As per usual, summer is frantically busy here at the Eldrum Tree, with a constant mad dash to keep on top of the harvesting and medicine making. We’ve had no rain at all for the last month, and temperatures are, for us at least, getting increasingly high, which means that for me, watering the garden has also become a bit of a priority. The vegetables at least – the herbs are generally tough customers that can manage just fine on little water, luckily enough, and many of them will produce more of the volatile oils and useful constituents if they are left dry, which is rather convenient really.
I’ve been working on a range of new products lately. Some of you lovely folks will probably remember that my creative stuff really started out with the production of a range of stencils, and after taking some time off, I’ve lately returned to that topic, creating more stencils and turning them into applique patches that can be used for making a whole load of different projects – cushion covers, wall hangings, throws, table cloths, all that sort of thing, as well as for adorning bags, waistcoats, cloaks and shawls. However, in amongst all of this frantic business, I forgot, as I keep doing, how to play with the creative stuff. It is like any well – if you keep draining it without refilling it, eventually it will run dry, and this year I’ve been battling depression as it is, which has been rather like a steady set of lead weights around my ankles. I’ll do a post on how I’ve been coping with that shortly, in the hopes that it might be useful for some of you, but that’s an aside for the moment! Next week is the summer holiday week off for us, and as we are currently stranded without a car, I’m resolved to spend a lot of it playing with new projects, so I shall be creating a range of new faery flags (which I really love making, and are much smaller projects) as well as working on a huge wall hanging featuring a unicorn and a mass of plants, taking its inspiration from the medieval mille fleur unicorn tapestries.
Until next time, here is a recipe for you all! Having taken a shocking break yet again from posting, I’ve skipped ahead recipe wise to what is currently around at the moment.
Red Poppy and Mullein Sleep Elixir
One pint of loosely packed Red Poppy petals & Mullein Flowers – equal proportions works best, but use what you have.
Local Honey or Maple Syrup
As with previous elixir recipes, make sure your petals are free of uninvited guests – the small black glossy storm bugs love Mullein flowers in the summer so you may have to evict a few of them! If they are a problem, just put the flowers in a basket in a dark corner and most of the bugs will fly off in search of sunshine within half an hour, making your job much easier. Shred the flowers roughly and pack them into a jar with the brandy, making sure the alcohol covers the flowers and adding about a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup, and, shaking it up every other day, leave it to steep for a fortnight. Take up to 10mls in the evening to ease a restful night’s sleep. You can also use it for tickly, irritating coughs, and also for panic attacks in smaller doses like 5mls, for which it is really very effective! Drop doses to settle high stress levels can be lovely as well.