May Newsletter 2008

Hello and welcome to a slightly belated May newsletter.

After the early Easter and the cold April, this month has got everybody thinking about their gardens which have kept us busy. The most exciting thing that’s happened is we’ve finally got the heat benches up down one side of our new tunnel and the basils are being potted into it. They look much happier there than the cramped tunnel we had them in before.

Rosemary seems to be enjoying all the sunshine we have been having, the flowers seem to have lasted ages this year. I’ve seen a magnificent prostrate variety hanging over a wall in my local village. There is a saying ‘Rosemary for remembrance’, it’s a herb that has long been associated with friendship, loyalty and remembrance which it why it is a herb traditionally carried by mourners at funerals. Greek scholars wore Rosemary as a garland to improve their memory and concentration. I was working with a friend last weekend, he is a medical herbalist, and he told me he had just finished making some rosemary oil, using the same recipe as for the St. Johns Wort that I gave last autumn. He picked the flowers, packed them into a clean jam jar and added organic sunflower oil, left it for two to three weeks on a sunny windowsill before straining and storing in the fridge or somewhere cool. He says it is very good used externally for rheumatism, arthritis and muscular pain. It is strongly antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.

Prostrate Rosemary

I read that in the 14th century, Queen Izabella of Hungary was proposed to by the King of Poland after regaining her strength and beauty from rheumatism and gout by using Hungary water. This is apparently the macerated tops of Rosemary in alcohol. Might have to plant several bushes around the nursery……

In Gerard herbal he says wild Rosemary grows in Lancashire, among the Hurtle berries near a village called Maudsley. Bet it’s not there now. He recommends the flowers in distilled water drunk twice a day to take away the stench of the mouth and breath.

Prostrate Rosemary

We all know, I think, that Rosemary is traditionally used with lamb; it is often used to flavour vinegars and oils. My favourite is to add a couple of sprigs, along with some garlic to my roast potatoes whilst they are cooking.

We have some new members to the crew this year. Liza, who is in the UK from South Africa, Jade with her mad cat Trinity, who are from Birmingham and Nova who lives locally and is with us until July as an extra pair of hands.

Think that’s it for May, have a great month – what’s left of it. Don’t forget you can buy your herb plants and various other items from our online shop.


And finally, a note from Vanessa Neville, our resident medicinal herbalist:

HEMP & MARIGOLD CREAM - A nourishing & regenerative cream to help relieve dry, itchy skin. Ingredients are: Beeswax, Hemp Oil, Calendula Oil, Lecithin, Lavender aromatic water & benzoin essential oil

This is a great gardener's hand cream…What a May it's been so far and if you're like me you pounce into the garden and furiously get your hands dirty. If your hands get cracked and sore and need a good barrier or after care cream this may be for you. I use the rich and nourishing Hemp and Marigold cream.

The cold pressed Hemp oil is very useful for the skin as it is full of essential fatty acids, omega 3,6 & 9. Its properties are great for dry, rough cracked skin. The Marigold oil is another plant with wound healing actions especially useful for the skin.

As all the creams in the range, this cream is natural and pure with all the ingredients being plant-based. I hope you enjoy your smooth hands this summer.

Hemp & Marigold Cream is available from the Herbal Haven Online Shop