The Herbarie

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Honeysuckle, Ginger Lily and Tea Olive!

August has turned out to be a wonderful month!  The past few weeks have given us lovely rainfall and moderate temperatures that feel like early Fall! 

The Honeysuckle is blooming again!  When I take my morning walk around our farm, the sweet scent is so lovely.  I’ve distilled more Honeysuckle Hydrosol for The Herbarie that will hopefully last through the winter until it blooms again in the spring.  I’ve also prepared my own honeysuckle tinctures to ward off cold and flu this winter. 
The Ginger Lilies are flowering and smell so heavenly!  Ginger Lily is a sure sign that Fall is on the way!  I always bring Ginger Lily into the house when it blooms and the entire house is filled with its sweet scent!  Ginger Lily is one of my absolute favorite scents!

Before long our many, many Tea Olives (osmanthus) will be flowering and sending forth their elusive, sweet scent.  This shrub is evergreen here in the south and is drought resistant, which makes it a fabulous landscape shrub.  The tiny flowers are not showy, but the scent is wonderful.  I like to prune tea olive into small trees and I have them in almost all the gardens.  The tiny flowers grow in clusters and are seldom noticed.  But visitors almost always ask about the mysterious, yet exquisite scent that drifts through the air on a bright Fall day. As seen in the picture above, I've lined our driveways with Tea Olive, Firepower Nandina and Melampodium - all tough, drought resistant plants that love our hot summer sun.

Our Honeysuckle, Tea Olive, and Ginger Lily remind me of the new scented botanical extract called Asian Lily.  And as promised,  Sensique Scented Botanical Extract Asian Lily is on the way!  Asian Lily is a special blend of natural botanical extracts and should be in stock the first part of September.  Asian Lily is light and softly exotic and perfect to use in fragrance-free formulations.  

My faithful roses are still blooming here and there.  Maggie has been in bloom all summer.  The Tea Roses – Monsieur Tillier and Mrs. B.R. Cant are  lush and full of blooms.   Othello (David Austin) Rose is very sweet and hot pink. 
The delicate climber Awakening grows beside the cottage porch among the Artemesia and day lilies.  The Camellia sasanqua are full of buds and will be blooming soon. 

Zinnias are everywhere and are every color of pink, orange, and yellow.  Butterflies and bees love these happy flowers!   They are also a delight to me every summer and are always welcome to reseed in my gardens!

Cardinal Flower is wrapped around the pergola and is very attractive to hummingbirds. When I gave a garden tour last week, the hummers were zooming all around us from flower to flower.
The muscadines are ripe and ready to be picked! 
Sally is working in the office today and I'm working in my lab.  The Herbarie has taken a break from processing orders until Tuesday, September 4.  During this time, I'm hoping to be able to catch up on my "to do" list as well as some needed R&R! 
Over the next few weeks we are going to be upgrading to use WordPress for blogging.  We also plan to connect with Facebook from the new blog.  Once everything is complete, I'll let everyone know so we can all migrate over to the new place!
Best Wishes for a Good Holiday Weekend!
Angie & Sally


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Happiness is the Smile of a Dog

That's what I am looking at right now and yes, it brings me great joy :-)

The past few weeks have been grueling.  After the chemotherapy treatment, Sally experienced terrible nausea and upset stomach.  She was very sick and didn't eat or drink for almost two weeks.  She had little energy and it seemed she was losing her spirit.  We had to rush to the vet three times for her to receive fluids subcutaneously.  Thankfully the fluids did seem to revive her each time.  Eventually Sally was able to eat small amounts of baby food and chicken, but I had to hand feed her because she had no strength and no appetite.  Finally after a couple of weeks, the chemo meds were out of her system and she began to eat and drink again.  We've decided not to do anymore chemo treatments.   We are hoping that this one chemo treatment was enough to rid her body of stray cancer cells.

But this is what we know:  Today we are happy and enjoying life!
For the past week, Sally has been gaining strength and gradually moving around more.   We both missed our walk together around the property feeding the animals, but she just didn't have the strength to do it.  So, I've been letting her rest just outside our house while I go around the farm to feed the critters and water the gardens.  I confess that it felt lonely without her and I longed for her to become strong again.  This past week I was watering the various gardens and I left Sally resting beside the grape arbors.  As I was watering in the cottage garden, Sally walk/hopped on her own through the gate!  She came around the corner with a huge smile on her face and happy wagging tail!  She was very proud of herself and I was so filled with joy and so thankful at seeing her full of spirit again.  C.C. the Cottage Cat was happy to see Sally back again too. 

 Today, Sally walk/hopped all the way around the property!  We still take it slow and the trip around the property takes about an hour or two.  With all that I have to do and feeling that I never will get it all done, I have a tendency to move fast and am always on the go - multi-tasking all the while.  But Sally has taught me that it's much better to move slowly and to just be in the moment - not easy for me to do, but with Sally as an excellent role model I'm trying.  

This Sunday morning we spent time in all the gardens and savored the rare and lovely cool weather and fresh rainfall.  The Cottage Cat (C.C.) went with us.  Sally rested while I harvested more Holy Tulsi Basil and Sweet Violet Leaves for her tea. The dear roses are blooming again!  Hummers are busy humming in Hummer Haven.  And all is right with the world! 

 Ginger Lily & Mandevilla

Holy Tulsi Basil near the Secret Garden gate 

Holy Tulsi Basil from last year reseeded and is now everywhere in all the gardens. 

 Maggie is almost always full of blooms!  She has a wonderful damask fragrance and frilly, hot pink flowers.

Monsieur Tillier forgave me for the severe pruning this spring and is covered with carmine pink flowers. 

 The waterfall pond

Sally is full of good, positive energy now!  

 And most importantly her sweet spirit is back!

 Love and all good wishes,
Angie & Sally