Cultivating a personal relationship with the plants living amongst us is

a life enhancing endeavor. For many, this relationship begins in

childhood – exploring the forest floor, playing in your mothers garden

or picking dandelions from between the concrete cracks. There is much

you can learn from plants, and so we grow as our relationship with

them grows. The more time you spend in nature, the more you get to

know who the plants are, experience their different faces through each

season, and understand their patterns. We learn which plants are of

use to us as food and medicine, or a pleasure to see and to smell, and

these are the ones we often choose to live in our gardens.

Tending to a garden is a very rewarding, perhaps therapeutic

experience, and I feel like growing a garden of medicinal herbs has an

extra special quality to it. You are growing a plant, with the

intention of using it for it’s abilities to heal on a physical,

mental, emotional, and spiritual level. To me, this is a relationship

that is a bit different than the ones you’ve had in your garden

before.

That being said, this is the first time I have started my own

medicinal herb garden from seed. I’ve grown plenty of food, and had

relationships with medicinals out in the wild, but this is a new combo

of the two. I really had quite a good time planting, taking care to

hold and to look closely at each set of seeds. I really took pleasure

in observing how incredibly different all the seeds are. Some are so

tiny (ahem-Chamomile) that I found it impossible to plant less than 5

seeds in one spot because they all stuck to my fingers. Then there are

the hairlike Pulsatilla seeds, or the Calendula seeds that look like

ancient fossilized sea creatures (seriously).

pulsePulsatilla vulgaris (meadow anemone) seeds

calendulaCalendula officinalis seeds

Though they all look very different, the thing many herb seeds tend to

have in common is that they are VERY small. When seeding herbs, you

just want to put them on the surface, and lightly press them into the

soil. (soil should be moistened thoroughly before planting) For some

of the bigger seeds, you can press them in a little further and

sprinkle some dirt on top.

It never hurts to do some research on your own and find out what grows

best in your region, and if the seeds you have selected have any

special needs in order to germinate.

Here is a list of what I have planted so far.

Angelica

Calendula

German Chamomile

Hyssop

Feverfew

Goldenrod

Khella

Pulsatilla

California Poppy

Celandine

Lomatium

Spilanthes

Ashwaghanda

Oats

So far, calendula, chamomile, oats and california poppy, some of my

favorites, are the only ones to have sprouted. I have now placed them

all on heating pads since the temperature in the greenhouse have been

getting pretty low at night. I look forward to the others peaking

their little heads out of the dirt, and watching each plant on it’s

journey through the life cycle. Now it is time for me to water, watch

and wait to see who pops up!

sproutsCalendula Sprouts

~emily

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