Now that most plants are going into hibernation for the winter, the fact that Calendulas flower throughout the year is more apparent than ever. Enjoy those lovely petals in teas, salads and soups.
Evergreen perennials like rosemary, sage and bay can also still be harvested in moderation.
Use the herbs you gathered and dried over spring and summer to create tea blends and culinary mixes. It’s lovely to have them ready when you need them, and they also make great gifts! Here are some delicious ideas:
Peppermint, Yarrow and Elderflower: classic combo to prevent and fight colds;
Chamomile, Lavender and Lemon Balm: relaxing blend, perfect for a nighttime cuppa;
Culinary herb mixes:
Thyme, marjoram, rosemary, savory, and lavender are the ingredients of the classic Herbs de Provence mix;
Oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley also makes a wonderful all-around herb mix.
Go foraging for materials like dried plant stems, pinecones, rosehips, and bits of holly (bonus if with berries) and make your own winter wreath.
IN THE GARDEN
December is a quiet month in the garden, giving us the opportunity to plan and prepare for the season ahead - tidying up storage areas, cleaning trays and pots that aren’t in use, sharpening tools and organising seed boxes are all surprisingly satisfying winter garden tasks.
Winter is also the time to work on deciduous trees and shrubs - take hardwood cuttings, prune established plants and plant or transplant new additions to the garden.
There isn't a whole lot of seed sowing going on in December and January, and Winter is not the best time to start new plants in general. An exception is bulbs, that can be planted now to be enjoyed next year. This includes garlic, that is normally planted between late October to late December for a Summer crop.
If you have a bright windowsill, leafy herbs like coriander, chives, basil and chives can be sown and grown indoors for winter use.
Timing is key in the garden of our lives. While the garden may not look like much in the stillness of Winter, much is happening beneath the surface and come Spring, the planning and preparation we have done will bear fruit. As in the garden, it’s a wonderful time to plan and set new intentions for our lives and the seasons ahead; to get a clear idea of what we want, plant new seeds and weed out those that no longer serve us. What intentions would you like to sow the seeds of now, in the depth of Winter, trusting that when Spring comes, they will germinate and bloom? What in your life has gone into hibernation that you’d like to bring new vigour to in the new year? What would you like to put to rest, trusting that it is the right time to let go, knowing that this will cultivate a greater harvest next season?
Words Camila B & Amy B