Once again the Wilton Estate provided excellent snacks (top scones. Thanks Debbie!) and good weather.
We set up shop for our herbal teabag and lip balm workshop with no-one actually signed up to come but because we were outside and welcoming (a lesson there), we picked up quite a lot of passing trade – three children who came to our last workshop, and a handful of adults who were lured with promises of an interesting afternoon – and cake.
We started with the herbs for making tea. We tried out some mint and lemon verbena first. The children were slightly reluctant but discerning tasters and a young man was a keen tea drinker but seemed to be a little suspicious of drinking anything quite so fresh and obviously home grown. But he was game and was interested in learning about all the different medicinal properties of the plants. We rubbed and sniffed all the herbs and then made our own mixes from mint, feverfew, chamomile, lemon verbena, comfrey, thyme, nettle and yarrow.
Next Nat produced an array of essential oils and we sniffed them all feeling quite dizzy with the headiness of them. We chose one or two scents to go into our calendula oil and beeswax concoctions and got some lovely combinations of perfumes using neroli, lemon, ylang ylang, rosemary, sandalwood and orange, to name a handful. An elderly man calling himself John the Baptist turned up and asked lots of questions about herbs and how to grow them as he said he was tired of all the medicines he had to take. He said he’d be back for our next workshop on the 25th.
What’s been so enjoyable has been the spontaneity of the workshops; how a disparate but companionable group can gather in the sun being peaceful and curious and, hopefully going home with a little more wonder about plants. Let’s hope they’ll be back next week for more creative wonderment.