shoulder with the flowers and filled it again with 100 proof vodka. After a few weeks I'll strain out the flowers and add other ingredients, maybe a sugar syrup or some honey, depending on the taste.

Lemon balm water infused under a full moon followed by a full day of sun...I make this pretty often, even when the moon isn't full.

I love seeing flower heads on some of last summer's onions that I missed. The flowers are delicious mashed into butter but the bees like them too so not sure about cutting them. I read that you should cut the flowers off and harvest the onions immediately as they will start to rot if left in the ground. But harvesting and using every single thing in the garden isn't really the point for me -- if I use just a little bit of something once or even take time to notice and appreciate a plant, then our connection feels complete.

St. Joan's wort, Hypericum perforatum, flowers started blooming right in time for Summer Solstice. At solar noon a friend and I sat before her holiness and made flower oils. One of the plant's most common uses is to soothe burns and other skin afflictions. By the way, I learned to call this plant St. Joan's wort instead of St. John's wort from Herbalist Susun Weed who says St. Joan knows more about burns than St. John. I agree.

Garden love. Right outside the door. Connecting to the natural world just always brings out the best in us. Where else would you ever find, and leave be, one beautiful little Japanese beetle, all covered in pollen, asleep inside one perfect hollyhock blossom?

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending. xx


liniecat said...

It always saddens me when I see butterflies and beetles staked out in a frame too.
Butterflies live for such a short time, beauty in short bursts.
Made elder flower gin a year or so back and it was pretty tasty lol
Elder flower vodka sounds supremely er medicinal too lol

Ms. said...

MONTHLY You are as reliable and beautiful as the moon! Oh my I'm drooling and sweating with envy for all my favorite plants and oh, SO LUSH!!!!! Did you see the elderberry recipie (YUM) go to my blog and look for "Elerberry Delights" - Meanwhile I'll email you the link. Feel free to share.

Kathy -MIQuilter said...

I love all your recipe's you share. Your garden is beautiful, I enjoy seeing all your pictures.

Nancy said...

Love those onion flowerheads! Do you have many butterflies? I always feel so honored when I see one, such a beautiful brief life.

Anonymous said...

what did you end up doing with the butterfly? that's hilarious about St. Joan knowing more about burns!

just beautiful to see you work, your industrious and respectful collaboration with the garden.