Saturday, 18 May 2013

A Little Bit Of Healing From The Garden ...

Hello there .... 
hope you are having an enjoyable weekend.

I've been playing about with the herbs in my garden ... making some super nutrient rich ointment.

A friend has had an accident and broken some bones in her hand ... and what better for helping the healing process than old fashioned Knit bone ... or \comfrey that grows like crazy in my garden.

At the moment it is pushing up through the soil .. positively zinging with goodness ... packed with fresh health boosting nutrients.

As you may have guessed Comfrey was called Knit bone (in the old days) because of its use in healing broken bones.
The plant contains allantoin which stimulates cell growth and repair whilst simultaneously depressing inflammation.

It can and has been used in treating many skin complaints and is ideal as a ointment/skin salve to use after a gardening session ... just helps ease all those little scratches and nettle stings!

I thought I would make some up ... some for my friend and some for us ... I thought it may help Hubby P's arthritis (he has in his hands )... that's if I can get him to remember use it.

So here is how to ... should you want to!

Gather a good bunch .. chop roughly and put in a bowl over some hot water (in a pan ).
Pour in some vegetable oil ... I used sunflower (in years gone by any fat would do ... mutton etc). I poured enough to almost cover the plant material.  

Now you are going to boil the water in the pan (making sure it doesn't boil dry) ... to heat up the oil which will absorb the nutrients from the plant ... let this stew away slowly for a good hour or so ... the oil will turn green.

Sieve this mixture ... putting the oil bit into a clean bowl ... discard the plant material.
 Put the clean bowl with oil mixture over the hot water again and add beeswax. I added a bit of coconut oil ... just because I found some in the cupboard ... you don't need it.

I grated the beeswax to help it melt a little faster... I used about half a block and the little odd bid you see in the picture ...its all a bit slap dash ... but you cant go wrong. The  beeswax thickens the mixture when it cools (or it would just be green oil) ... and the beeswax is good for the skin.

I sterilised a couple of jars and just poured the mixture in ... it is oily and a little goes a long way ...
.. and the er .. fragrance is somewhat ... earthy!
 It doesn't worry me but I suppose you could add some essential oils to make it smell nice.

I do like to potter with my herbs.

A lot of activity at this little house ...
 can I get a photo? can I heck .... 
they are so fast zooming in and out.
A couple of Coal tits ...and family soon .... possibly.

Take care xx

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Just Playing Out In The Sunshine ....

Hello there ....
just a quick catch up ... its been a busy day ... but so lovely in the sunshine ....
I played Hookey ... and pootled about the garden for most of the day...

I did some weeding ... and thinning out ... that pesky Borage gets everywhere and stomps all over the smaller plants.

I love getting in amongst the foliage .. the bruised leaves give off a heady mix of herb-y ... flowery ... greenery scent.

As I brushed past this Lemon Balm I had a longing to taste its freshness .... so I plucked off a handful of leaves...

 and made some nice refreshing tea ..
Lovely sat in the sunshine.

 As I sat sipping my tea ... who should fly in and settle on the cherry tree opposite ... but Percy (remember Percy with the damaged wing) .... and a Lady friend.
Making eyes at each other .. and cuddling up amongst the blossom ... I zoomed in on this moment ... these cameras are wonderful ... I felt like the paparazzi...!

Eventually I thought I really ought to go in and fling a duster about or something .... Hubby P had gone to work and I was supposed to be 'working at home' ... catching up with housework and Ebay ... but hey .. the sun was shining!

Do you like my new cloth ... I found it the other day in amongst a heap of clothes at the carboot.  
It is rather worn and shabby in parts ... as are we all ... but ever so pretty (as are we all!)
I needed to trim one edge and hem it ... I think someones dog had been having a chew ... but it doesn't matter ... doesn't show... I wanted to use it on this mule chest .. and the hemmed edge goes to the back.
Oh .. and yes ... I did kinda ..give the mirrors a bit of a lick and polish.
And I took down the little paper bag of nettles from over the wood burner.
If you remember I had put them there to dry ... for Tea. 

Hubby P had lit the wood burner ... just for a couple of hours in the late evening ... using scrap wood ... just two or three evenings ...

It was enough to dry the nettles (and the washing we had hung up in the inglenook).
I crumbled the dried leaves and put them in a jar ready for use.  

I have this dandy little infuser thing-y .... works a treat ... so I just had to have a mug of nettle tea .. sat in the sunshine.

I sat watching this little chap fluttering about ... poor little mite ... so raggy and tired ... I do hope his life was a good one.

I think we all should make the most of our days .... soon enough we to will become raggy and tired .... here's to lots more days playing out in the garden ... let the housework go hang!


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A Little Sadness .... And We Celebrate Our Joy Of What We Have.

Hello there ....

Sadness here this week ...  
our lovely old friend Fly passed away on Sunday.

 We miss her very much .... but she was very old and very frail... and a little confused ... and simply 'faded away'.
Some of you may remember she joined us about 4 years ago ... she came to Anglesey for her retirement.
 Her life .... not an easy one ... was spent working on farms ... so she deserved a little time to pootle about in the garden ... and lay in front of the fire.

Hubby P found a nice spot in the garden for her ... and one of Will's trees (a self sown Apple) ... will shade the spot and be forever Fly's bit of the garden.
It looks a bit bare at the moment ... I will plant a few more cuttings and soon the garden will spread about and 'tuck her in'. 

These pretty Bluebells are close by and no doubt will spread.

 The zingy Wild Garlic will add a fresh green carpet under the tree.
She will be sadly missed ... 

Life goes on for us here .... 
and we celebrate our hearth and home.

As you may know I like to collect interesting old birdcages ... not that I want to keep real birds in them ....
But I have a few ... dolled up with bits and pieces..  

This one has Polly parrot and crystal droplets in it .... they catch the light and look pretty...

 But just look at this one Hubby P found .... My Word!

This is just fabulous!

Quite old (vintage) and made from wood and wire .... just simply a lovely thing.
It was very mucky ... so I gave it a shower and a good sponge down with some soapy water ... and  stood it in the garden to dry.
It will look just great hanging in the conservatory.

And I just had to share this with you .... so exciting....  

The first spears of Asparagus .... Asparagus you can grow in a pot ...who knew?
I thought you had to have a huge bed set aside for it ... I discovered  online (of course)... when I was looking for Rhubarb crowns.
I will take a few years of course until I can really harvest it ... but how fabulous .... 

Anyway enough from me ... take care  xx

Friday, 10 May 2013

Nettles .... Good For You Thrifty Snippet!

Hello there ...
Today saw me go in search of weeds...

 I've been feeling a little 'under the weather' since I had that dose of flu ... so I thought I would benefit from a tonic... a free and tasty pick me up ... growing just outside my door.

I found a nice big clump of fresh healthy looking nettles growing in the hedgerow ... well away from any traffic and high enough up ... on top of a wall ... to avoid the attentions of dogs and their toilet habits.

Nettles are a wonder plant ... richer in nutrients than the likes of spinach and broccoli...providing high levels of both iron and vitamin C.. of which the body needs to absorb the iron.
Anyway I don't want to go on about all the science-y stuff ... you can easily look it up if you are interested .... needless to say ... I like nettles and they are good for you ...and they are FREE!

Good veg growing free.

I gathered a pan full of nettle tops ... they are getting a bit big and tough now ... perhaps I should have harvested them sooner .. or looked for younger/smaller plants ... but hey ho a girl has to use what she can find.

At this point Hubby P walked into the kitchen ... I saw that look of uncertainty ... unease ... and perhaps ... slight panic ... flit across his face. Poor Hubby P ... as you know he sometimes has a difficult relationship with veg.
I assured him this crop was for my use ... I want to dry some for tea ..... and try freezing some to add to soups and the like.
Not that he would notice anyway .... if I added some to a pie ...or something. 

Using the kitchen scissors I snipped off the topmost leaves ... discarding the tough stems and larger leaves ... and of course any iffy damaged bits.
I made some tea from the fresh leaves ... it was rather delicious with a drop of honey.
And I have spread the leaves on trays to open freeze ... hoping I can bag them up loose-ish ... and just grab a handful to add to soups and whatnot.
I filled a paper bag with the leaves and tied the top with string.... this I have hung in the inglenook above the wood burner ....hopefully they will dry nicely and I can crumble the leaves for tea.

    I do so enjoy my herbal teas ... I seem to have gone right off milk ... milk in tea and whatnot ... eversince I had the flu.

So whats free and frugal in your world ...anyone else out foraging yet?


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

More Tins and Baby Cases !! .... How Many Does a Girl Need ?

Hello there ... hope you are all well
... life has been a bit hectic here ... just that 'making a living' kinda stuff.

Its been lovely and sunny this afternoon (after lots of rain!) but just ever-so windy ... and its still at it.
 As I sit tucked up in my jim jams writing this .. I can hear the wind howling around the cottage .. rattling at the windows and roaring down the chimney.
I feel so sorry for all the little birds sheltering in the hedges .. they must feel blown to bits...

Anyway it being Spring and all ... I have been having a good old clearout ...its just amazing ... and ridiculous really ... the amount of 'stuff' I keep ...'just in case'. 
Well that 'just in case' hasn't happened in the last 20 years or so ...
so stuff has had to go.
All the sets of china ... fruit dishes ... extra cutlery ... a suitcase of bandages?! ... what did I think I was going to do ... set up a hospital?
So yes ... its a lot clearer .... and yes I do feel better ... 
less cluttered.

And ... of course leaves room for other new 'treasures' ....
Oh ... how I can hear my children groaning ....

Yes ....I'm afraid !
... once a collector of 'treasures' ... always a Magpie!

And Tins ..
who can resist a nice tin.
If you remember I found the cute little red tin a while ago.
 I hadn't seen this sort before .. biscuit tins with little handles ...
a bit like baskets. 
Well I found another two the other day ... I gave them a good old soak in some soapy water and they came up lovely ...

So .... whats to call a collection of tins ... simply ...
   a Trio of Tins
 ....but what if I find more ... 
A Train of Tins? 
....a Tarry of Tins?
What do you think ?

Perhaps tins don't do it for you ....what about cases?
Hubby P found this itsy bitsy baby case the other day ... 
well ...
I couldn't let that go either ... it had to come home with me. 

It needs a bit of  a polish and I may line it with something pretty ....its just ideal to keep my hankies in.
Oh .... I so love old battered cases ...
 it may explain the affection I have for Hubby P ....old..battered.. and a bit leathery ...hehe!

Bit of a walk around the garden ..

Wills tree ... all the sticky buds emerged into lovely bright green leaves.

 The tulips have been a welcome splash of bright red amongst the green ... they are looking a bit blousy and battered now... 
Although Hubby P did say we sat ... tea in hand ... looking at the garden ... that .. indeed ... he did like the blousy  look ....
maybe that explains his affection for me .... 

Another pot of promise ... tulips just on the way to full bloom.

Lilac buds.

And of course a few Bluebells .... a garden has to have a few Bluebells.

Take care
 xx   Bye for now   xx