Jun 6, 2013

The Longest Days, The Loveliest Nights

"Mine is the month of roses; yes, and mine
The month of marriages!  All pleasant sights
And scents, the fragrance of the blossoming vine,
The foliage of the valley and the heights.
Mine are the longest days, the loveliest nights;
The mower's scythe makes music to my ear;
I am the mother of all dear delights;
I am the fairest daughter of the year."

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

How strange that where there were blossoms a moment ago, there are now cherries.  Where there was spinach just reaching for the sun, there is now an empty row after the grand harvest.

The days blaze by and the rains have left good, rich growth, and now the sky clears and the sun heats up The Valley.  Each morning starts with a walk through the garden beds, weeding here and there, picking this and that.  Making mental notes: dry the peppermint for tea before it gets too leggy in the heat...tincture the skullcap...the mugwort is looking good - she'll be ready to harvest soon... 

There is a sage-pick coming up, yarrow to collect for my healing salve, and a faerie class to organize.  Midsummer is coming fast and I've got to plan a bit of a fete for the fae as well - they do take very good care of my gardens, after all!

Here are a few of my favourite early summer things:

~  The rhubarb is ready for a first harvest.  Mom's rhubarb muffins are drool-worthy - there are some of these in my future!

~  When I can sneak away for an afternoon nap, I've been hitting the shade in the hammock.  Fresh air and a quick, sweet sleep makes for a happy gardener.

~  I've been messing about with salt scrubs for weary feet.  This one is my new go-to scrub when I get home and kick off the flip flops:

*I eyeball this recipe, but these measurements should work - adjust as you like*

1/2 cup sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons of sweet almond oil
3 drops essential oil of peppermint (or more if you like a stronger scent)
3 drops essential oil of lavender

Scrub feet, especially heels, and rinse.  Pat dry - your feet will be SO soft!

~  Books, books, books...  Haven't you heard that a book and a glass of sun-tea are the best cure for the heat?  Mix up a good selection of your fave authors, some interesting or inspiring non-fiction, and a smutty book for good measure.  (You know the summer is the best time to read the naughty books!)

Here's a peek at some of the books in my summer stack (and coming soon to the stack.)

The Conjure Workbook - Star Casas

Joyland - Stephen King

The Boreal Herbal: Wild Food and Medicine Plants of the North - Beverly Gray

Make Magic of Your Life - T. Thorn Coyle

Fun, magical and super-fast reads:

The Psychic Eye Series by Victoria Laurie

The Bewitching Mysteries by Madelyn Alt

I can't even recommend a good smutty book. Are there good ones?  (Please don't say 50 Shades.) I usually just hit the bestseller rack and flip through a few and grab the one that makes me blush in the aisle of the store.  The last time I did that though, I ended up yelling: Can you even DO that?  I'm sure that's not legal ANYWHERE!  My friend moved to another aisle quickly.  I bought the book.

Whatever trouble or bliss you get into this month, I hope June blossoms into something quite lovely for you!


Lluisa Munoz said...

I love this feeling that only comes with summer, it makes you feel somehow more alive!!

And yes, summer it's the reading season, for that today I have bought a new book "The Heroine's Journey" by Maureen Murdock. I think is gonna be a good reading.

Much love!

Lluisa xx

Tilda said...

My favorite thing to do is stretch out on my lounger in the garden with a glass of lavender ice tea and leaf through my craft books. Happy summer :)

Jennifer said...

I love the quote, and I giggled out loud when I read about how you pick naughty books in the store! :)

Best wishes to you for a lovely midsummer!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

as much as summer is my least favorite time of year, i am really trying to enjoy it this year. finally having a proper garden helps tremendously especially teaching my son to garden!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe and book tips. I will have a look at the books, maybe some will end up in my stack too ; )
Have a great day.

Birgit said...


Add "Garden Spells" by Sarah Addison Allen to your list if you haven't already read the book. You will love it! :)


Birgit said...

PS: Thanks to you I just pre-ordered "Joyland" at the library. Lovely to know that we will read the same book this summer!

Ms Lilypads said...

well, now, dearie, if you're in the mood for smutty books, you can always do a smutty book writing round with your buds...for example, you can take a chapter, send it to your bud who writes the next chapter and sends it to the next pal who writes the third chapter, and so on and so forth. Each writer makes it more outrageous until the story breaks into spontaneous combustion!

(See, I have read a few smutty books in my life time,too)