I look for excuses to use my flowers in, on, and for just about everything. I never have to look very far. My cousin came to visit last week for my birthday and made me a most delicious cake and like a true friend, she let me decorate it with black pansy, wild strawberry vines, roses and glitter gold dust… mais bien sur.
I don’t have to look very hard to find uses for wildflowers either. The midwest is a riot of color this week as the Queen Anne’s Lace, Golden Rod, Echinacea, Chicory, Sweet Peas, Daisys and more celebrate this last true month of summer.
I was completed arrested by the beauty of it all yesterday on a gorgeous morning walk. The sun’s white morning light could do nothing to distract from the riot of flowers dancing in the lake breeze.
I promptly came home and grabbed my camera, tripod, and secateurs. (These are my favs right here). It was too good not to share. And the flowers were too good not to bring home. (Though I found many on my own property as well).
Basket loaded with wild abundance, my soul harkened back to my first days as an expecting mother and I was reminded of a favorite book that needed to be pulled off the shelf once again.
Wise Woman Herbal by Susan Weed. The irony of her name always made me smile. I smiled again as I pulled it off the shelf and tucked it onto my nightstand for further inspiration.
Loaded with information on how to care for the female body with findings from the garden, it definitely was one of those shaping books. Fifteen years later I’m still obsessed with gardening, herbs and remedies and I happen to help women in my own way by educating them on essential oils.
How to make echinacea tincture
Of course, I use my essential oils for immunity EVERY day on myself and my family… especially in this crazy world we’re living in, but the spirit moved in the midst of all those purple coneflowers and I added echinacea tincture to my to-do list for the day. Making your own is simple and the benefits are every better than the beauty of that jar of flowers steeping on the stone windowsill.
Remove the flower heads (and a few leaves if you’d like) and fill a jar. (I don’t recommend picking roadside echinacea as those flowers can be coated in car exhaust contaminates. Better to harvest your own or ask a friend who has an abundance.)
Top the jar off with Vodka (though I suppose you could use a good gin if you prefer) and let it steep in a sunny place until winter. Half way through the process (this fall) I’ll dig up some of my echinacea plants and harvest a couple of the roots, wash them off, chop them up and add them to the mix. Take care to replant and don’t take too many roots.
After five or six months, strain and store in a cool place. Susan Weed recommends one drop for every two pounds of body weight, and that’s how much we take, but you may want to do a little more research on how much is right for you and your family.
Goldenrod and calendula muscle relief oil
This is so easy it’s ridiculous. The goldenrod is just beginning to bloom. Here and there are spiky, yellow plumes waving in the wind but in the next few weeks, they will wave en masse as nature provides the pollinators with one last hoorah before the first series of frosts.
Load your jar with the feathery blooms, add some calendula heads (a flower that you really have no excuse for NOT growing. Buy seeds once, toss them about and NEVER buy them again)… pour the oil of your choice over the top and let it steep along side your echinacea tincture. Strain when ready and use it this winter for those aching muscles after chopping firewood or shoveling the first heavy snowfall.
For all the wildflower feels, I think you should grab a cup of coffee and enjoy this latest Youtube video and have a good giggle at that lovely freeze-frame lotto winner:).
I appreciate you being here.
Angela, “Parisienne Farmgirl”