May is the month to direct sow annuals. Over the weekend I’ve been adding to the vegetable & flower garden with Calendula, Cosmos, Tagetes (a good companion plant to with tomatoes) & Borage to decorate summer Pimms!
Calendula officinalis (pot marigold) is a bit of a wonder flower, with edible petals can be used to decorate salads, flowers that can be steeped in boiling water for a therapeutic herbal tea and Calendula extract, derived from both flowers & leaves, which can be made into a skin healing cream. The tea can even be sprayed onto wounds & ulcers to promote healing.
I'm going to give this recipe for Calendula Salve a go:
Dried Calendula flowers Oil for infusing the flowers (olive & coconut are a good blend) Beeswax (25g per 235ml of infused oil)
To make infused Calendula oil add the dried flowers and the oil to a slow cooker, and leave on low for up to 24 hours
Strain the infused oil using a strainer lined with muslin, squeezing out as much of the oil as possible
Put the infused oil into a double boiler, which can be as simple as a metal bowl that fits over a pot with an inch or two of water in it. Bring that water to a simmer to gentle heat the oil
Add the beeswax and stir occasionally until it has dissolved
Carefully pour into sterilised tins or jars
Let the salve cool completely before sealing
To make a cream add tepid water to the blended oils and emulsify in a blender as if you are making mayonnaise. It will help to pre-heat the blender. You can also add essential oils.