Late Bloomers

Such a strange season it has been –  and the weather right now, just post-Equinox, is unusually warm and mild. All week I’ve been finding many beauties still turning their flower-face to the sky, still filling the fields with colour. From my garden and the surrounding forests – a few blossoms who are not ready to sleep.
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Orange hawkweed, Hieracium aurantiacum

Multiple medicinal uses, still underused herbally and regarded widely as a “noxious weed”.

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Evening primrose, Oenothera biennis; I grew these beauties from seed and use for a wide variety of actions, notably the vulnerary effect on the whole GI tract, gentle nervine restorative ( used over time)  – for someone like myself, who tends to burnout/adrenal exhaustion and has GI  problems(reflux,  gallbladder) Oenothera is pretty much a specific. An ally! And beautiful in the garden right now, too.

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There’s a wee, shy mallow flower hiding in the centre of this darling Malva neglecta I have – well everywhere, but this one is right beside the compost. She’s definitely hanging on until frost.

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New England Aster – a glorious batch I found today on our walk (who could miss the bright purple against the fall landscape of rust and orange and brown?) Symphyotrichum novae-angliae is a powerful ally for a variety of systems – notably the lungs – and has a broad range of medicinal applications. In working with local asters I have often referred to and been inspired y Michigan herbalist Jim MacDonald’s works, which anyone interested can find here:  http://www.herbcraft.org/aster.html
I have not harvested any this fall – I will, but I hate so much to take them from the bees.

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A few cheerful Calendula blossoms beside the Lady’s Mantle, who has the good sense to withdraw into sleep. I always have more Calendula than any other plant, and I always make use of it – tincture, salve, skin washes, more . I love that she stays around to brighten the garden as long as she possibly can.

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Constantly frustrated with the lack of Yarrow locally (herbicide free, plentiful and healthy) I grew my own this year! Lesson to me; Alchillea millefolium really does need 18 inches room between babies. I have lots of it now but it’s too close together, so I’ll be thinning it very soon. Here’s a beautiful blossom, and next summer, we’ll get more. 🙂

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One beautiful blossoming Catnip plant – I love this herb so much it’s nudged into my Top Ten. Amazingly, this summer(with 7 cats) I grew plenty.

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Althea officinalis – my gentle and beautiful ally – offers up a last bloom.

As we welcome the dark half of the year and celebrate with heartier fare, apple cider and the soft, gradual closing down of our urge to be always on the move – it’s a welcome and happy reminder that summer is brief but beautiful, to look into the woods and garden and see these sweet flowers, feeding bees, reaching for the sun – saying goodbye, if only for a while.

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Mithrandr watches me photograph the garden. 🙂

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