If you only grow one thing this season, let it be calendula - to heal, to colour, to make you smile.
Available in a variety of shades from cheery yellows, bold oranges and subtle shades of blushed pink.
The perfect flower to begin your journey of growing, for hands of all ages and ability. Sow after the last frost, direct or in pots. Scatter or place in a pot with a small layer of compost, flowering 8-10 weeks from sowing. Calendula is often the last flower standing as winter draws near. Non toxic to cats and dogs, whilst making excellent companion plants attracting an array of pollinators. Enjoying poorer soil conditions whilst standing in the sun. Deadhead these bright smiles regularly for an abundance of flowers. If you are rewarded with beautiful blooms, the petals can be harvested when open for a variety of uses; edible, dye plants and traditional medicine. Use both fresh or dried to use when skies are grey. Always leave a few flowers because one of the best things about calendula is their longevity, each generation self seeding, ready to collect and begin the next season of colourful companions.
Calendula produces a soft buttery yellow when used fresh and a golden olive when used dry.
Simply combine pre-washed, mordanted with soy milk fabric or yarn to a pot of hot water steeped in calendula; and watch the colour develop. Leave in longer and continue to heat for richer tones. Can even be left overnight in a jar or in the summer sun.
Why not experiment with calendula and colour changers like vinegar and salt or use alongside other yellow plant dyes like weld. St Johns Wort of onion skins.
Brewed as tea, sprinkled over salads, frozen into ice cubes or used to decorate our orange and calendula vegan cupcakes. Loaded with antioxidants, high in carotenoids and aids immunity in the winter months. The warmth of the summer sun in every bite whilst reducing inflammation and aiding pain relief.
Our Bauldry Botanicals Family favourites include bath, facial, hand and feet steams. A combination of Himalayan pink and epson salts, cornflowers, rose petals, lavender and calendula. Combine with essential oils of your preference for a relaxing floral moment with nature.
When using your hands everyday whether it be sowing or sewing, a quick me time moments we enjoy is a luxurious calendula based oil for hands and nails. Healing cuts, moisturising and softening cuticles. Simple combine carrier oils of your choice; Such as jojoba, castor, st. johns wort and sea buckthorn. Add essential oils like bergamot, geranium and lavender. Sprinkle in a few dried calendula petals and allow them to infuse within the oil over time. Why not add some gemstone nuggets such as carnelian for a metaphysical enhancement. Bring your own sunshine and energise your self esteem.
Benefits of calendula include the healing of minor woulds and burns, insect bites and bruises. Also reducing inflammation whilst providing antiviral and antibacterial qualities.
Moisturise, heal and ease inflammation pain with these calendula bath melts.
- Combine 1/2 cup of shea butter, 1/2 cup of cocoa butter, 3/4 cup of dried calendula, a little bit of beeswax or soy wax (more if you like your bath hot! - less for easier melting) to retain the shape.
- Melt the butters and wax in a bain marie (small pot for melting over a water bath vessel and heat.) Steep the calendula flowers and petals keeping at a constant warm heat, not bubbling, not cooling. Heat for up to 8 house - the longer you leave it, the more healing properties are released from the calendula.
- Sift our the plant material, keeping the melted butters infused with calendula. Allow to cool a little before adding essential oils. We used chamomile, lavender and frankincense to heal and relax.
- Pour into moulds and allow to set. Store in a cool, dark place in an airtight container for up to a year.
- Pop in a warm bath and create a luxury herbal moment. Perfect treat for your loved ones or the gift of me time to yourself.
Taking a moment for yourself no matter how small, is one of the ways we can reconnect with our environment and the organic world around us. Traditional healing remedies, connecting to our ancestors and growing alongside flowers. Calendula is a versatile herb used used in European folk medicine and part of natural healing in many culture around the world. Why not experiment with creating your own herbal me time moments incorporating calendula into your recipes.
To grow, to colour, to nourish, and to heal.
We would love to know if you tried this simple vegan apple cake or explored a local grower or varieties in your area.
May your week be filled with smiles and sunshine and all the little moments that make life beautiful
Rebecca + The Bauldry Botanicals Family