So the saying goes. In fact, across Canada, Spring has been hard going. Warm nights were very late arriving. Some of the roses I ordered were of very poor quality, with one even dying! I've also been locked in a battle with the neighbourhood squirrels and chipmunks...I've gone through more cayenne pepper than I've ever seen before and even resorted to laying down a silage/hay mix from a local farm to deter their need to dig. I've also decided to move a lot of my rose stock to the back gardens which should be have been mixed perennial and herbal moving the latter to raised beds and containers in the front of the house and inter-plant them with veggies.
From left to right: squirrel proofing in action, gorgeous Lady's Mantle, Salvia in full bloom!
Having said all that the last two weeks have been very hot and I've already been able to gather from wild sources gorgeous lilac and early goldenrod (pre-bloom) as well as salvias. These are all drying down in my processing kitchen. I can't wait to start smelling and picking my roses. It's such a privilege and luxury to be able to work with an ancient, powerful and deeply moving herbal medicine like the rose!
Part of my herbalist journey is learning to "sit with" and "listen to" different plants. Over and over we are told and shown that the best way to know a plant and its medicinal and healing properties is to sit with it, observes it as it grows, through the seasons, and to gather and process it. I've found it exceedingly hard to only pick a few. But this year it will be the Rose, Lady's Mantel, Salvias, and the following "native" Ontario plants that I find creeping into my garden and in the wild: plantago major, goldenrod, and mallow.
I'm excited for the learning journey that this summer will bring me, even if it's going to mother natures plan and not mine lol!