medicinal plants

What Your Herb Spiral Could Look Like Next Year

What Your Herb Spiral Could Look Like Next Year

Last spring I built an herb spiral in my backyard.  It was added as an extension to my medicinal garden.  I wrote a blog post about it with instructions for building your own herb spiral, plus photos of my process.

A few days ago, I had a great question about sheet mulching in regards to my herb spiral.  Check out Alison's question and my response in my original Herb Spiral blog post: http://www.dailyharvestdesigns.com/blog/2015/3/26/herb-spirals.  She also asked how my herb spiral is doing one year later. 

Here are some photos of my herb spiral today.  Enjoy!

Hyssop and Hyssop: Which One Should You Grow in Your Garden?

Hyssop and Hyssop: Which One Should You Grow in Your Garden?

A few years ago I traded a friend something (probably homemade jam) for some plant starts.  He gave me three echinacea and three hyssop plants; none of them had labels.  I've enjoyed these plants over the years but hadn't used any of them medicinally until last week. 

Fortunately, two weeks ago, I had one of those ah-ha moments when I was with a couple herbalist friends (my herbalism teachers, to be exact).  This ah-ha moment also clarified another small garden mystery involving another plant given to me by a friend.  This plant was also unmarked, but I had a clue as to what it was.

Raspberry Leaf Tea - Harvesting, Drying, and Brewing

Raspberry Leaf Tea - Harvesting, Drying, and Brewing

My favorite part of the morning is brewing myself a cup of tea.  Raspberry leaf tea is part of my rotation of morning teas.  Sometimes I drink raspberry leaf tea alone, other mornings I mix it with nettles, red clover, or passionflower.

Raspberry leaf tea is easy to harvest, dry, and brew.  The leaves are best harvested in the spring before the flowers emerge.  Choose young leaves that are still bright green.  I like to harvest a basketful every couple of days in the spring while I'm playing in the backyard with my daughter.  I dry them the same day I harvest and slowly add to my jar of dried raspberry leaves.

Growing Medicinals: My (Current) Five Favorite Plants to Grow

Growing Medicinals: My (Current) Five Favorite Plants to Grow

My garden focus seems to shift every year or so.  One year I'm totally into veggies, the next it's berries and fruit trees, and then I switch to focusing on my medicinal garden.  At the moment, I'm really into my medicinal garden. 

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is one of my favorite plants to grow.  Why?  Calendula flowers are like little pops of sunshine!