Lavender and Roses

August 7, 2009

A few weeks ago I had a lovely relaxing morning harvesting some rose petals from my Apothecary rose bush – they’re a bright and gaudy pink but they have the most heavenly scent.

rose

rosepetals

I previously covered how to make rose flavoured sugar and how to make rose flavoured water.
There are some romantic ideas for using rose petals here too.

I also harvested some lavender from my newish english lavender plants and attempted to make a lavender wand which you can see in the photo. Not perfect I know but I quite like seeing the flowers peeking out.

lavenderharvest

lavenderlavenderwand

There are plenty of other ideas for using lavender here and instructions for making a lavender wand here and you can see my recipe for lavender biscuits which I recently made and included in my ezine.

I hope you are enjoying some herbal harvests too.

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Here is a recipe that I made recently and shared in my ezine, I hope you enjoy them if you have a go.

Makes about 25 biscuits

4oz butter

3oz sugar

5oz self-raising flour

1 beaten egg

1 teaspoon of lavender flowers

1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh lavender leaves

Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Cream butter and sugar, stir in the egg, flowers, leaves and flour.

Grease two baking sheets and drop spoonfuls of the mixture evenly onto them.

Bake for approx 15 to 20 minutes until golden.

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Bee-friendly herbs

July 16, 2009

Many flowers will attract bees but I’ve noticed in my own garden and from research that some attract them much more than others.

In my herb garden the bees seem to love the following flowering herbs: chives, lavender, thyme, bergamot, borage, feverfew, lamb’s ears, greater celandine, st john’s wort, comfrey, clary sage, roses, oregano, marjoram, white and red clover, evening primrose, rosemary, sage, yarrow, lemon balm and marshmallow.

Bees also like the flowers of betony, bramble, butterbur, catmint, dill, coneflower, eyebright, mullein, lungwort, foxglove, dandelion, cornflower, hollyhock, honeysuckle, nasturtiums, white dead nettle and wall germander to name just a few.

Here are a few photos of herb flowers in my garden that bees like:

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This shows from left to right: borage, bergamot and st john’s wort.

boragefeverfewevprimrose

Borage, evening primrose, feverfew and dill flowers.

bee-on-chives

Bee (obviously!) on chive flowers.

clarysageflowerlambsears

Top photo shows Clary sage flower, lower photo shows Lamb’s ears flowers.

greatercelandine

Greater Celandine. If you break off one of the leaves or stems you’ll see bright orange sap ooze out; apparently good for treating warts amongst other things but be warned it does stain skin and clothes and may irritate sensitive skin.

beesonoreganoHow many bees can you see on these oregano flowers? (click image to enlarge)

apothecarysrose

Apothecary’s rose (Rosa gallica officinalis). This has a wonderful scent and the petals can be used for many things as mentioned in this blog post about how to make rose water and this one about how to make rose flavoured sugar.

If you’re not sure what species of bee you’ve seen, this website will help: http://www.bumblebeeconservation.org.uk/bumblebees_id.htm

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