Behind The Scenes!

 

Ta-Dah! Didn't We Do Well?

So, we have been busy cutting, scrapping, brushing and scrubbing, and we are happy to say that one of the greenhouses is now ready for us to move our plant stock into!  Woo-hoo!

We simply cannot wait to get underway with all of our planting plans for this year. We literally have itchy fingers!

We will keep you all updated with how we get on with the greenhouses, so please keep coming back and checking our blog!

But for now, we’re off to go and get all of our pots, trays, compost, labels etc out of storage, ready for the season ahead!

Check out how the greenhouses looked before and after we cleaned them up...



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Before: Greenhouse 1.
We couldn't even get into this one without hacking our way through the prickly brambles!



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After: Greenhouse 1.
Clean and ready to use!

Get Your Gardening Heads On!

Spring has definitely sprung around Potty Towers just lately!

The sound of all the birds tweeting and singing in the morning is an absolute delight to wake up to, and seeing all the bright and colourful spring bulbs in the parks is enough to crack a smile on even the most dour of faces! The park where we volunteer at every week has some flower beds with big sweeping swathes of purple and yellow crocuses, which look stunning.

With the prospect of warmer weather and more hours of daylight soon to be upon us, it's now time to get your gardening heads on!  

If you're new to gardening, or have never had much success with it in the past, then let us take you under our wings and guide you. We'll have you growing lots of herbs in no time!

Anyway, this week we got just a little carried away, what with the excitement of our greenhouses almost being ready to move in to, and we have been sowing seeds, taking cuttings and propagating all over the place!

So far, we have:
  • sown seeds of wild carrot, white borage, agastache black adder, agastache foeniculum Golden Jubile, English mace
  • planted out purple garlic (better late than never!) - this is a bit of an experiment for us
  • propagated (from cuttings) lavender, sage, thyme, marjoram
  • potted on (into bigger pots) rosemary, chives, cowslip
We've still got lots more to sow or propagate yet, including burdock, more chives (they sell well!), several mint varieties, oregano, chamomile, blue borage, basil, purple angelica and many others that I can't think of right now!

And we are so excited to see that our lemon verbena, which looks dead, has a few new shoots emerging! Now this plant has the best smell ever! Do you remember those lemon sherbet sweets that you used to eat when you were a kid, the ones that were really lemony and fizzy, well lemon verbena smells just like those sweets tasted! Seriously! It's a lovely plant to grow, as it looks nice, smells awesome, and can be used to make herbal teas and infusions, sugars, syrups, jellies and of course smells great when used in home-made potpourri.

Lemon verbena (or aloysia citrodora, to give it its proper (latin) name) is a sweet smelling, perennial, deciduous shrub. This means that it sheds its leaves in winter and "dies down", but grows again the following spring/summer. So if you have this plant in your garden, and it just looks like a bunch of dead sticks at the moment, don't dig it up or throw it away! Give it chance, and it'll soon be full of those long green leaves again that smell good enough to eat!

What plants are you going to be growing this year?

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cowslip


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marjoram


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DSCF4439JPGWe've planted these toilet rolls with wild carrot seed, and also sown them in the tray - to see which do best.  Watch this space...


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lemon verbena

Exciting News!

Part of our business here at Potty About Herbs is the growing and selling of herb plants. I know, who would have guessed it, right?!! Well, up until now, we have struggled to grow many plants, as we don’t have anywhere to grow them, other than at home, in little pots in one small area of the patio in our back garden. This isn’t ideal, as we don’t have enough space to grow as many plants as we’d like to, and we have to grow them on a small shelving system, which means they don’t all receive a good amount of light, and they are more likely to dry out as watering them each day is quite a time consuming task.

So, we were extremely delighted when an opportunity arose for us to acquire two dis-used greenhouses, free of charge, in the behind-the-scenes growing section at one of our local parks.

We’d been asking for months about what was happening with the old empty greenhouses, and if we’d be able to use them until the parks department needed them. Well eventually they gave in to our perpetual mithering, and so now we have the use of two garden-style greenhouses!

Now this may sound like fantastic news, and it is, but these greenhouses are in a very desperate state. When we first went to have a look at them, there were big, thick brambles and so much ivy growing in them, through them and over them, and all of this needs to be chopped right down, the staging needs cleaning, all the old pots and packets of seeds need to be cleared out and disposed of, the glass panes all need to be cleaned of all the green algae that's all over them, inside and out, and then they both need to be thoroughly disinfected from top to bottom, inside and out, before any plants or seeds can be taken there.


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Greenhouse 1.
Oh dear! Not quite what we were expecting to see in the greenhouses!


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Greenhouse 2, after a bit of clearing.

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Greenhouse 1.


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Greenhouse 1.
The clean-up begins...


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We're getting there!

Plans For This Year

We are all about using herbs in our everyday life, and we are here to show you how you can do that very easily and very cheaply!

Some people pull their face when you mention the word "herbs", but before the big pharma companies came along and started manufacturing synthetic drugs, herbs were used to treat every ailment that we could possibly have!

By eating and drinking a variety of herbs on a daily basis, you can improve your overall health and wellbeing, prevent the onset of a variety of ailments, treat coughs and colds, keep your internal organs in good working order, maintain healthy skin and hair, improve memory, lose weight, detox your body of all those nasty toxins that you've built up over the years from eating things you shouldn't be, and also add some fantastic flavours to your meals and drinks (even alcoholic ones!).

Herbs can help you from both the inside and the outside of your body - meaning that some herbal products can be applied to the skin, while others need to be either eaten or drank in order to help you.

Not all herbal drinks, such as teas and tisanes (infusions) taste bad (though some of the medicinal ones can be bitter tasting), as people usually think, infact some of them are very tasty indeed!

What we try to do here at Potty About Herbs, is to make herbs easy to fit into your daily life and routine, and for you to enjoy them. You don't need all the know-how about herbs, as we do that for you.

We always buy the best quality ingredients that there are, and from very reliable, trustworthy suppliers. We research our suppliers, ensuring that their Code of Ethics is as good as our own - we wouldn't stock anything which we wouldn't use ourselves.

We currently make some of our own products, such as herbal infusions, salt blends, pepper blends, infused sugars, crystalised flowers and sugar cubes, and we also grow a lot of our own herbs, which we sell.

Our plans for this year (2019) include moving into a workshop and producing a lot of our own products, such as herbal oils and vinegars, tinctures, syrups, soaps, creams and lotions, beard oils, waxes and washes, and a range of herbal and floral candles, and to start doing more craft and demo sessions with you guys and also with some local groups and organisations. We also have plans to bring out a new food product, but for now, we are keeping that idea under wraps!

That's a heck of a lot for us to aim for, so we need your help and support to help us to succeed. We need you to continue to buy our products, come along to our courses, classes and sessions, and to tell as many people as you can about us! If you know of a shop who could stock our products, please tell them about us and ask them to contact us - we have a page on our website for people who want to stock our products. If you know of any good festivals, markets, fairs etc where we would do well, please tell us about them, and we will see if they are feasible for us to do.

We can't move on and do all these things unless we have your support, so please help us to continue!

Post-Xmas Detox

We all do our fair share of over-indulging over Christmas and New Year, so January is the perfect time to give your body a rest from all of those tasty but unhealthy and hard to digest foods that we've all been shoveling down our throats, and give it a proper good clean out, from top to bottom, and get rid of that "winter wobble"!


Whether you are planning on "going on a diet" or just want to feel a bit more healthier, our detox and weight-loss teas can help you to achieve your health and fitness level goals.

If you are wanting to lose weight, we advise that the moment that you start your new eating regime that you do a detox at the same time.

By doing a detox, you will be getting rid of old, accumulated waste matter and harmful toxins from all of your vital organs, your blood and your skin which has been preventing your body from functioning as well as it should do and making you feel tired and sluggish all the time and more prone to catching every different strain of cough, cold and 'flu that's going around.


Our detox teas are great for this, and are so easy to use. They also taste good!


Detox Teas

The teas are ready blended, so all you need to do is put a teaspoon-full in your cup (use a filter or tea bag if you like) and add some hot water. Leave it to infuse for a few minutes and then sit back and enjoy drinking it!

If you can, it's better to put a lid over the cup when infusing it, as this will keep all of those beneficial oils from the plants from escaping.

It's no good trying to lose weight without detoxing first, as all of that accumulated old matter that has been piling up within your body for years, is actually preventing the process of your organs from converting food into energy and will therefore slow down your weight-loss efforts.  


Weight-Loss Teas

Our weight-loss teas have been blended with specific herbal ingredients chosen for their abilities to speed up your metabolism, burn calories, clear the colon of old accumulated waste matter, improve the functions of the liver, kidneys, bowels, and to prevent the accumulation of waste matter.

We recommend that our weight-loss teas are taken twice a day, after eating. This helps the body to process what you have just eaten effectively.


See our fabulous range of Detox and Weight-Loss Teas here.


Remember - "going on a diet" doesn't mean eating nothing but cabbage for six weeks then going back to eating steak pudding, chips and peas three times a week once you've reached your goal weight! It's a way of life. It's all about improving your eating habits - permanently. So when you get to your ideal weight/size, you need to continue with your healthy eating and exercise lifestyle, because as soon as you stop it, you'll put all of that weight back on. And don't go and ruin all of your hard work by eating chips, pies, cakes, and drinking loads of alcohol saying "It's ok, I'm on my holidays" because you'll only spend the next six months regretting it and trying to "diet" all over again!


Please Note:  If you are taking prescribed medications, please check with your GP or consultant before taking any of our herbal, detox or weight-loss teas, as some herbs and botanicals can interact with some medications.

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Aaargggh - Christmas Is Coming!

I've been really busy for the past week trying to get stock sorted for the main Christmas fairs that I'm doing this year.

I've got 5 main events coming up over the next 3 weeks, plus a regular village market, so I'm trying to make up loads of gift sets of salts, peppers, teas and sugars to sell, and I'm hoping to get my long-awaited gin making kits finished before this Friday - if my boxes arrive (you wouldn't believe how difficult it has been trying to find the right sized boxes, and how long it took to find them...) and I can get my instruction leaflets and printing done before then.

I've got so much stuff to get done this week - I've got a big box of ingredients arriving tomorrow, so that I can make up fresh batches of pepper blends, sugar blends, salt blends and tea blends, get them all measured out and put into jars (after sterilising them), print all the labels out and stick them all on (nice and neatly, which takes even more time!), and then finish them all of with a nice hand-tied bow to give them a Christmas look.

Oh, and then I just need to assemble all the gift boxes, put a load of shred in them, put the jars in them, and tie them up with more ribbon.

I'm also hoping to make up a batch of my famous handmade, natural, Christmastime Potpourri, and a few batches of scented pine cone firelighters (if the soy wax that I ordered a week ago, on next day delivery, ever actually arrives!).

All that in just three days! 

Have I missed anything out?  Probably. 

Can I get it all done?  You'll have to watch this space...

We Are Now Online!

So today we are launching our first ever website!  It has been quite a while in the making, with a number of problems along the way, but we are now happy to push it out into the big wide world!

We think that for a first attempt at making our own website, that we haven't done too bad a job on it! It probably could be better, but for now, and until we can afford to pay someone to make an all singing, all dancing, top of the range site, this one does everything that we want it to,and it does it well. So we are very happy :-) 

If you happen to spot any errors or problems along the way, please let us know, so that we can get the tool box out and do a spot of DIY!

So, go and have a nosy around the site, and let us know what you think!

Disappearing Data!

Aaarghhh!!!  I feel like smashing my head against a brick wall!!!  

I am trying to build a website for my business, and it is driving me mad!!! I spend ages typing out a page, and adjusting the layout until I am happy with it (yes, I save it too!), but then when I click on the "preview" button, it times me out and all my work is then lost!  

I've lost count of the number of times that it has done this now, but I am getting a little fed-up of it!  I would have had the website finished a few days ago if it wasn't for this!  I don't have much time to spend on building it, just an hour or two each night, so it is taking me longer than I'd like it to!

However, I have learnt a lesson, and from now on, I am going to type all of my pages in advance, save them in Word, and just copy and paste them onto the website.

All I can say is that it had better be worth all this hassle by the time I've finished it!!!

Welcome To The Blog!

Hi, thanks for dropping by! 

This blog page is going to be all about what goes on in the day-to-day running of the Potty About Herbs business.

So, you will be getting to see some insights, and some behind-the-scenes photos and videos of some of the good, some of the bad, some of the highs, and some of the lows of what actually goes in to running the business and trying to make it a success.

As well as all that, I will also be blogging some great recipes, information and advice about herbs and botanical plants, and will hopefully manage to inspire everyone to add more of these amazing and wonderful plants into your life!

I will do my best to make the blogs fun and informative for you.

If any of you have any ideas for blog topics, or have any questions to ask, please let me know, and I'll see what I can do!