Autumn and the Herb Garden

I cannot believe it’s the first week of Autumn here, summer seems to gone so fast! We have had a very dry summer, officially reaching drought conditions a month ago and there have been fires in our area this summer for the first time in quite a few years. With Autumn comes the dying off of the garden and I have been busy preserving all the herbs as they also reach their end. This year we extended the herb garden with our last ornamental garden pulled out and planted. I LOVE the herb gardens and learning more about their uses – love cooking with them, using them in soaps and herbal creams and skincare….I still have much to learn but I really enjoy it! This year we have had Mint, Soapwort, Parsley, Feverfew, Nasturtiums, Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Peppermint, Comfrey, Basil, Lemon Verbena, Echinacea, Rosemary, Tarragon, Calendula, Thymes, Oregano, Don Quai, Sage and Chives and I have also been collecting wild plants and weeds like Borage, Dandelion, California Poppy, Plantain etc. I don’t grow Lavender yet but I will next year. With a friend down the road with a lavender hedge and a sister with a lavender farm there seems little need right now to grow it.

French Tarragon

French Tarragon

I love using these fresh but need them throughout the year so I have been drying them all, the kitchen herbs are in jars in the pantry, the ones I use for soaps etc stored in many paper bags and boxes.

Chamomile

Chamomile

Last week while out picking Sage and Rosemary I had the great? idea of trying smudge sticks (I am all fingers and thumbs so found these a little fiddly to begin with) A quick look on-line gave me the instructions and these are my first attempts. One thing worth noting if you ever decide to try them – they shrink ALOT. Don’t tie off your ends of string as you will probably need to re-tie them but these are lovely to make and smell gorgeous.

Smudge

Smudge

What can be made from the herb garden excites me and if you have ever thought you would like to grow and experiment with them I urge you to do it – I read about them for years but never really did much about it, they are beautiful to use.

Herbal toner

Herbal toner

 

Dandelion & Calendula

Dandelion & Calendula

I am sorry to see the end of the herb growing season and have been rushing to dry everything….the poor garden is looking rather empty now….tomorrow I will be taking all the basil and making pesto to freeze. I also like to freeze fresh herbs in olive oil in ice cube trays, rosemary, basil and oregano are nice done this way. I had plans to make some seasoned salts too but they are at least dried and I can do this later in the season when not so busy. It’s also a time of seed saving though early days yet.

The front porch seat where things are put to dry

The front porch seat where things are put to dry

Mid January we went away for the weekend and passed through the city where the lovely Gallivanta lives (a fellow blogger) She had told me to drop in if we were down that way as she had a book for me. She had two as it happened and they are lovely ones too 🙂 I very much appreciated them and though I haven’t had time to sit and read too much I know through Autumn and winter I will have my nose stuck in these!

IMG_4470

AND, though I really didn’t need the extra work and had to think long and hard about it I started another blog two days ago to be added to my shop site when I can figure out how to do that. On this blog I have always kept to more frugal ideas and recipes but this new one has the recipes for what I sell. Two reasons for doing this…they are nice! and they also show the work and expense that goes into making nice products for sale. Though not exactly cheap to make many use flowers, herbs, weeds and wildflowers so if you are interested in making your own skincare and home products I invite you to follow me here https://www.tumbleweedsnaturals.wordpress.com/  – It is VERY new and you will recognise a couple of recipes I have shared here at quarteracre.

 

 

Advertisements

31 thoughts on “Autumn and the Herb Garden

  1. No wonder you haven’t been around much – you are incredibly busy! Those smudge sticks look rather lovely! I like the idea of posting the recipes with your soaps and other items. It is not just a case of following a recipe when it comes to these things, I think there is much more involved. Like understanding how the components all work ad interact together, having a feeling for the right balance of perfumes and a little passion for the art goes a long way too!

    I have been meaning to email you and will do so as soon as I get my act together 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I have been really busy Pauline and have taken photos for posts but way behind! The last thing I really needed was another blog but it just makes sense, it won’t be a busy one I shouldn’t think.
      Hope you are well, yes, do email! I have been wondering about Linne and how she is? xx

      Like

  2. Just as we are planning our gardens you are putting yours to rest. I would very much like to expand into herbs here now that the entire plot of land is mine to play with. 🙂 Those books look very interesting how nice to receive useful books as a gift. 🙂

    I’m not sure if you meant you want to add links from your store to your new blog, but one of the reasons I left WordPress was the restrictions on what sites I could link to. Good luck, if WordPress doesn’t realize it’s a site you are making income from you might be able to link the two from your blog.

    Like

    • Herbs are so useful and full of such good things! I will watch how you go, I imagine you are itching to get your new property all gardened up 🙂 You will love it.
      Ok, didn’t know that about WordPress 😦 See how I go
      Two very lovely books just unfortunately no time to just sit and read, I shall remedy that very soon! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. RT says:

    I made my first foray into drying herbs last fall – just for cooking though, nothing as adventurous as you do with yours. Nevertheless, it has been a good experience that I hope to expand upon this summer and fall. You’ve been so busy this year … did you get much canning done?

    Like

    • No, I didn’t get much bottling done 🙂 I have done jams, sauces and chutneys but no fruit – we still have so much of last years sitting there, we just used so little of it. Lots of freezing though and a lot of fruit still to come 🙂

      Like

  4. How exciting! I need to use more herbs + you are my inspiration:-) I will be reading and learning from you:-) I will be adding more to my garden in the next few years:-)
    Love your photos + your soap is beautiful:-)
    When you are in fall it means, I am going to be in warm weather-YEAH!!! The exclamations are me jumping up and down:-)
    Oh, how I wish you could drive over and show me how to make soap…..how neat to visit a blogger buddie-BB!

    Like

  5. Robbie,when we moved here it was almost the first thing I wanted to grow heaps of – 10 years later!! Why don’t we do these things sooner?!! What you can do with herbs excites me.
    I am sorta looking forward to Winter again this year, just a less demanding time….I can watch you work 🙂 I will do a post one day on soap making, truly it’s very easy.
    Gallivanta is a really lovely lady, so pleased I got to meet her 🙂

    Like

  6. The fresh tarragon looks beautiful. Even though it has been so dry I think some plants have benefited from the lack of rain…..they are more intense in flavour and scent. It was lovely to meet you, too. In others countries we might consider ourselves next door neighbours but our concept of distance is quite different in NZ, isn’t it? Maybe I should say South Island. I am contemplating a trip to Timaru and it’s as big a deal almost as going to Australia! I am off to see if I can link to your new blog. 🙂

    Like

  7. The herbs do seem especially nice this year.
    Travelling always seems a big thing to me, doesn’t matter where we are going it just seems a big deal, we don’t leave home enough, that’s the problem 🙂 I was exhausted after that weekend away lol. Enjoy your trip if you go, I hope it’s for something pleasant.

    Like

  8. I’ve used a number of smudge sticks but never new what was in them. I love herbs and especially rosemary and lavender. This was quite an education Thank you. Leaving home is always exhausting for me even if it’s for somewhere fun. I’ve become a homebody. When you are away from the familiar, it stresses the system for everyone, even children and pets.I’ll be thinking of you as we head into spring. I will miss winter in that I get to stay in and sew more than during spring and summer. I have not begun to use the soaps yet but will soon. Thank you so much. The variety makes me wonder where to start. 🙂

    Like

  9. Gorgeousness Ms Wendy :). We got 3 weeks of ‘summer’ and then straight into autumn. Our summer is usually hot and dry and this one was wet and cool. I am NOT complaining! I figure we swapsied for a year…hopefully 2? ;). Gorgeous herbs, new posts and garden. Glad to see you have something keeping your mind, body and soul happy and healthy 🙂

    Like

  10. Theres nothing quite like being able to create your own remedies out of herbs! Your toner and soap looks lovely! Ive been making my own comfrey ointment from the garden this year, if youre interested in the recipe http://bit.ly/1v9FrOT! Great for gardeners knees and elbow.

    Like

  11. I LOVE making my own therapies etc, even more than soap making 🙂 So many exciting possibilities and such alot to learn! Thanks for your link, I just looked at it and note that I had already “liked” it. Supposed to be good for pain and I still intend to try it so that’s for reminding me of this, will come back to it.

    Like

  12. Just love your smudge sticks Wendy, and a great idea about preserving and drying them.. Love too how you have entwined lavender and rose petals

    I planted several plants of Sage and rosemary.. I planted in tubs to have handy on the patio for cooking.. We moved the tubs into the greenhouse to help save from frosts.. And they are sprouting again nicely now..

    Can not wait to get planting.. the seeds are slowly being sown.. xxx

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s