Tuesday, Jun 28, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Kelly Heidbreder

IN THE GARDEN

Magic properties 
of plants

Herbs of love; Popular demand; Wedding sachet; Dream pillows

Kelly-Heidbreder

Kelly Heidbreder

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Plants are part of our heritage. We eat them, build shelter with them, cloth ourselves, use them to catch our evening meal and even to catch our true love.

No matter if the society is primitive or advanced, people throughout time have believed that some plants seem to have magical powers

Herbs have been thought to do more than just spice up your marinara sauce. Some believe it can cure some basic aches and pains. Others believe you can even take a glimpse into your future

 

Herbs of love

Remember tugging the petals from the daisy and saying, “He loves me, he loves me not?” A sprig of rosemary and a silver coin under your pillow is said to make you dream of your true love.

It is common to mixture rose petals, sweet marjoram, sage leaves, myrtle, lavender, and ivy leaves. All of these herbs combined signify good luck for the newlyweds. Then sprinkle them down the aisle before the bride approaches her bridegroom

Some herbs have names that are a bit misleading. Loveage sounds like an aphrodisiac, but according to Varro Tyler, PhD and author of the Honest Herbal, some people use it if they have a bellyache

The Passionflower isn’t for the passion we feel for that special someone. Its name is referring to the Passion of Christ. Mr. Tyler says it is named for the imagined symbolism of Christ’s crucifixion. The three styles in the center of the flower represent three nails, the ovary looks like a hammer, the corona is the crown of thorns and the ten petals represent the ten true apostles

Savory isn’t an herb that will boost the flavor in your roaster, but it might boost your love life. Mr. Tyler’s research shows that summer savory is said to increase a person’s sex drive, while the winter savory usually decreases a person’s sex drive. Herbs like damiana were thought to be use as an old fashioned form of Viagra

 

Popular demand

I get so many requests for these recipes, so here they are again. Here is a way to make some beautiful wedding keepsakes that carry a beautiful message of love. I dug up a great dictionary of flowers from Kathleen Gips’ book, Flora’s Dictionary: The Victorian Language of Herbs and Flowers

Acacia- friendship, chaste love; Yellow acacia- concealed love; Althea (hibiscus)- consumed by love; Globe amaranth- unfading love; Ambrosia- love returned; Angelica- inspiration, magic, “Your love is my guiding star.” Rose- undying love; Rosemary- remembrance, fidelity; Lavender- devotion, loyalty; Ivy- friendship, fidelity in marriage; Sage- long life, good health, domestic virtue; Violets- faithfulness, sweetness, loyalty; Baby’s Breath- gentleness, everlasting

Come up with a sweet combination that fits your situation and put it under your pillow or give them away. Here are some fun projects to keep you busy

 

Wedding sachet

Dry the herbs and scented petals. Add rice to mixture and store in a sealed container. Cut a ten-inch square out of lace. Fill it with a half-cup of scented herbs. Gather the ends and tie the bundle with ribbon. Add a small card describing the flowers of love

 

Dream pillows

From the book 50 simple ways to pamper yourself, Author Stephanie Tourles says dream pillows have been known to calm nightmares or conjure up peaceful, colorful or exotic fantasies in your slumber. Make a small dream pillow to tuck into your pillowcase laced with a combination of herbs to help you drift into dreamland

She says for romantic dreams, add 1/4-cup lavender, 1/4-cup rose petals, 1/4-cup whole chamomile, 2 tablespoons hops, and 2 tablespoons catnip in a small cloth pillow case. Skip the catnip in the recipe if you have a feline in the house

For soothing outdoor dreams, add 1/4-cup fresh or dried spruce or balsam fir needles, 1/4-cup fresh or dried pine needles. Cut them into 1/2-inch pieces and add 1/4-cup mugwort and 1/4 cup lemon balm to dream of camping in the great outdoors

Put the flowers and herbs in a muslin bag with a drawstring. Cover this sachet with a softer fabric and tie both ends with a piece of ribbon. Refresh the herbs every two to three months.

Contact Kelly Heidbreder at getgrowing@gmail.com 

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