Lavender, Rosemary & Thyme | A Must for Every Garden

I am going to take you on a little garden tour and show you how to grow 3 of my most favorite plants: lavender, rosemary & thyme. These plants are a MUST for every garden.

In this post I am going to show you what these plants looks like, how to easily grown them and what you can do with them. So let’s get to it!

You can watch the Lavender, Rosemary & Thyme garden tour video at the end of the post.

Lavendar

There are a few names for English lavender including common lavender and its scientific name, Lavandula angustifolia. The classic English lavender is the toughest of the clan, and stays compact and tidy, with foliage to about 18 inches and flower stalks another 12 inches or more. This is the variety I prefer because it has long stems for crafting and drying.

Did you know that there are actually 47 species of lavender? English lavender is just one of them, and there are different varieties of English lavender. Don’t get overwhelmed, most nurseries will carry just the basic lavender plants, and English lavender will be one of them. Get one that has long stems!

How to grow lavender

Lavender plants will tolerate many growing conditions, but they thrive in warm, well-draining soil, and full sun. It’s possible to grow lavender from seed, but it will take a year or two of growing before they’re ready to plant in the garden. It’s so much easier just to purchase a plant already established in a pot.

Planting

  • Space the lavender varieties a foot apart to create a hedge, and three feet apart for an airier planting.
  • If you’re planting dwarf types, you can place them a little closer together since they’re naturally smaller plants.
  • Place them in a hole at the same level they were in their pot but make the hole twice as wide. Compact the soil and water them in well.
  • Keep the soil moist until they’re established, but after that, they don’t need a lot of water.

Pruning Lavender

Begin pruning the plants in their second year. After flowering, cut the spent flower stalks down and shape the plants. You will also want to prune the plants in the spring just after they begin showing the first flush of new leaves. Cut just above the new foliage. Also, take off any stems or branches that look brown and woody off.

Harvesting Lavender

The best time to harvest English lavender is when the buds have formed on the plant but the flowers have not yet opened and are still tight. If you wait until they fully bloom they won’t retain as much fragrance and the color will tend to fade. (There have been years when time gets away from me and I don’t cut them until they are bloomed. It’s not the end of the world, still cut and use the flowers).

Be sure to leave behind at least two sets of leaves on the green part of the stem. If you cut all the way back to the woody part of the stem, that stem will not regrow.

What can you do with Lavender?

Crafts

  • Enjoy the beauty of them in your garden.
  • The lovely purple color and contrast green stem is a compliment to any garden.
  • Dry the flowers for crafts, floral arrangement, wreaths, gift wrapping, and aromatherapy.
  • Eye pillows, lavender wands, and lavender sachets are my favorite things to make with lavender. Stay tuned for these upcoming tutorials.

Recipes

ROSEMARY

Oh how I love rosemary. Rosemary was probably one of the first herbs I was introduced to while visiting a lovely herb garden way back when I was a young mother. This garden had a quaint little gift shop nestled in among the plants. This is where my love for herbs started.

Rosemary is a perennial evergreen shrub with little blue flowers. It is an aromatic and distinctive herb with a sweet, resinous flavor. 

Planting

Rosemary can be grown from seed, but again the germination rates are generally quite low and seedlings are slow to grow. Therefore, I strongly recommended to start new rosemary plant from cuttings taken from established plants or just purchasing a more mature plant.

Cuttings grow quickly in good conditions and should be ready for outdoor planting in about 8 weeks.

  • Plant in full sun.
  • The planting site should have well-draining soil. Rosemary doesn’t like wet feet either.
  • Be sure to give your rosemary plants enough room to grow. Once established, rosemary can eventually grow to about 4 feet tall and spread about 4 feet as well. It does really well in warm climates.
  • Water rosemary plants evenly throughout the growing season, but be careful not to overwater.

Pruning & Caring for rosemary

Prune regularly so that plants won’t get lanky. In the spring, cut off any dead stems or struggling stems.

If you live in a colder climate, you may need to bring it inside for the winter. I always transplant one of my rosemary plants into a pot and bring it in during the winter. I love having the greenery and smell in my house. It’s like having a little Christmas tree in my house for months.

Although I have found a place in my garden that is protected and sheltered, most rosemary plants will freeze during the winter. My plants always died when they were located in other areas of the garden, but their current location is on the south side of the house and in a little nook where they get the heat off the house in the winter. They are thriving there.

Harvesting

Snip off stems to use fresh, or hang them in the kitchen for dried rosemary. I usually have a little spring hanging on my fridge for decoration.

It is so nice to be able to just walk outside and snip a little stalk when I need it for a recipe.

Rosemary can be dried and stored in an airtight container.

How to use rosemary

  • Chopped and used in cooking.
  • Crafts, gift wrapping
  • Made into a tea
  • Added to floral arrangements.
  • Aromatherapy

Recipes

Thyme

Thyme is one of those herbs that I grow in my garden mostly for medicinal reasons. Although it does have the cutest stems with tight leaves, and I do use it my cooking, I feel reassured I have it available for remedies.

Once again, there are many varieties of the plant. Thyme is a wonderful herb that has a pleasant aroma and a pungent flavor. It is used both ornamental in the garden and as a savory addition to many recipes. (Soups, grilled meats, and roasted vegetables).

How to grow thyme

Thyme is very easy to grow. It’s a low-growing hardy perennial, which has small, fragrant leaves and thin, woody stems. Thyme comes in over fifty varieties with different fragrances and flavors. Fresh or English thyme are used most often in cooking. I bought a yummy-smelling lemon thyme plant this year to add to my garden.

It is drought-friendly and very forgiving! (This is a plus in any garden). It is also pollinator-friendly, the bees love it!

Planting

  • Thyme thrives in full sun and loves heat. If you are growing in a pot indoors, plant near a sunny window.
  • Plant the thyme in well-drained soil. It doesn’t like to have wet feet!
  • It’s hard to grow thyme from seeds because of slow, uneven germination. It’s easier to buy the plants from a garden center or take some cuttings from a friend.

Pruning & Caring For thyme

  • Prune the plants back in the spring and summer to contain the growth.
  • If you have cold winters, remember to lightly mulch around the plants after the ground freezes.
  • Three to four-year-old plants need to be divided or replaced because older plants are woody and the leaves less flavorful.
  • You can propagate from your own cuttings, which is very easy to do. Just cut off a few stems, sit them in water until they form roots. Then you’re good to plant or give to a friend.

Harvesting Thyme

Harvest the plant just before the plant flowers by cutting off the top five to six inches of growth. Leave the tough, woody parts.

It’s best to harvest thyme in the morning after the dew has dried.

What to do with Thyme

  • Cooking

I have several recipes and salad dressing that I add fresh thyme to. I love being able to go out in the garden and clip a few sprigs of thyme when I need it. Just so you know fresh herbs at the grocery store are quite pricey. So you are saving a lot of money by having them accessible in your garden.

Fresh thyme should be stored refrigerated and wrapped lightly in plastic, and it should last one to two weeks.

You can also freeze thyme in an ice cube tray with water.

To dry thyme, hang the sprigs in a dark, well-ventilated, warm area. You can also just dry the leaves by placing them on a tray. Once dried, store them in an airtight container. Crush just before using. Under good conditions herbs, will retain maximum flavor for two years. 

  • Make Tea
  • Use as an herbal remedy in salves, teas, tinctures, and bath soaks.

One of my favorite uses for thyme is to use in a healing thyme bath. Works well for respiratory conditions and sore throats. You can get all the details HERE.

Recipes

Now is the time of year to add some of these new plants to your garden. You are going to LOVE them, trust me!

Lavender, Rosemary & Thyme Tour

Play Video

Get your garden gloves on and enjoy your time in the garden.

Cheers,

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Winter Ready? 8 ways to keep you warm and healthy this season

Oh, baby it’s cold outside. Are you winter ready? If you are lucky enough to experience a winter season where you live, here are a few tips that will help you stay warm and healthy.

STAY WARM

1- Keep your hands warm

A good pair of mittens is a must! If you like to sew, these upcycled mittens are quite easy to make using an old wool sweater. They are snug, toasty warm, and make great Christmas gifts. The PDF pattern includes adult sizes XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, and child-size large. It also comes in infant and child sizes.
A detailed measuring guide comes with a pattern to make sure you sew up the right size! You can get the patterns here in my  Etsy shop

Pop these little hand warmers in the microwave for 30-40 seconds and place them in your coat pockets and you’re good to go. They are a great thing to send your kids off to school with, or on the ski slope. VERY easy to make! The free sewing tutorial can be found HERE.

Winter Ready

2- Keep your feet warm

If your feet get cold in bed, I have the perfect remedy. Corn or rice-filled therapy bags are the best. Just microwave and throw under your covers. They’ll keep your little tootsie warm for hours. The tutorial and pattern can be found HERE.

Sweater slippers and sweater slipper boots made from (you guessed it) upcycled wool sweaters are an excellent way to keep your feet nice and toasty. Patterns HERE.

3-      Keep your insides warm

Winter Ready

A nice cup of yarrow tea is sure to keep your insides warm AND keep your immune system in check in case you get sick!

What is Yarrow good for?

  • ANTISEPTIC and VIRAL INHIBITOR
  • BLOOD PURIFIER
  • CIRCULATION
  • COLDS AND FLU
  • DIGESTION
  • FEVER
  • INFLAMMATION
  • TONIC

Yarrow tea is a great preventative remedy. If the crud is going around the neighborhood, don’t just sit there waiting for the symptoms to start, drink 1 to 2 cups of yarrow tea a day as a preventive tonic. If you already have symptoms, start flushing it out with 4 to 8 cups of Yarrow tea each day. Get the full yarrow scoop HERE.

Winter Ready

There is nothing better than a hot bowl of soup to warm you up inside. Here are a few soup recipes you may like to try.

4-      Keep your head and ears warm

Of course, you need to keep your head and ears warm too! Hats, hats, hats, there are all kinds of hats. Beanies, pilot, pixie, and pillbox hat styles can all be made using an upcycled sweater.  The patterns can be found HERE.

WINTER READY TIPS FOR STAYING HEALTHY

Staying healthy and well during the winter is a good thing. Here are a few preventative things you can do to help keep your immune system up and running.

If you were to ask me what I thought the most important thing you could do to promote and maintain a healthy body, mind, and spirit would be……….. MOVEMENT would be at the very top of the list. I am talking about PHYSICAL MOVEMENT, moving the body in some way or another.

5-    Rebounding

Winter Ready

At this time I want to bring to your attention a form of movement that you may not have heard about or considered something of real value, REBOUNDING. Who would have thought that bouncing on a little trampoline could do anything for you? Well, I am here to tell you, by experience, that it can

Rebounding provides benefits to nearly every body system, from increased flexibility and skin tone to decreased stress. Its up-and-down movement improves circulation and lymphatic flow and gently massages the internal organs for whole-body health.

In my research, one of the things that intrigued me the most was that jumping on the mini-tramp 10 minutes equals running for 30 minutes for a cardiovascular workout. That is quite amazing!  I think a lot of us have it in our heads that in order to be in the top physical shape we have to RUN marathons to achieve it. Rebounding is so much easier on the joints than running and can get the same results in less time.

Get the full scoop HERE.

6-      Skin Brushing

Winter Ready

Skin brushing is simple, quick, and very rewarding. This is another one of those things on the top of my “stay healthy” list! Skin brushing has been part of my morning ritual for quite some time. I can tell a big difference in my skin and in the way that I feel. Here are just a few of the benefits of skin brushing.

  • Stimulates blood and lymph flow
  • Helps eliminate toxins from the body
  • Removes dead skin cells
  • Encourages cells to regenerate
  • Helps combat cellulite
  • Results in smooth glowing skin
  • Anti-aging through cell regeneration
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Stimulated nervous system, toned muscles, and tightened skin
  • Stimulated both the sweat and sebaceous glands (contributing to the restoration of moist and supple skin)

You can learn how to do it HERE.

Although preventative measures are the best to keep you healthy, there still may be times you come down with that nasty cold or flu. Here are a few things you can do naturally to get you back on your feet.

7-      Sore throat remedy that REALLY works!

Winter Ready

If you are experiencing a sore throat, don’t jump in the car and run to the clinic just yet. I am going to share with you 4 simple alternative remedies for a sore throat that really work! Many of the ingredients you probably already have in your home.

  •  HONEY, CAYENNE AND GARLIC
  •  ORANGE JUICE AND CAYENNE PEPPER
  •  SALT WATER
  •  LYMPH MASSAGE

Go HERE to find the details and recipes

8-    Thyme Bath

Winter Ready

If you have the aches, chest congestion, and a lingering cough, this thyme bath is the perfect thing to get you going onto a QUICK recovery.

When my kids were small, they would ask for a thyme bath whenever they weren’t feeling well. My youngest son is now 24 and had the flu a few weeks ago. He came home for a thyme bath because the place he lives doesn’t have a bathtub, only a shower. Can you see how this has been ingrained in their heads as something that WORKS!

The thyme bath is not real labor-intensive and most likely you may have everything you need right there in your home. If not, you can get dried thyme at your local health food store or use Thyme essential oil.

You can learn the whole process HERE.

So, there you have it, 8 different ways to get ready for the cold WINTER ahead. It’s going to be a good one!

I am Wishing you a warm cozy and healthy winter season.

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Soothing Thyme Bath Soak – How to relieve chest congestion & cough naturally

Thyme bath

Have you been under the weather with the aches, chest congestion and a lingering cough? Well it’s THYME to do something about it! This thyme bath is the perfect thing to get you going onto a QUICK recovery.

This past few weeks I was knocked to my knees with the flu bug that is going around EVERYWHERE!  I usually do not get the crud when it’s going around, but since my immune system has been compromised, I got it good. I have experienced so much stress the past month in combination with tapering off the hydrocortisone that I have been taking for years, my immune system didn’t stand a chance at fighting off this wicked bug.

It had been a few days into this illness when I realized I hadn’t even thought of the famous “thyme bath”. What wasn’t I thinking? This natural herbal remedy has been a standby, go to procedure when anyone in the family caught a cold.

When my kids were small, they would ask for a thyme bath whenever they weren’t feeling well. My youngest son is now 22 and had the flu a few weeks ago. He came home for a thyme bath because the place he lives doesn’t have a bathtub, only a shower. So see how this has been ingrained in their heads as something that WORKS! It has been such a long time since any of us have had to deal with it, I forgot about it, but apparently he didn’t.

So glad he reminded me about it! I was trying everything else, with not much luck. This would have been really nice to have done when I was in the thick of the aches, better late than never. I still had bad chest congestion and cough, so I got to it.

The thyme bath is not real labor intensive and most likely you may have everything you need right there in your home. If not, you can get dried thyme at your local health food store.

This is one herb that I would recommend having in your garden!

Soothing Thyme Bath Soak

Benefits of growing THYME

  • A great flavoring for many recipes
  • Beautiful landscaping plant in the garden (cute tight little green leaves)
Soothing Thyme Bath Soak
  • Accessible even during the winter months
Soothing Thyme Bath Soak
  • Preserves easily by drying
Soothing Thyme Bath Soak
  • Easy to grow inside and out
  • Has many medicinal properties

The flowers, leaves, and oil of thyme have been used to treat bedwetting, diarrhea, stomach ache, arthritis, colic, sore throat, cough, including whooping cough, bronchitis, flatulence, and as a diuretic, to increase urination. Thyme is thought to have antifungal, antibacterial, insecticidal, and possibly antifungal properties. Medical News Today

Let’s get to the thyme bath, shall we?

Here is what you will need to gather

  • A couple handfuls of fresh thyme, or ½ – 1 cup of dried herb will work as well. If you don’t have any herb, but have thyme essential oil, just use that (20 drops)
  • Epsom salt (1 cup)
  • 10 drops Thyme essential oil (optional)

What to do

  • If you have thyme growing in your garden, go out and cut a couple handfuls of the herb. I have gone out in the middle of winter and uncovered the thyme from the snow and clipped off the plant. It winters very well, even under snow cover.

  • If you don’t have fresh herb, you can use dried herbs.
  • Remove any stray leaves from other plants and rinse off.
  • Fill a big sauce pan or soup pan with water and bring to a boil.
  • Once it is boiling, turn it down and simmer for 20-30 minutes with a lid on it on low heat.
Soothing Thyme Bath Soak
  • Add 10 drops of thyme essential oil to 1 cup Epsom salts.
Soothing Thyme Bath Soak

Why is so great about Epsom Salt?

Because of the high magnesium level, Epsom salt is a natural anti-inflammatory remedy that can be used to treat muscle aches and sore muscles. Many people use it to soak in after a hard work out, because it is so soothing to the muscles.  This feels so good for those aches when you have the flu.

Epsom salt is very easy to find at your local drug store or online here. This is something good to have on hand in your homes!

Soothing Thyme Bath Soak
  • Pour the water into the bath while straining out the herb. Be careful, it is nice to have someone help you strain in it so you don’t burn yourself.  Add enough hot water, as hot as you can stand it, but that will not burn you!

Yes, it will look brown and yucky, but don’t let that keep you from stepping in and enjoying some soothing herbal aromatherapy! Yes, your house is going to smell like an herbal kitchen, but so worth it!

  • Shut the bathroom door and pull the shower curtain closed to trap in the steam.  Soak and breathe in the steam.
  • Stay there as long as the water stays hot, or add more hot water if it cools quickly. I personally do not like to take baths, but this is one exception. It really does feel great!  You will find it help relieve the cough right away. You may need to do this a few times a day or for a few nights until the cough has subdued.

Another herbal remedy that I must remind you of is Yarrow.

This is another one of our families favorite herbs. Yarrow tea is more of a preventative measure, and helps fight many ill.  It seriously rocks at helping you stay well. I was drinking a ton of it before I finally succumbed to the flu, but like I said my immune system was greatly compromised. The others in the family start getting it, and start drinking this stuff.

You can read more about it in this post.

I hope you will keep this in mind and give it a try when, you or someone you care about gets the CRUD!

For other alternative remedies that REALLY work, check out my book HERE.

Stay well my friends!

jan3

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