Friday, 3 August 2012

One year on...

It has been a year or so now since I last updated this blog. My journey with the Royal Botanics ended in a lovely graduation ceremony, that they unwisely asked me to talk at, a short 10-15 minutes about the Herbology course. Well, it was a laugh and I got that response from some of the guests, some of the more academic guests were clearly looking for a more... rounded speech, shall we say. About the merits of the course perhaps and the work the Botanics was planning around re-developing and re-designing the Physic Garden.

After such, life carried on and we all fell back into our lives and routines. I know that Ally had started a Herb group and have seen the success of that filter through my email inbox... unfortunately, as lives do, they tend to get in the way. Personally, I continued to have beautiful plants sprouting around my room, and enjoying the comforts of some beautiful herbal products and - shock horror - herbal teas, something nobody thought I'd ever get round to liking!

I wish I had some photos of my beautiful plants but with the breakdown of technology, namely my phone, I lost various images. I still have my Lemon Balm, although a bit worse for wear, it's now less the beautifully green bushy little plant but taller, leaner and all-together a lot less leafy. However, it did flower this year, small white blooms... I was very pleased to see. I am also currently bringng on seedlings, three little herbies, all of which are currently doing brilliantly.
Out of my three bonsai trees, only one now has survived... he's not as full as he used to be either, but he was the first one that showed signs of growth and has never failed me yet.

However, I have ventured off tract. The reason for my sudden posting after a year, is this: a book recently hit the best-sellers list, and after a recommendation I decided to see what it was about. And no, I'm not referring to the 50 Shades of Grey triology. The novel was written by Vanessa Diffenbaugh called "The Language of Flowers" - the basic synopsis of the novel: it's about a orphan girl, has a troubling childhood and learns, through a foster family, the language of flowers. The basic idea of the story is to introduce a long forgotten language, the Victorians used flowers to display meaning and feeling. We know ourselves that red roses are for eternal love, but what of orange and yellow? No one ever tells you that a yellow rose means jealously or infidelity, or that the humble Iris meant a message.
In short, the book is very nicely written, and for herbies... the most interesting part, will be the several pages of flowers at the back of the book. Sorted alphabetically, they state the name of the flower, the latin name and the Victorian meaning.

<Picture to be included - slight issue with the Blogger site>

It's certainly made me think about the flowers I have in the house now, why would I want blooms that represented jealously or false riches (Sunflower)? I tend to favour the pink rose for Grace and the humble Stock as it says "you will always be beautiful to me".

<Picture to be included - slight issue with the Blogger site>

In simple conclusion, I recommend the book to anyone with an interest in flowers and plants... and if not, I certainly recommend having a nosey at some of the beautifully illustrated books available detailing the Victorian meaning of flowers.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The process of designing a Psychic Garden...

Part five. The final garden design, initial sketches, the 'zoom's for each individual bed... Just need to right a brief overview for the design and then done! Finally!

Monday, 5 September 2011

The process of designing a Psychic Garden...

Part four. After transferring from the tracing paper to the new clean sheet, I began the painstaking work of moving round bed's A to E... Designing a planting scheme - with the help of my mother - and designing a theme for each bed. No plant is repeated and each bed has a specific theme.

The process of designing a Psychic Garden...

Part three. My first question of the day: How do you use tracing paper? I understand the initial concept but how do you re-transfer your trace onto the new sheet? After having this explained to me by the All-Knowing Father, I began tracing my new garden design and colouring in the back with a pencil...

The process of designing a Psychic Garden...

Part two. Completing the new design on the old printed design - using felt tips to help define areas and over-rule the mass of initial sketch lines...

The process of designing a Psychic Garden...

Part one. Start sketching the new design on top of the old printed design... Following the RBGE scale - which is very very off.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

A Quick Update

I have a few photos to quickly update with!

Something I didn't manage to get up at the time... So here is the photo of the 'Lemon Verbena, Thyme, Lemon grass, Lemon Balm and Jasmine flowers with Vodka' - a splash of vodka helps to preserve the syrup.

A photo of the Pharmacopia (small book) and the newly designed Herbarium (large book) - which is still waiting for some of the specimens to dry before it can be completed.

Finally the ingredients for my Green Pharmacy preparation have arrived - a somewhat unsuitable but I'll make it work bottle for my Lavender essential oil, the Basil and Neroli essential oils and my Almond base oil.