Victoria's Herb Lover
Emelie Tolley shared her love of herbs as a Contributing Editor of Victoria for several years. Having discovered herbs over 30 years ago, Emelie has not only written countless articles on herbs, but has also created a series of lifestyle books on herbs - their culinary uses, their medicinal uses, their beauty and their benefit to our health and beauty.
You are drawn into Emelie's world and adoration of herbs in her many Victoria Magazine articles.
In the April issues Emelie shared:
"Smooth and Lavender'd"
"One of gardener's most fragrant rewards is a bed of lavender".
"Since the 16th century, professional perfumers and knowledgeable woman have relied on the clean fragrance of lavender. Once it was common to see white linens spread over a lavender bush, absorbing its fragrance as it dried.
According to Emelie, lavender vinegar added to a bath 'sweetly restores the natural pH of the skin.
Lavender Vinegar Bath
1 pint cider vinegar
1/4 cup lavender heads
Combine the ingredients in a covered glass bottle and set the bottle in the sun for two weeks.
Heat cider vinegar until it begins to steam, then pour over the lavender heads. Pour mixture into a glass bottle and cover. Let steep for two or three days.
To Use for Bathing
After preparing either way, strain and then add 1/2 cup lavender vinegar to bath.
"I'd read books and studied pictures, but nothing in my American experience had prepared me for the pleasurable reality of walking through a landscape where lavender and roses scented the air, where borders were a painterly melange of color, texture, and foliage."
"Glorious dissaray is what I like in a garden," an English friend once announced, Emelie shared". Emelie's friend shared how she managed her glorious disarray in the garden. "Rather than planning growth, she worried about elimination. As her plants reseeded themselves, even on the gravel paths, she edited. 'If the effect is pleasing, I let it be. If not, I pull the seedlings'.
The effect of a garden in glorious disarray is one of charm and fancy as you many never know what you'll come across.
Adelma Grenier Simmons
'The Queen of Herbs'
Emelie interviews Adelma in her Connecticut herb garden, Caprilands. Adelma had adored the sight and scent of each herb plant and had spent her years teaching others 'to partake of its pleasures'.
"The best way to visit Caprilands' 30 gardens is of course with Adelma, but visitors to the Colonail scented geranium and salad gardens will feel as if she is at their side:
all the plants are labeled to encourage knowledge of herbs".
Emelie recalls special spring tonics that grandmothers used to use to revitalize one in the springtime after a long winter season of indulgences.
"For overall cleansing and toning, there is nothing better than greens packed with nutrients. Years ago herbs such as parsley, nettle, dandelion, borage, watercress and sorrel might have been added to spinach, asparagus, or celery in a lovely green soup with a chicken broth base. The combination can be turned into a juice so powerful it is best diluted with cooling cucumber juice".
Emelie visits an herb farm in Fredericksburg, Texas where the owners share their 'romance with herbs'.
Bill and Sylvia Varney owners of a B & B, Herb Haus share their love of herbs with Emelie as well as their herb and flower infused menus. This was Emelie's second visit to their Tea Shop - September 1990)
Some of the dishes shared in the article can be found in Bill and Sylvia's book, 'Along the Garden Path'.
"The herbs I choose for a dish are often just personal preference - or a matter of what's growing in the garden. But I always try to impart the romance of herbs when I cook. What excites me most is introducing people who know only herbs like parsley and chives to new and exciting flavors".
Emelie today continues to share her love and knowledge of herbs through books as well as a website -
here she shares about herself, her 'Living With Herbs' blog, gardening with herbs, cooking with herbs, crafting with herbs, health and beauty with herbs and her shop.
We truly are the beneficiaries of Emelie's long passion for herbs and her imparting of this and of her knowledge.
I am thankful that Victoria Magazine saw the charm and the benefit of Emelie's knowledge to share with us for so many years.
Herbs in my garden
|My 'glorious disarray'|
|lavender and roses|
|drying linen over lavender|
|potted herbs: Scented Geranium, Mint and Lemon Verbena|
|Rosemary and Roses at garden gate|
|Lambsear and Roses|
|Enjoying a morning cup of Camomile tea|
in the garden
Thank you for your visit,
Always throw spilled salt over your shoulder
Keep rosemary by your garden gate
Plant roses and lavender for luck
Fall in love whenever you can'
Wishing you a very Delightsome day,