Are you out there enjoying the slowness of summer? Summer is a really slow time for us here in Florida because it’s just so hot outside!
Learning to live more in sync with the natural world means learning to honor the cycles that surround us. Nature is teaching this lesson all the time. In the Spring of 2018, we began filming Yarden Walks—where I follow Mom around her yarden as she talks about the plants she’s got growing there.
True to the season, we went fallow for the winter and haven’t filmed another one since. Okay, in all honesty, we did film one in the spring, but it was never edited, so we weren’t able to release it on time. Read more to find out how you can view that Yarden Walk!
Summer Solstice is about bringing everything out into the light, so we thought this would be a great way to reintroduce a series that many of you have been asking for.
QUIZ TIME: While editing this video, we realized Sylla said something that was not quite right. Did you hear what it was? We decided to use it as a quiz to test your knowledge. Scroll to the very bottom to find out what it was.
Now we want to know: What are you doing with your summer garden/yarden? What’s getting you outside during these long, hot days? Leave us a comment below!
Remember, everything has a season and this one will pass before we know it. At least, that’s one of the ways we survive the long, hot days here. : )
If you’d like to see all of our Yarden Walks, join the Inner Sanctum Library. You’ll be able to see the Spring 2019 Yarden Walk. Plus you’ll receive hours of lessons on aromatherapy, plant medicine, and holistic healing.
Quiz Answer: Remember when Sylla was describing the Summer Solstice … Well, she was actually describing the Spring and Fall Equinoxes. That’s when we have equal amounts of light and dark each day. At Summer Solstice, the day is the longest it will be all year, while the night is the shortest it will be.
Do you ever say one thing when you mean another?
I did it when I said, “It’s Spring Equinox!” to the students in the Fill Your Cup class that Sunday. Wonder where I get it from … ? 🤔
It’s so amazing when I think about it—how we’ve figured out that we can distill these plants and collect concentrated essences of what we smell. I’ve worked with oils in bottles for a long time. I’m familiar with how to dilute them and use them in blends, but I’m just now starting to get to know the herbs themselves.
It feels like coming home.
In the Inner Sanctum Library, we regularly walk with Sylla through her garden (or as she calls it, her “yarden”) to see what’s going on. I love how the garden contains so many life lessons.
This time around, Sylla explains that you’ve got to cut back the abundance of growth from the summer. That way, you can get rid of what’s run its course or isn’t growing, to make room for what’s yet to come.
Here’s the great part about cutting back: you get to enjoy what you reap! For Sylla, this means collecting and drying all the herbs that she’s been growing.
Herbs de Sylla’s Yarden
Ever since her trip to France in the 90’s (and presumably after she ran out of the herbs that she got there), she’s collected and dried her yarden herbs, calling them “Herbs de Sylla’s Yarden.”
This time around, she’s got:
Some, like the mints, she’ll use in tea. Others, like the Oregano and Marjoram, she’ll dry and sprinkle on meals. The rest she will save and give as gifts to her friends.
What a simple and fun way to use what you’ve got! What herbs will you cut back and use in your kitchen? Leave us a comment below!
Right after we filmed our Summer Yarden Walk for the Inner Sanctum, we found out about the passing of our good friend and plant-brother, Billy Daniel. We decided to share this Yarden Walk with everyone in memory of his passing.
In Sylla’s Words:
My entire yarden began with a single 20×3-foot bed, put in by my friend Billy, an herb-grower, about 30 years ago. Sweet William Herbs was what he called his business, as he grew and sold plants. Over the years, my garden grew, expanded to raised beds, and eventually became what it is today: fruit trees, herbs, and aromatic and butterfly plants. It even expanded to the Upward Spiral Center. Billy brought us dirt, compost, mulch, and so much joy. He returned yearly to take cuttings from my rosemary and collect lemongrass seed to replant in his greenhouses.
We will dearly miss this funny musician plant-grower. We dedicate this Summer Solstice Yarden Walk to him, my friend Billy.
In celebration of the Summer Solstice, Sylla filmed her own Yarden Walk. And guess what …
It’s Lavender harvest time! At the height of summer, Sylla decided that it was time to harvest her Lavender. In this special video, she also reminisces to about 20 years ago, when she visited France and experienced a Jasmine Harvest.
In this video, you’ll see:
Sylla gathering Lavender with her scythe.
Rare aromatic footage from 1997.
Echinacea going to seed.
A plump avocado.
What the squirrels are up to.
Sylla is reminded of her trip with Michael Scholes to France in 1997. You can hear his voice in a funny moment with the Italian migrant pickers in Grasse in the Provence Region. Michael hosted this tour of the Perfume district, which he called, The Espirit de France. Read Sylla’s review of this tour here.
Our group of students got to help harvest and witness a moment of unity with the singalong of a cherished Beatles tune.
We had already filmed this Yarden Walk before we heard about Billy’s passing. It makes the singing so much more sweet. Not just the words of the song but how it so aptly represents Billy’s nature; he was one that was always known to break into song.
Sylla was planning to visit Billy the next week to film his greenhouse and plants. The last time she saw him, he gave her 18 new Rosemary plants and said “I’m getting it cleaned and ready for you.” Though we won’t get to share Billy’s humor and wisdom in the way we planned, we hope his spirit shines through in all we do.