I'm increasingly becoming interested in using the flowers of herbs in a variety of ways, most people don't give flowers a second glance beyond their perfume, but there are so many things that you can make either cosmetically or culinary from things like marigold, lavender, roses, pinks and evening primrose and many more herbal flowers as well. Two of my favourite uses for lavender flowers on a culinary level include Lavender Biscuits and Lavender Lemonade. Armed with a garden full of delightfully scented herbs and flowers and a lot of recipes and enthusiasm I'm going to have a go at making some flower powered goodies that can be eaten, used to treat our ills and for bath time treats.
I've spent this morning in the garden and kitchen, after harvesting some lavender, roses and marigolds I've made a litre of lavender vinegar, this stuff is great as an alternative to fabric softener in the wash, add a touch to the water when cleaning the windows, use in the mop bucket to mop the floor to help disinfect and fragrance the room and as a bonus you can use it to add zing to summer salad dressings.
I also made some marigold tincture, most recipes I've seen call for using the fresh petals only, but I added half of the flower heads as well because they smelt so good and it seemed a shame to waste them. I have some dried marigold petals so I'll make a batch of tincture with those and see which smell better. I'm going to use the tincture to make a cream, as I've just read that marigold cream is good for treating spider veins (thread veins), something I suffer from, as did my Mum. In a few days there will be another batch of marigolds ready for use and I'm going to make an infused oil with them, following the method Sarah showed me, from there I'll progress to making my first salve or cream, using the recipes I've gathered.
As I've read that highly scented dried petals give better results than fresh if the the fresh are not very highly scented. I've also made a small batch of purely dried rose petal vinegar, to see which is better. I have to say that I used my hands to squash all the vinegar from the first batch of petals and afterwards my hands felt incredible soft.
I'll have to pick some fragrant wild roses and try with those, the type I'm using from the garden are Rosa Mundi ‘Rosa gallica versicolour’, one of the gallica type of roses, which is a lovely old rose, with semi-double blooms with large with splashes of pink and white on a crimson background. It is fragrant, but maybe not fragrant enough! Incidentally, 'Rosa Mundi' is said to be named after 'Fair Rosamund', the mistress of Henry II back in the 12th century!