Lovely books inspire me. I'm sure many a book has helped transform dreams into reality.
As the year progresses I find myself turning to seasonal books on the bookshelf, turning the pages and seeing familiar images, re-remembering little bits of information that have gotten dusty in my mind. Or even better, discovering "new" things that for some reason, didn't speak to me in previous viewings but now pop out with a newfound meaning or understanding.
These are the old friends I've been visiting this week.
English. It is a very lovely book with history and photos of various types of lavender, but most of the book is devoted to recipes, crafts ideas, decorating projects and no end of gorgeous lavender images.
The other book is Geraldine Holt's "Complete Book of Herbs" - also translated from English and apparently is no longer being published but is available used here. There is a plethora of information and ideas for practical and decorative uses of herbs.
There are so many delicious looking recipes here and I have it on my summer to-do list to try several of them. This book was quite a motivator for me when we planned our herb garden - or herb spiral - about 10 years ago.
At that time my husband was working on a wall project in our garden and we had a huge delivery of rocks. With the leftover rocks I built this spiral-shaped structure in a sunny spot. The actual design of an herb-spiral was an idea from a different book from the library and entire books are dedicated to this subject. Apparently this is not a new idea at all but was used in castles and monasteries since the middle-ages if not earlier.
The idea behind this structure is that the plants that want a drier soil go up at the top (i.e. rosemary, lavender, oregano) and the herbs thriving in a moister climate (chives, parsley etc) should be planted at the bottom. Mint and lemon balm are happy anywhere and can go in the middle. The sun-warmed stones serve as a heat tank which the herbs love. There are many technical drawings showing exactly where certain herbs should be planted, for example here.
This spring I decided most of the herbs had gone a bit crazy so we pulled out nearly everything and started fresh. This is what it looked like in May ready to get a fresh new start.
And many things came back, the chamomile, the pimpinella, more lemon balm!
"green sauce" completely from our garden - a delicious sauce of herbs which is said to be a favorite of Goethe - but you must have at least seven of the right herbs.
Wishing you a lovely start of the summer!