March 6, 2012

Growing Next Year's Soap

If I washed my windows, I'd get more sun
Have started a bunch of seeds (ordered from Horizon Herbs) in my decrepit, but still functional Burpee Grow Kit. I also got inspired from Herb Companion to re-purpose some plastic bottles and food containers into mini-greenhouses.
I went a little nuts on basis—I've got African basil, lime basil and mtuli basil (a perennial if brought indoors for the winter)—since I really like how JJ's Lemon and Basil Soap turned out. Basil makes a great green infusion. There might be a lime basil and patchouli soap next year.
Some new plants: lady's bedstraw (smells nice and will make a yellow dye—also love the name—supposedly the Virgin Mary used it for bedding material), yarrow (cleansing and can also be made into a yellow dye), woad (an astringent and a blue dye—easier to grow than indigo) and vervain (a natural sedative and related to verbena).
I also started some marigold seeds that I harvested last year. Love the color they made in the Beach Bars.

In the column (a trash find) are calendula seeds.
Meanwhile, in the garden itself, The Readers' and Writers' Subplot looks a little bare—there're a few things pushing up through the soil (mints, lemon balm and of course, weeds)—but I'm trying to think of it more like a blank slate.
Better yet, it's a short story that I started last year and am now coming back to (it is a 'plot' after all). Last year was a first draft. I was just buying random plants that smelled nice, this year I know what I want the story to be about: soapmaking herbs.