Start your own aromatherapy garden!
Our garden is extremely important to us. First of all, we eat from it- all year round. During growing season we eat fresh food. During the fall time we preserve our harvest to eat in the winter. Let me tell you, there is not much that brings greater satisfaction that eating food you grew. This is just the part we do for our family.
We also grow many plants for our business Nature Notes Aromatherapy. In case we haven’t met, my name is Deanna Russell and I am trained as a clinical aromatherapist. I make holistic natural skin care products and essential oil blends. Even though I run the day to day operation and make the products, I want to introduce you to a very important member of the team: my husband Clint. He is my primary grower.
It’s early March and we have already been eating lettuce from our indoor garden! I know! February is the time for planning the year’s crops, as some seeds need a long time to germinate and grow before they get transplanted outdoors. Since I live in an area with a very short growing season (Calgary, Alberta) with a zone of 2-4, it can be challenging to have a productive garden. It has been known to snow in June. And September. Here’s Clint rescuing our carrots. In September.
Early in the year we have planning meetings about what will be the crops for various projects such as:
- Plants for distilling with the distilling machine
- Plants for drying to make herbal infused oils (which I then use to make other products)
- Plants for drying to use in tea blends
- Feeding the family
- Flowers for cut arrangements (flowers make me happy!)
Planning the garden space
We don’t have a farm or an acreage. We live in a large urban city and we don’t have a large yard. Planning is crucial. If something we plant isn’t working for us we need to decide if we will try it again or replace the space with something else that either produces something we need- or makes me happy. Since space is at a premium, we must make some tough decisions about what crops are going in that year. Some things that we consider are:
- Crop rotation from year to year
- Drainage and irrigation systems available to us
- Compost system (having a compost system is crucial-make space for one!)
- Our growing zone- do not underestimate the importance of this!
- Our growing season (for us it’s mid June through mid September)
- Know where your micro-climates are in your yard. You can create shade, windbreaks, or build a cold frame to influence growing conditions.
Planting our aromatherapy garden
These are slated for our grow list:
Lavender– plans for hydrosol distillation
Cornflower– plans for hydrosol distillation, preserve dried for teas (these also attract bees)
Calendula– plans for hydrosol distillation, preserve dried for teas and herbal infused oil
Peppermint– plans for hydrosol distillation, preserve dried for teas
Cucumber– plans for hydrosol distillation
Sage, basil, thyme, rosemary– we will eat these fresh during the summer and make infused herbal oils and/or vinegars
Other vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, beans, peas
Raspberry and tayberry– these are on schedule for producing berries this year!
Wildflowers- we want these not only for attracting bees to come and visit us, but they are SO pretty
YOUR aromatherapy garden
Now it’s time for you to do some dreaming about your own aromatherapy garden. What does this look like for you? Is it containers of herbs on your apartment balcony? Is it planting crops for harvesting for your family for the year on a larger property or acreage? Or something else?
Aromatherapy Gardens are delightful and practical. Even if you don’t do much with the plants from your garden, if you enjoy having cut arrangements, this alone can be worth it.
3 Recommended Resources
If you are interested in gardening and aromatherapy, the following resources might be right up your alley!
1: Online course taught by yours truly
Are you curious about how you can appreciate aromatherapy all year long? Have a peek at this online course: Aromatherapy for all Seasons.
- Anyone who wants to find easy, every day uses for aromatherapy and essential oils
- Anyone who wants to experience aromatherapy from the garden- all year long
- This is a very simple start to aromatic living- for the beginner
Update: this course is currently not open for enrollment
2: Recommended book
Want lots of good ideas and reliable information on aromatherapy gardening for happiness and well-being? This book by Kathi Keville is excellent!
There are plenty of photographs and plant information in this book, including some popular and common ones. It also includes some species that are not as common (especially where I live). Kathi is an aromatherapy expert and very well known in this field. (I also have several of her books.)
This new release from Ultimate Bundles contains info and resources on compact gardens, homesteading, soil preparation, composting, preserving and the like. Availability coming in May 2020. Learn more about this bundle here.
This is a fantastic resource for under $20 (pricing is in USD)
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It was nice chatting with you and I hope that you’ll visit again soon!