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Monday, April 2, 2012

Here Comes Peter Cottontail, Hoppin Down the Bunny Trail!

Can you see Chi's fangs?
This is the Head of Ranch Security look when
Mom makes Chi pose for photos.
Now, imagine that look with bunny ears.
Not pretty.
Good Morning, Yes! Hippity Hoppin, Easter's on its way!  

I found an article on Herbs of Easter:  History and Traditions, written by Jackie Hardin.  I am not sure if Jackie wrote for Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, 1987 Rodale Press, or if this was an article she/he wrote using the Rodale book as a source.  Anyway, all that said, I think the article is interesting and in a bit I would like to share it with you!

Okay, I am proud of the our Irises and want to share a few more photos with you.  But, first a story.  When we were living in Round Rock, TX, Cousin Sandra bought a whole bunch of beautiful Irises from a catalog.  That was great, and after a fashion we got them planted.  In the Spring of 2008, (I think that was the year), Cousin Sandra discovered the Northeast part of Texas, bought a farm, and we prepared to move.  Part of this preparation for moving......was....I got it into my head that there was no way we were going anywhere without those Irises.   

(Ya'll, I admit, I do these things to myself, I have no one else to blame!)  So, by this time its June, 104 degrees, and there I be, in a fire ant infested garden, digging up Iris bulbs.  Okay, that is not the worst of this story......we moved to our present location on July 4.......when we left Round Rock the temp was 107 and when we got here the temp was 104.  Thank God, for the cooler weather!  But, this all meant that in the heat of summer, we had to dig up the present Iris bed, amend it with compost, all the while fighting sand, fire ants and mosquitoes!  So now the story has come to an end.  And every year the Irises get more spectacular.  Would you do it again, you ask?  Sure, like I said earlier, I get myself into these situations (such as gardening in 104 degree heat), so why should I quit now!

There are a few
others that bloomed this morning but I will save them for next week.

Herbs of Easter:  History and Traditions
The herbs of Easter include chervil, tansy, hyssop, vervain, rosemary, rest harrow, and mistletoe.  Some of these herbs I have heard of and some are new to me.  So let's see what we have here........


Chervil, along with tansy and vervain symbolize the Resurrection.  Chervil is the symbol of the return of life and is a traditional ingredient in Holy Thursday soup.  

Chervil is a hardy annual that often self seeds over winter.


Tansy, derived from the Greek word anhanasia, meaning immortal, was used from Ancient times up until the American Revolution as a meat preservative.  Representing everlasting life, tansy was used to rejuvenate the body after a long winter of salted meat and fish.  Later it was used to purify the body after fasting for Lent.  Tansy is a perennial small shrub that can be invasive if left unchecked.

Hyssop is mentioned throughout the Bible.  In John 19:29, we read,

"There was set a vessel full of vinegar, so they put a sponge full of vinegar
upon hyssop and put it to his mouth."  

Many experts think the hyssop mentioned in the bible was not the herb we know today, but one of the marjoram's.  The controversy continues.  Hyssop is a perennial small shrub.  It may be started from seed, cuttings or division.


Vervain is an ancient herb, sacred to the Druids, Egyptians and Romans.  The Latin name is taken from the words, "sacred bough".  Vervain is one of the herbs of the crucifixion, used to staunch the wounds of Christ. The herb grows easily from seed.

Vervain is a Texas wildflower.  Vervain grows in all Zones.

Madame Flamingo and the Rosemary.
This Rosemary looks a little stressed but
it is greening up.
 I just want you to
know that as your fearless (Ha!) blogger and
photographer, I was attacked by a foot long
garden snake while in process of getting this photo.
Okay, folks, it might as well been a copperhead,
and yes, I screamed like a girl.

Rosemary is such a beloved plant among herb lovers there are many herbal legends associated with the herb.  Helen Noyles Webster wrote in her 1939 book, "Herbs", that rosemary recalls the presence in the garden, a memory in the Garden of Gethsemane with the quiet solitude of old olive trees under which rosemary grew and blossomed.  Legend tells that rosemary grows to six feet in thirty three years, then dies in tribute to Christ.

Rest Harrow
Ononis spinsoa

Rest Harrow, Ononis spinosa or O.arvensis, is said to been used to make the crown of thorns at the crucifixion.  Sometimes, called wild licorice or cammock, this vetch's natural habitat is Europe, including Great Britain.  The flower is sweet pea like in appearance, but the plant has rough, woody leaves and thorns.  Rest Harrow was well known in Ancient Greece where it was used to cure delirium.  The wild herb was believed to have such strong powers it was said if placed upon a stone, the stone would dissolve. 

While we consider mistletoe a Christmas plant, in Brittany it is known as herbede la cross.  It is believed to be the wood used to make the crucifix when mistletoe was once a tree.  For its offense the tree was degraded to a parasite, forever more clinging to another. Hmmmm, I thought that was the Dogwood Tree.

The Wild Side of Herbs

April 18, 2012 or April 21, 2012......2-4 pm
$25.00 per person
Please call 903-866-3606 or email stdragonfly@yahoo.com for more information!

Well, that is about it for today, folks.  I sure hope the Easter Bunny hops down your trail and leaves you a basket of goodies.  Well, if not actually a real basket of goodies, how about some good love and blessings!

Happy Easter from me and all the StarDragonfly Herbals Gang!

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