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Summer is officially here!

June 23 2008 at 10:16 PM
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It never seems like summer until the St John's wort flowers bloom. Through fortuitous circumstances I was able to go out into my garden this morning and discover the solstice had brought the flowers with it.

When I first started growing SJW, the flowers always opened a week after the solstice, but two years ago they moved a week ahead. I was sure this year they were going to come beforehand, but they didn't, they waited!

It was very exciting to gather my very first harvest of the year. The petals seemed very damp, despite the hours of sunshine on them before I gathered. I like to make my oil first, so I drowned the newly gathered flowers in sunflower oil and took a picture to share with everyone.


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Re: Summer is officially here!

June 24 2008, 8:45 AM 

You're lucky Sarah, my SJW still hasn't flowered! That may be down to the fact that I gave it a drastic hair cut in the spring though. I agree with you about summer being officially here, later today I'll be making lavender vinegar to join the rose petal vinegar I made the other week. The lemon verbena is now begging to have something done with it, I've been harvesting the odd leaf or two to add to homemade cakes over the past few weeks. The lemon balm will this weekend get turned into wine and we'll be off out into the local hedgerows for wild rose petals and elderflowers. So many herbs so little time, but I'm sure I'll make use of as many as possible


Re: Summer is officially here!

June 28 2008, 7:29 PM 

I'd taken so many pictures of St John's wort over the past few days, I decided to write an article about the herb on my blog. You can find it on http://kitchenherbwife.blogspot.com/


Re: Summer is officially here!

June 29 2008, 12:24 PM 

Thanks for sharing your SJW blog article Sarah, I enjoyed reading it, I managed to dig up almost all of my SJW by accident, but some seems to have survived, hopefully next year I'll get a decent sized crop to make some oil. This years so far hasn't flowered at all, if it does I'll pick what flowers I can just to make a small batch of oil to turn in to a salve.

Speaking of wonderfully yellow flowers, I noticed this morning that my evening primrose plant has flowered, so I'll take some photos later today and go smell the perfume later on as its stronger in the evening. The meadowsweet is out in profusion along the canal near us, so I'm going to try and get out later this afternoon to harvest some and also get the last of the elderflowers. Tinctures, vinegars and wine are on the cards, have selected an old demijohn so I can make a gallon container of lavender vinegar, its not worth making any less I've decided!

Lemon balm tea is featuring on our drinks list the past few weeks, time to harvest some to make wine with as well. And I'm going to make some calendula infused oil using the method you showed me for making double infused oils at one of last years workshops. The plan then is to make some small pots of marigold handcream to add to the lavender and rose vinegars and lavender polish etc for the homemade herbal products gift hamper I'll be giving to some of my female relatives. The menfolk will get some homemade herb wine and some fudge or the burdock & dandelion toffee from hedgerow medicine


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