As nature's shop closes, the home spice jars are finally put to good use. All the dried mint that hung in bunches in the kitchen all summer, the rose petals from June's bloom, the lavender kernels, the gentle chamomile, the dried aromatic herbs.

It is time for scent in the diminished light, time to simmer clove oil on the stove, time to bake apples and dry fruit. The harvest of fall always requires vanilla, cinnamon and cloves.

Those who know the medicinal qualities of herbs and flowers blend teas, prepare ointments and lozenges, and make fruited and herb infused honey, but for most of us is potpourri and soup flavoring time. The simple recipes are the best, and just in case you are not sure, remember that rose and vanilla go with everything.

Mix a handful of rose petals with a bit of lemon rind, vanilla beans and cloves and you got yourself a little piece of heaven. In the dead of winter there is nothing more peaceful than opening a closet or drawer and being welcomed by the clean fragrances of lavender and rose water.

I lift the lid off the jar of dried mint and the whole kitchen fills with the spicy and familiar scent. After I steep it in boiling water and let it cool down for a bit I cautiously drink the essence of Summer in small but very hot sips.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”, "Letters to Lelia"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: and, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.