Top 5 Plants for Your Winter Apothecary

Late Summer is starting to look more like Fall. For me, there’s always a touch of sadness as the bright and long days of Summer fade. Part of me looks forward to the introspection that Winter brings, a way to recharge after all the energy expanded during the long days. Transitioning from the season of the Heart to the season …

Autumn Olive

The descriptions are scary: “invasive exotic gone feral”, “noxious weed”, “persistent”, “invasive”, “out competes and displaces”.  The reality? As with many “bad” (substitute any of the above adjectives) weeds, that’s a judgement call on our part. Often, this judgement is based seeing a plant that is strong and prolific, decide it’s a good idea to cultivate it to prevent/help with …

Winning the Hearts and Minds of Plants

Often in herbalism you’re told to “go sit with a plant”. What does that mean? It means getting into the communication vibe of a plant. And how do they communicate? With everything. According to Sajah Popham in his book Evolutionary Herbalism: Science, Spirituality and Medicine from the Heart of Nature:             …we have to see that everything about a plant …

Dissolving into Happiness

These sunny, hot summer days call for some special reading material when it gets too hot to move.  Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer is one I like to revisit. To me, her writing is lyrical,  elegant and that of a gifted storyteller. Her descriptions of nature as she encounters it, whether …

Sharing the Joy of Plants

Last week we invited 32 children from the Montessori Summer program to visit us at the store for an hour of plant-based activities including drawing a Mullein plant (and marveling over its fuzzy leaves, magnificent yellow candelabra of flowers and its soil laden roots), making lip balm (choice of either Peppermint/Cocoa or Tangerine Creamsicle ), tasting some raw cocoa butter …

What, Me Worry?

Summer is the season of Joy and the corresponding organ is the Heart, in Chinese medicine. But what if you’re not feeling joyful or expansive? Maybe it looks more like tired and overwhelmed? One of the definitions of overwhelmed is”…giving too much of a thing to someone or something….” Worry and the resulting stress IS about giving away too much …

5 Trees That Scream Southern Gardener

Born and raised in Ohio, I couldn’t wait to leave the lingering Winters and cold wet Springs. During Spring break in my last year of nursing school I visited Richmond and fell in love with all the blooming Spring flowers that were still yet to be just poking their heads above the ground back in central Ohio.  That sold me. …

Lusty and Energetic: Setting the Pace

You can feel the energy of Spring: building, persistent, energetic, bold, lusty, exhilarating… and exhausting.  How do the plants do it? After this big surge of energy, how do they recoup? This level of energy can’t be maintained for the long run.  They’ve got flowers to produce, seeds to spread (or runners, rhizomes, tubers, etc.), insects and diseases to fight. …

3

Purple Dead Nettle Saves the Day

If you have been tending your garden this Spring, you’ll have encountered the PROLIFIC Purple Dead Nettle (Lamium purpureum). NOTE: it is NOT related to Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica). Purple Dead Nettle is part of the mint family and has the classic square stem. One of the reassurances that Spring is arriving is in the appearance of numerous scattered communities of …

1

Ready. Set. Jump!

Walking in the rain with my dog Mel, I rounded the curve and there it was: a large, wet, juicy mud puddle right in the middle of the path. Releasing his leash, I took a running start and laughingly jumped into the middle, spraying dirty water everywhere and scattering a few surprised earthworms in the process. Mel looked at me …