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 Sharing my aromatic garden to you today- a small inner city garden in Christchurch filled with over 15 aromatic plants I distill for the aromatics . Enjoy! https://fb.watch/9GMw008djG/

I only distil for hydrosols these days or for preparing as ethanol tinctures for perfumery

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Lemon Verbena Harvest & Distillation December 2013

Aloysia triphlla (Lemon verbena) in flower Lemon verbena (Lippia citriodora) or Aloysia triphylla is a precious essential oil which has a low yield and is quite hard to come by the genuine oil. Details as to its origins and habitat can be found here on Wikipedia.  It is believed many so called lemon verbena oils on the market are heavily adulterated with lemon thyme, Litsea cubeba (May chang) or synthetic citral. Previously I have used lemon verbena hydrosol my friend produced on his lavender farm ( www.lavender-impressions.co.nz ), with only a tiny amount of oil obtained. Most of his lemon verbena leaves are destined to be dried and sold as a herbal tea. On the 29 December 2013 I was able to take part in the harvest and distillation of his organic lemon verbena. The key difference this year is that it is the flowers and leaves which are being distilled, not just the leaves. Leaf only essential oil can produce a high (up to 35% citral) content which, being an aldehyde may irri

Geranium Distillation for Hydrosol

This is a the first run of my small scale back yard set up on various geraniums distilled for hydrosol, using a pump to reticulate water through the condenser to save water. It means I do not have to stay close by every second for two or more hours. (I am still in the vicinity though in case of mishaps!) Day 1: Harvest of lemon geranium ( Pelargonium crispum ) this morning, stripped leaves from branches (approx 500gm plant material) and added to 3 litres of commercially distilled lemon geranium hydrosol so I get double the benefit. I don't extract any essential oil out of it. https://youtu.be/LFVPV6WHCIg . I achieved about 600 ml good quality hydrosol after 3 hours on the hot plate. (leaf 1 in picture below) Day 2: First up is rose geranium ( Pelargonium graveloans var. roseum ) with pure water (leaf 2 in picture below). Hydrosol appeared very quickly and prolifically, obtaining 200 ml within first 20 minutes of the distillation. This was distilled for about two hours  and

A moment of Absolute Joy- Osmanthus fragrans flowering!

perfect osmanthus harvesting footwear! Some of the hedge Upclose with the tiny white flowers For those who have followed my blog and aromatic musings you will know full well the heartfelt disappointment when the (expensive) Osmanthus fragrans trees I planted in the summer of 2012 failed to produce anything  (detailed here from 2015). I t appeared that I had been sold the wrong variety of plants as they seemed misnamed. Today (Easter Monday) there had been a light shower and I was showing some visiting out of town friends the growth and plantings in my garden since they last visited more than a year ago. Low and behold I was met with the most precious site of hundreds of tiny pinhead sized white flowers and the most divine aroma wafting up in the soft breeze. My osmanthus has flowered!!! Closer inspection showed that the bush was covered in the flowers-only one bush in the hedge of 5, but it was a great sight. Added to organza bags ti steam distill 31 gm (2/3 c