November at the Physic Garden Project
Beech hedge bat tunnel
In between the rainy days we have had some glorious sunshine this month, which have been perfect for walking in the great wood opposite the garden and taking stock as the garden growth slows to a walking pace.
The autumn colours, as the leaves turn with the sun casting its low yellow light, are joyous bringing with them an acceptance, that the summer such as it was, is long gone.
We have harvested the odd trug of herbs in November, gathered and piled up the fallen leaves and enjoyed the luxury of doing very little in the garden!
With our presence dropping off, the deer seem to be moving in.
We recently spotted a nicely flattened bed of grass next to the fruit beds and twice disturbed a dozing roe deer on our arrival, which promptly vanished in seconds into the undergrowth.
Most of the herbs are at least showing signs of dying back now after their remarkable recovery from rabbit damage. Exceptionally Verbascum thaspus (mullein) rosettes are still popping up and looking super fantastic now, often super soft with dew.
Inevitably the herbs used in my practice this month have included a steady supply of Echinacea purpurea. I favour 1:2 liquid extract for its reassuring tingle on the tongue as it prompts our innate immunity to come out and protect us.
Various formulas centred around homemade Sambuccus nigra (elderberry) tincture, (which is so delicious that it can, and has been, be drunk like wine!), Thymus vulgaris (thyme), Achillea millifolium (yarrow), Mentha piperita (peppermint), Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset) and Inula helenium (elecampagne) have been in demand as we adjust to the changing of the season and bugs abound.