A Birthday post for Oscar
A warm day will progress the ripening of a flower’s full scent just as it does fruit, and when it does, the summer air, with a china blue sky above, can fill with happiness. Every flower will have its hour when it is most fragrant. The intention was to allow my share of wild elderflower on the local canal to sunbathe all day and become so totally imbued with its own fragrance that it would fall in love with itself. Then I would come along and pick it to make its own love potion – elderflower cordial.
On yesterday morning, whilst on earlier tasks in the day, as I passed simple, but proud gardens, the sweetness of orange blossom and sweet peach tea from roses pervaded in the surrounds, as I passed. The warm air was doing its job, this mix of perfumes was good few metres from their blooms.The day would bode well.
With their petals outstretched to maximum, and with bushes and stems flowered to absolute profusion, these were no longer the shy, soft and slow emerging, first blooms of Spring. Summer is about attention seeking moments , with knowledge acquired from the past, and like the confidence of a flirtatious teenager, these flowers made no secret about the desire for indulgence. Their eagerness was to be utterly seductive to the senses of the unsuspecting passers by. This was apparent, not just in the rising, bewitching aromatics.
The petallics from even from the shy, old fashioned wall loving hollyhock, from last week to this week, post midsummer, has deepened into a glowing magenta concentrate. Any six legged insect friends could not be more openly tempted to attend a nectar party up and down its stems.
On china blue sky days, with fluffy puffy clouds, we now know that past midsummer, between the extremes of humidity, and dry heat, because of the changes in warm moisture and light, the season is racing against itself, impatient to intensify and enter its very best, and being aware of such short-lived pleasure, we wonder “Why can’t Nature always be like summer days?”
Whilst grasses dry quickly and turns to straw, one remembers that to ensure the most fragrant offering of an elderflower potion, and possibly to mix subtly with new gooseberries, one must not forget to let the day turn to evening with love potions. Remember to pick the best when immersed in the warm sunlight of the day and pleasantly drowsy, nothing else will do.
Elderflower Love Potion
25 heads of elderflower, some closed ones
Immerse in freshly boiled water with orange and lemon zest
Sieve and bottle the next morning with honey/sugar
Share with generousity, but use sparingly. Make cocktails, soft drinks or add to fruit salads. Use its bottled fragrance to remember the tender warm and fragrant days of summer, blue skies and green walks and in my case 26 years of being a mother. The labour was not a summer walk as I remember…but the end product was definitely intoxicating, a bed of baby was a very good result. Happy Birthday Oscar. Always keep love potions in a secret, well protected place.