Infuse your summer with botanical bang and floral fabulousness! From teas and tonics to treatments that will bring the spa experience home. There’s no end to the possibilities when it comes to using the best of the season.
As always, I remind every keen wild plant picker to religiously check the identity of your foraged finds and be wary of their power too, before you use them. Their potency may not suit everyone – so always do your checks and research beforehand!
There are so many bloomin’ beauties to be found both in the wild as well as in your garden and you can do much more than fill vases with their colour and fragrance.
Calendula is a wonderful perennial that self-seeds and can be found residing along grassy banks as well as in all manner of gardens. This wonderful flower is golden in more ways than just its colour. It not only adds vibrance to salads, cake decorations and cocktails but can also be turned into medicine, as well as the ultimate in skin care.
Known for their anti-aging properties, the flowers can promote collagen production to help erase those wrinkles, as well as ease irritations and minor infections inside and out. There’s no limit it seems to this plant’s magical powers, from cancer fighting and immune system strengthening properties, to mind cleansing and soul calming traits.
Selfheal certainly lives up to its name. Widespread and often overlooked, this little treasure can be found in nearly all outdoor settings. The pretty, gravity-defying flowers are irresistible to most pollinators and foragers alike! Brimming with vitamins and antioxidants, the whole plant is reportedly packed with goodness and has even be used as an anti-inflammatory as well as an anti-viral.
Leaves and stems are a fabulous addition to salads and side dishes, or simply chopped and sprinkled on mains. The flowers can be dried and used to make a refreshing cold infused tea or wrapped in cloth then soaked in water to create a healing solution. The possibilities are limitless with this one and it is well worth researching for more ideas and inspiration on uses and benefits.
Oxeye daisy is surprising in so many ways. This delicate looking plant is actually incredibly hardy and grows almost anywhere. The white star bursts of petals and vibrant yellow centres look well placed in the finest arrangements and will add colour throughout the year from May until Autumn. But if it is more than a pleasing display you’re after, the oxeye does not disappoint. Young shoots and leaves add freshness and pungency to salads and cold dishes but they’re also super in soups and stews.
Medicinal uses are wide and varied too with this one and are said to solve everything from eye infections to chest infections and even flea infestations! I love boiling the flower’s leaves and stems in water, before adding a dash of local honey to make the most delicious tea. It’s also brilliant cooled down with a chunk of ice, especially on a scorching day.
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