September 2010
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Monthly Archives: September 2010


The flavor of the leaves is strongest just before the flowers open.

Basil is so easy to grow that even if you are a first-time gardener, you can reap bountiful harvests of this annual summer herb. The variety of selections, including several purple-leafed types, makes it a treasured ornamental and culinary herb. Basil’s fragrance and taste are unmatched in salads (especially in tomato salads), in vegetables, and in meat and pasta dishes. Since basil is a tender annual, you will need to replant it each spring.

In the Landscape
Basil is a woody, branching herb that will become 2 to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide, growing quickly as soon as the weather warms in spring. Although its primary place is in an herb garden, some selections are sought after for landscaping as well. Purple basil’s deep maroon foliage contrasts handsomely with dianthus, Madagascar periwinkle, petunias, pink cosmos, and yarrow. Fine Green and Spicy Globe are bushy, low-growing, mounding plants with small leaves; they are excellent culinary herbs, but many gardeners also grow them as ornamental bedding plants. They are ideal at the front of a flower border to mask leggy stems and are great for filling holes left by spring bulbs. Because of their compact growth habit, they perform equally as well in containers.

Planting and Care
For best results, plant basil in full sun. In the South, however, basil benefits from afternoon shade. You can buy transplants at garden centers, but basil grows so easily from seed that you may want to grow your own transplants or sow seeds directly in the garden. Basil will not grow in cold soil, so you should wait to start your plants two to four weeks after all danger of frost is past.

Basil likes soil that has a pH of 6.0 and is rich, moist, and well drained. Add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil before or during planting. Plant seeds in a shallow furrow and cover with 1/4 inch of soil. Because basil seeds have a jellylike coating that makes them float easily, be sure to firm the soil to keep them from washing away with the first rain. When plants are 2 to 3 inches tall, thin them to 18 to 24 inches apart.

For an earlier start, sow seeds in flats six weeks before the last frost date in your area. Set transplants out when they are 3 to 4 inches tall, spacing them 18 to 24 inches apart. Basil transplants will not grow much until the days are warmer and longer, but then they will grow rapidly. You can sow them a second time in midsummer.

Basil requires little maintenance–only monthly clipping or pinching back to promote new growth and prevent seedheads from forming. If seeds develop, they will drop and may sprout the following year. After a heavy clipping, fertilize with liquid fertilizer according to label directions. Keep the soil moist, especially after harvesting, as dry soil can stunt growth.

Basil will often cross-pollinate with other selections of basil planted nearby, resulting in seedlings that may not have the same traits as the original plants. If you want your basil to propagate by reseeding, isolate each selection.
Basil continued PAGE 2 OF 3
You can propagate small-leafed selections from stem cuttings and overwinter them indoors.

Species and Selections
Basil is so productive that you need to start with only one or two plants. You may be tempted to plant many more because basils come in so many popular types.

At A Glance–Basil
Ocimum species
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Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) is the most common basil selection. The plants grow 24 to 30 inches tall with leaves that are about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide. The foliage has a peppery-clove taste and aroma.

Another common selection, Lettuce-leaf basil (Ocimum basilicum Crispum), has larger leaves (3 to 4 inches long) with smooth edges and crinkled centers. This basil yields abundant foliage.

Bush basil (Ocimum basilicum Minimum) is a compact type of sweet basil. It grows less than 12 inches tall with leaves that are 1/2 inch long or less. These leaves are excellent when used fresh. Space plants 6 inches apart in the garden. Bush basil also grows well in containers; try named selections such as Fine Green or Spicy Globe.

Cinnamon basil (Ocimum basilicum Cinnamon) is treasured for the cinnamon aroma of its leaves. Plants grow 12 to 18 inches tall and equally wide. They bear lavender flowers.

Lemon basil (Ocimum basilicum Citriodorum) grows 18 inches tall and produces light green leaves with a delightful citrus-clove flavor. Lemon basil reseeds easily. Named selections include Mrs. Burns’ Lemon Basil, which is more robust and has larger leaves.

Purple basil comes in several selections. Purple Ruffles (Ocimum basilicum Purple Ruffles) and Dark Opal (Ocimum basilicum Purpurascens) are selections of sweet basil with large maroon to purplish leaves and lavender blossoms. Their scent and flavor are not as sweet as those of other basils. But when the leaves are added to white vinegar, they turn the vinegar pink. A dwarf selection of Purple Ruffles is also available. It is popular for adding foliage color to flower gardens. Plant this basil in partial shade.

Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum Siam Queen) is an All-America selections winner prized for its ability to yield a good harvest and its tendency to flower later than other basils. It grows 2 to 3 feet tall and about 2 feet wide.
Harvest, Storage, and Use
When you want to use basil fresh from the garden, cut the tips of the stems as you need the leaves. Wait until young plants grow to at least 6 inches tall; this will encourage branching. To extend the life of the plants, pinch off the flower buds as they appear in July and August. If you do not pinch off the flowers, the plant will stop producing new leaves. You should be able to make several harvests in one season before frost kills the plants. If you allow a plant to become covered with seedheads, clip them off and use the leaves to make a basil wreath.

Basil can be dried, as can most herbs, with some of its aroma preserved. However, its flavor is best preserved by freezing or by storing the leaves in vinegars or refrigerated oils. Handle leaves gingerly, or they will bruise and blacken. Harvest basil just before the flower buds are ready to open; clip the plant back to one-third its original size.

Use fresh basil in soups, pasta dishes, and pesto and with cucumbers, eggs, and shrimp. To benefit from basil’s full flavor, add it during the last 10 minutes of cooking. For an interesting garnish, add strips of sliced basil leaves to canned soups or stews just before serving. Basil blends well with oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

Keep basil healthy with regular pruning to remove flowers and seedheads. When cutting, be careful not to cut back to the woody stem, or the plant may not recover. Basil is occasionally bothered by slugs or Japanese beetles.


Suggested Mantra: Equality
The first feminist and liberationist, Lilith boldly instructs us to
stand up for what we believe in, unbridled and courageous no matter what
the cost.

Suggested Affirmations:
* I forgive
* I welcome forgiveness
* I am free from judgement
* I deserve to be free from guilt
* I am creating the life I love
* I am a forgiving and loving person
* My vital energy resurfaces naturally
* I am honest and truthful in all I say and do

Related Essences: Patchouli, sandalwood & geranium.

Related Gemstones: Garnet, bloodstone, tourmaline & smoky quartz ( red
stones ).

This Sumerian and Hebrew goddess, once honoured for her wisdom, freedom,
courage, playfulness, passion, pleasure and sexuality in pre-2300 B.C.,
was portrayed as a demon by Levite priests at the dawn of patriarchy.

In Western tradition, she was the original partner of Adam, created
equally together in the image of Elohin ( a word for “god”, having
feminine and masculine linguistic roots ). Her liberationist attitude
and assertive behaviour was threatening to the emerging patriarchs, and
led to her expulsion from Eden to be replaced by the more subservient

Proudly holding the rod and ring representing Sumerian royal authority,
Lilith strives to make modern life equal for all people. She inspires us
not to judge our opposite sex, to respect them as our equal, and to
nurture equality in our environment.

Customarily women break loose on leap days, asking men out or proposing
marriage. 2004 is your chance girls – like Lilith, you are the master of
your destiny. Go get ’em! 🙂

As we cross into Autumn, start the new cycle by making a difference,
making a new start, making it matter. Internalise Lilith’s bravery and
dignified strength of character, and make amends with anyone you’ve
wronged with presupposition or prejudice. Or enjoy some daring activity
to its fullest without fear or guilt Only you can achieve liberation of
your inner joy and exuberant passion for life.
Start it today!

Ray of Sunshine Meditation

Adapted from Astroshamanism, Book 2
by Franco Santoro
Findhorn Press, 2003

July is such a sunny month that it becomes the perfect time to give
thought to our own personal connection with this immensely powerful
source of light, warmth, and life. Most religious traditions devote a
lot of attention to the Sun. The custom of praying or meditating at dawn
was very common in ancient times, as the rising Sun signified the
emergence of light from darkness.

You don’t have to get up before dawn, though, to do this simple
meditation. It will help to energize you and help you feel more filled
with life. Here’s how to do it:
It is best to do this meditation outside or in a place where you can
feel the rays of the Sun on your body, but if conditions don’t permit
this, don’t worry: you can work in the inner world and it will be
perfectly all right. If you can feel the Sun on your body, be sure not
to expose yourself to more than 10 minutes of strong sunlight.

1.) Take off your shoes, and sit or lie in a comfortable position.
Relax, and be still.

2.) Close your eyes and become aware of the light and heat of the Sun.
Consider the position of the Sun in the universe, its relationship with
the Earth and its location in your astrological chart.

3.) Become aware of the inner aspects of the Sun: warmth, light, love,
creativity. Explore its qualities until you get the meaning they have
for you. Extend this awareness to all parts of your body. Allow it to
penetrate through each cell. Then begin to radiate it through emotional,
mental, and spiritual bodies. When you have a full sensation of the Sun
filling all your bodies, radiate it outward into the environment. Let it
move in all directions.

4.) Return to an awareness of your body, thank the Sun, open your eyes
and take this energy with you throughout the day.

Copyright: Adapted from Astroshamanism, Book 2
by Franco Santoro
Findhorn Press, 2003
Copyright (c) 2003 by Franco Santoro


–25 drops lemon 25 drops lavender oil 1 cup oak moss
–2 cups dried lavender 2 cups dried wisteria 2 cups dried verbena
Mix the lemon or lavender oil with the oak moss, and then add the
remaining ingredients.
Stir the potpourri well and store in a tightly covered ceramic or
glass container.

Honey Fruit Fondue

600ml  sour cream — dairy

1/4 cup  honey

1 8 oz. can  canned crushed pineapple in juice — drained

1/2 teaspoon  dried mint — crushed

fresh fruit — assorted

Combine all ingredients except fruit.  Serve with fruit.

Cranberry Lip Gloss recipe

1 tablespoon almond oil
10 fresh cranberries
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon petroleum jelly (optional – for more shine)

Mix together all ingredients and place in a microwave or heat-resistant container. Heat in the microwave or a water bath until the mixture just begins to boil (1-2 minutes in the microwave). Stir well and gently mash the berries. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove all pieces of cranberry. Stir and allow to cool completely. When cool, spoon into a clean container.

To use: Spread a small amount onto your lips.

Yields 1/2 ounce.

Harvest Vase

Author: Laurel Reufner.
Copyright: September 1996

This decoration has graced my altar every year for the past five years. I try to have it up the week of Mabon and there it sits, gracing everything, until December, when we decorate for Yule.

You’ll need:
small glass vase
7-13 wheat sheaves
3 small years Indian corn (or one large one)
yellow, black, and orange ribbon

Shuck the corn kernals from the cob and drop them into the vase. Then tuck the wheat into the corn in a manner that pleases you. And finally, finish with ribbons tied in a bow around the neck of the vase.

Computer Blessings

Blessings on this fine machine,
May its data all be clean.
Let the files stay where they’re put,
Away from disk drives keep all soot.
From its screen shall come no whines,
Let in no spikes on power lines.
As oaks were sacred to the Druids,
Let not the keyboard suffer fluids.
Disk Full shall be nor more than rarity,
The memory shall not miss its parity.
From the modem shall come wonders,
Without line noise making blunders.
May it never catch a virus,
And all its software stay desirous.
Oh let the printer never jam,
And turn my output into spam.
I ask of Eris, noble queen,
Keep Murphy far from this machine.
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I love to share and all of the artwork on this blog is created by me, unless otherwise noted. I do ask that you do not copy or recreate any of the posted artwork here for contest submissions, publication, or profit. I will be extremely flattered if something here inspires you to create for your own personal use, but please give me credit and/or link to my blog. I appreciate your stopping by, and thanks for your understanding! Registered & Protected