The humming of the insects is the music of the meadows and woodlands, the drowsy bee buzzing among the clover flowers, and the grasshoppers and crickets chirping in the lawn. Most birds are silent now and many are preparing for migration at the end of the month.
The perfume of the linden tree and the elder flowers drench the air, the lavender is flowering, and in the hedgerows purple foxgloves stand proud. It is a time of little harvests in the garden. My fruit bushes have to be covered with netting to protect the crops from birds. Shining purple blackcurrants, golden gooseberries and ruby raspberries, swelling peas, beans and salads stand ready to be picked. I spend my mornings hoeing, watering and weeding.
There is plenty for me to do in the still room, where I make my herb simples, with garden and foraged plants – meadowsweet (often the ‘herbal aspirin’) tea for arthritis and salve for pain, mullein tea for coughs and mullein oil for earache, raspberry vinegar for sore throats, vervain tincture for anxiety and stress, wood betony tea for headaches and ointment for bruises, wild red poppies for insomnia, plantain for insects bites and self-heal for cuts and grazes. Linden is one of my favourite herbs collected this month, used for stress and anxiety; it usually starts flowering around the solstice, and it is in full bloom now:
Linden (Tilia spp.) Tea
2 tsp. fresh new flowers
1 cup boiling water
Put the flowers into a teapot and pour on the boiling water. Infuse for 5 minutes and strain. This is good to drink when you are stressed and need to wind down.
NB: Do not use over a period of more than four weeks. Do not take if you are on Lithium.
© Anna Franklin 2020