The camera is at this moment on charge so i can take some in progress images of my herb ally the Borage. I have some mature leaves drying for tea and will also try some fresh and make an oil infusion.
My list of books has been extended as i perused my own library shelves for anything herbal. I should have remembered my favorite gardening naturalist Jackie French. All her books mention ways to use weeds and to integrate herbs into home use.
I have three of Jackie's books.
Backyard Self Sufficiency
The Wilderness Book
The Chook Book
Added to those is a local book on local weeds and several on Self Sufficiency and Permaculture that touch on herbs and weeds, including John Seymour's Self Sufficiency and Bill Mollison's Permaculture1.
i also have a 12 volume Gardening Encyclopedia and a plethora of general and specific gardening books, many mention herbs or feature full chapters on them. So i plan to rediscover some old friends on my shelves in the coming weeks.
I dug a new bed by the kitchen verandah today and planted a Rosemary, LemonBalm and Bergamot in it, along with a row of Heart's Ease which we in Australia calll Johnny Jump-ups.( viola Tricolour). I will transplant some of the Borage seedlings as a border along the inside edge facing the verandah. The bed runs under a mature fig tree so the plants will have dappled summer shade, always a benefit here.
I am also planning on thinning a clump of comfrey and using them to boder a herbaceous bed on the eastern driveway. My reading tells me that comfrey can even halt incursions of kikiyu and couch both of which are a problem in my garden.
Tomorrow's job is to photograph the borage in all her phases of growth as i have her from seedling right through to full flower right now. I will also add a leaf to a glass of red wine and report back on the results of before and after. The calendula are also in full flower so i will include them too.
I have often used the borage flower in salads but am still hesitant to eat those furry prickly leaves, even the youngest leaves are covered in hairs. A poultice i will certainly make, my ankle may appreciate it greatly. After two years it still swells, heats and bleeds internally. A specialist told me that when i fell the tendon broke into three and cannot rejoin. He is hesitant to operate as it may end up freezing and not bend at all....no thanks. At least now i am mobile even though not always comfortable.
My nettle oil and rosemary oil infusions with cleaver tea in the bowl all for making soap at this stage.
A block (2kg) of Calendula soap waiting to be cut. The petals of the calendula were infused fresh in warm oil then blended into the soap with the oil, leaving delightful golden specks through the entire block.