February 15, 2011

The Corgyncombe Herbary

Ahhh, The Delightful and Inviting Fragrances Within...
A rose, thyme, forget-me-not, and lavender tussie-mussie. We call this rose our Rhode Island Rose. It has such a sweet fragrance.

Herbs are hanging to dry at the Corgyncombe Herbary.

On the table is a delightful find found right after Christmas, a wooden implement for crushing dried herbs. It was found at an estate sale near where my early New England ancestors lived. Maybe they used it! After herbs are crushed, they are put in glass jars or packaged and put in the herb and spice cupboard for storage.

The Herbary at Corgyncombe.

The lavender sachet was made by Sarah. Along the border are whole stitch fans and spiders. The center square contains the roseground pattern. The pattern is from "Torchon Lacemaking, A Manual of Techniques" by Elizabeth Wade.

A pink Corgnycombe rose in an old vasculum.

In the photograph above, there is dried lemon verbena and lavender that came from Diane's Garden of Herbs. String is always saved from feed bags for tying herbs up for drying. Diane made the lavender wands in the glass container. On the art stand made by Seth Tudor, is an old copy of "The National Formulary" covered with rose patterned material. There are receipts for elixirs, confections, syrups, and infusions which use many ingredients, such as lily of the valley, iris, rhubarb, lavender, and rose.

The bobbin lace bookmark is like one that Sarah made for Tasha Tudor.

Diane and Sarah made old fashioned labels for the packages of dried herbs. The packages look and smell splendiferous in Corgyncombe's "Emily & Ethlyn's Potions & Perfumery".

According to the "American Dictionary of The English Language" by Noah Webster, 1828, a potion is: a draught; usually, a liquid medicine; a dose.

Tasha Tudor illustrated the book "A Basket of Herbs" written by Mary Mason Campbell.

Helen Allingham's "Happy England".
Helen Allingham was famous for her watercolour paintings of children in charming clothing, thatched cottages, gardens, stone walls, and lovely landscapes.

Nestled amongst the thyme, a basket filled with herbs and flowers gathered for fashioning a fragrant tussie mussie.

In several places Corgi Creek splits off and creates little islands. Diane and her husband took such a pleasant walk along Corgi Creek where the dame's rocket can be seen as far as the eye can see. The only thing one can hear is the babbling of the creek and birds singing. The rocket smells so sweet. It is a joy to the senses.... 'tis our own delightful paradise. Dame's Rocket, Hesperis matronalis, often found at lawn's edge and where field meets wood, are in full bloom at the end of May and beginning of June and are absolutely gorgeous. Their fragrance is lovely, especially at twilight. Dame's Rocket is Diane's favorite flower! They remind us of a Helen Allingham style painting...

One day in June Diane took along her bucket as she walked along the hedgerows and Corgi Creek. She filled it with lovely Dame's Rocket. It took awhile to walk back to the house so when she returned Diane placed the bucket of Rocket in her cellar where it would be refreshed by the coolness. The flowers sit in front of a large stone pier, which was built as the base for a center chimney with three fireplaces on the first floor and another one upstairs. The walls and the floor in the cellar are all beautiful big stones. After the bouquet was refreshed Diane brought it up into her old fashioned kitchen which also serves as Emily & Ethlyn's Potions & Perfumery. E. & E.'s P. & P. is the Corgyn's pretend apothecary. The fragrance is delightful and as the petals fall the doll family at Corgyncombe will also gather them to save for potpourri. Dame's Rocket has always been one of Diane's most favorite flowers.

Petals are saved and dried as they fall from the bouquet of Dame's Rocket.



Marqueta (Mar-keet-a) said...

Dear Diane,

Darn it, my scratch and sniff computer screen isn't working! It smells divine in my imagination, though!

Thank you for sharing your beautiful finds with us. Sarah is so talented with making lace! And the herb-crusher looks like it would be much easier to use than a regular mortar and pestle. How blessed you were to find it.

I hope you're having a wonderful day. We're enveloped in mist here in Missouri.

Love and blessings,

Marqueta and family

Whiffletree Farm said...

What a lovely post! You make me yearn for spring, warm sunshine and the smell of fresh flowers. Ummm, I can't wait. I love the old herb crusher; that's an interesting piece. Simple and so useful. Thanks!

Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson said...

Dear Marqueta,

When you come in from the cold, the lemon verbena and lavender make the old kitchen herbary smell so good!

Your friends,
Diane and daughter Sarah at the Corgyncombe Courant

Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson said...

Dear Whiffletree Farm,

We're so glad that you enjoyed the post! Can't wait to get out in the warm, spring sunshine and get my hands in the dirt and plant more herbs!

Your friends,
Diane and daughter Sarah at the Corgyncombe Courant

Christie said...

Dear Diane and Sarah,

It would be so wonderful if Emily and Ethlyn could concoct a linament for Grammy Christie's sore gardener's shoulders....one that smells of lavender would be oh so soothing!!
I just love your charming apothecary!

Your dear friend,

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