Preparing for the Season of Rest: Putting the Garden to Bed

What a glorious way to spend a sunny Saturday––getting my yard and garden ready for its resting season.

I love the sights, sounds and fragrances of Autumn––the bluejays were really battling for their space in my yard and the fragrance of the Russian Sage was almost intoxicating.

I trimmed my Russian Sage but saved some of the sprigs for a beneficial garden decoration. Did you know that deer detest the fragrance of Russian Sage? If you live in areas populated by deer, rabbits, and ticks, this is a plant you may want to include in your garden.

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Butterflies and bees, however, love it and are attracted to the fragrant purple blooms. Russian Sage leaves are not edible, but you may see a sprig of delicate purple blossoms on your dinner plate in some restaurants as a garnish. Don’t confuse Russian Sage (perovskia atriplicfolia) with the culinary sage (Salvia officinalis).

While clearing out the remains of my garden, my body cleared out its excess with a few hearty sneezes. This time of year frequently stirs up “allergy-like-symptoms” in many people.

Have you experienced dry or watery eyes? Scratchy throat or stuffy nose? Or all of the above? Well, let me tell you, it’s all about the lymph! That’s not a user-friendly word western medicine, however, Ancient Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine view lymph as a friend rather than foe.

Most people don’t know that the Lymphatic System is the largest circulatory system in the human body and a key player in the overall health of the body. The Lymphatic System affects the Digestive, Circulatory, Immune and Detox systems of the body.

If the lymph becomes congested, then all those other systems become sluggish as well. In my book, The Wise Woman’s Almanac, A Seasonal Guide with Recipes for New Beginnings That Never Go Out of Season, I go into greater detail about how this Fall/Autumn season is an important time to support the Lungs and Large Intestine (according to Chinese Medicine) which can become major sites for lymph congestion.

Bringing in Fall/Autumn aromatic foods like onion, garlic, horseradish, ginger, and turnips help stimulate the Lymph System (think tears or cleared sinuses). Citrus is also a great food to stimulate and decongest the lymph circulation. When the lymph flows easily, wastes are removed from the body instead of stored to become a potential attraction for bacteria and other pathogens.

As you prepare for this change of season, I encourage you to pause to allow all your senses to be stimulated by the surroundings. Savor the Season.

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