Crossroads of Illumination and Darkness

Darkness and illumination. These words resonate with the Autumnal Equinox. That time of year when nights slowly become longer, plants shed their leaves and energy goes down to the roots. This time is also under the auspice of the Hecate archetype, which has fascinated me for years. I finally took time to understand what this figure represents and I invite you to join me as I explore Illumination, Darkness, Hecate and two plants that embody some of her messages.

Plant Talk: German Chamomile

German chamomile essential oil is distilled from the flowers of Matricaria recutita and often grown and distilled for its essential oil in Hungary as well as other parts of Eastern Europe, North America and Australia. Native to temperate parts of Eurasia, M. recutita best expresses itself when grown in this type of terroir. As many … Continue reading Plant Talk: German Chamomile

Plant Talk: Spanish Lavender

Lavandula stoechas in full bloom on the Long Island coast. Lavandula stoechas is classified in the mint (Lamiaceae) family and native to the Mediterranean basin. It is a compact perennial shrub with linear gray-green leaves. Its characteristically dark purple flowers, topped by purple bracts, are on dense, oblong spikes reaching to 1.25” long. Unlike its … Continue reading Plant Talk: Spanish Lavender

Getting to Know: Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Yarrow, an herb in the Asteraceae family, has been used for wound healing/vulnerary purposes since ancient times. According to folklore, Achilles (the Grecian battle hero), carried the herb while on battle campaigns to treat battle wounds. This tough (it's so tough that it grows in the incredibly damp, clay soil of my gardens!) herb can be found throughout the temperate climates of the … Continue reading Getting to Know: Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Getting to Know: Angelica archangelica

Here is a picture of the beautiful Angelica archangelica (commonly known as garden angelica) that was growing in my garden this summer. I saved the seeds from the umbels and plan on distilling them in a few weeks to keep the water (hydrosol) created from the distillation process. Both the root and the seed are used from this … Continue reading Getting to Know: Angelica archangelica