olive at OffshootsOlive flower remedy was one of the few Bach Flower Remedies that Edward Bach got his friends from abroad to make as it’s not native to this country.

We’re delighted to have been given a magnificent olive by Seagrave Nurseries and it’s in the sunniest part of the garden against a South facing wall close to all the Mediterranean herbs.  We think it will flourish there.

Olive flower remedy (made from the tiny creamy white flowers of Olea Europoea) is for when your energy levels are depleted and you’re completely exhausted both mentally and physically.

olive flower at OffshootsEven the slightest activity seems too difficult and you’re too weary to do anything.

This is often a temporary state after illness or a time when you’ve been doing too much.

As olive is taken your energy levels will be renewed and you’ll feel strong again.

Photo credit: Noah age 10


Vervain flower remedy is made from the flowers of Verbena officinalis which has a long history as a medicinal herb. Of all the Bach Flower Remedy plants we’ve grown from seed Vervain has been the most prolific, growing over-enthusiastically in tray after tray!

vervain flower remedy plantThis over-enthusiasm is the key to how vervain flower remedy is used.  Vervain flower remedy is for people who want to convert others to their ideals and won’t stop until they’ve done so. They try to enthuse others with their passion; often overwork, can’t switch off and subsequently become tense and burnt out.

Vervain flower remedy brings balance so if you find it difficult to switch off, vervain will help you to let go and relax more easily.

We’ve planted it all over the site – partly because we had so much of it and partly because it’s notable for attracting wildlife.

Here at the Bach Flower Remedy Garden we’ve been tending seeds and little plants for months so it felt great to plant some of them into the soil at last.

planting herbsWe planted vervain (Verbena officinalis) and chicory (Cichorium intybus) at the back of the south-facing perennial herb bed. Vervain grows to 2ft and chicory’s bright blue flowers can reach 5ft tall. They will make a beautiful backdrop to the lower growing herbs.

watering herbsWe began planting in the raised bed which has had limestone added to the soil to create a more alkaline bed to suit the plants which thrive in those conditions.

raised bed with limestoneHere you can see the Bach Flower Remedy plants rock rose (Helianthemum mummularium), vervain (Verbena officinalis) and chicory (Cichorium intybus). We’ll be planting olive (Olea europaea), cerato (Ceratostigma willmottianum), agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria), clematis (Clematis vitalba), centaury (Centaurium erythraea) and gentian (Gentianella amarella) into this bed when they’re ready.

raised bed at Offshoots permacultureAcid-loving heather (Calluna vulgaris) needs a different environment altogether. The acid bed where the blueberries grow had been taken over by invasive hedge bindweed so we had a mammoth weeding session to make space for the little heather plants.

planting heather calluna vulgarisHeather is one of the Bach Flower Remedies that treats loneliness. We tucked them into their new bed, smiling to think that the other Bach Flower Remedy plants that treat loneliness (impatiens and water violet) are growing just a couple of feet away!

tending heather plants at Offshoots permacultureA huge thank you to the brilliant volunteers who brought enthusiasm, knowledge and hard work to our planting day!

Mustard flower remedy is made from the flowers of the hairy wild mustard (Sinapsis arvensis) also known as Charlock which is very common on the edges of arable fields. It grows prolifically so we’re growing it in a tyre at Offshoots to prevent it from taking over the entire garden. When we were researching how to cultivate it, most of the websites we found talked about how to get rid of it!

Mustard flower remedy is for feelings of depression and deep gloom for no apparent reason. If you feel melancholy, as though there’s a dark cloud hanging over your head, then mustard flower remedy will restore a sunny outlook.

The leaves, stems and seeds have a long history of use as a food source for people, although it’s poisonous to some livestock.

Wild rose (Rosa canina) is well-established at Offshoots; pink blooms wafting their subtle scent on early summer breezes.

Wild rose flower remedy is for when you have no joy in life, feeling apathetic, unmotivated and resigned. Nothing can fire your enthusiasm and you feel indifferent, bored and dissatisfied. It’s for when you find yourself putting things off until tomorrow in the hope you’ll have more enthusiasm then, but the enthusiasm never comes.

Wild rose flower remedy helps you to engage more with life and develop enthusiasm, excitement and vitality.

The flowers develop into rosehips which are full of vitamin C and antioxidants and are used to make syrup, tea and marmalade.

Mimulus (Mimulus luteus) is one of the original Bach Flower Remedies, one of the ‘Twelve Healers’ that Dr Edward Bach discovered first. We received mimulus plants from Honeysome Aquatic Nursery and planted some in the pond and some at the edges of the pond. It’s those with their roots in the water that have flourished and flowered.

Mimulus flower remedy releases known fears and phobias – fears of real and everyday things like spiders, not having enough money, strange dogs, dentists etc.

People who need mimulus often seem timid and sensitive; they may be startled easily by loud noise, bright lights and groups of people. As mimulus is taken, they gain greater courage and the ability to embrace life fearlessly.

‘Come to the edge,’ He said. They said, ‘We are afraid.’ ‘Come to the edge,’ He said. They came. He pushed them…and they flew.” – Guillaume Apollinaire

Rock Rose (Helianthemum nummularium) is flowering happily here at Offshoots, despite only arriving a couple of months ago from Poyntzfield Herbs. Click here to see how tiny the plants were when they first arrived.

Rock Rose flower remedy is one of the ingredients of the world-famous Rescue Remedy® (also known as Revival Remedy™ and 5 Flower Remedy®) which many people rely on in times of stress.

Rock rose is used to alleviate feelings of panic, terror, nightmares and heart-stopping fear. Taking rock rose flower remedy restores courage, calm and safety.

Do you know your Lonicera periclymenum from your Lonicera caprifolium? There are two different kinds of honeysuckle growing at Offshoots: one is just plain Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) and the other is Perfoliate Honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium).

The difference between the two lies in the uppermost pairs of leaves. Honeysuckle has two separate defined leaves whereas Perfoliate Honeysuckle (which is the variety that the Bach Flower Remedy honeysuckle is made from) has uppermost leaves which are fused around the stem making an oval shape.

Can you spot the difference?

Lonicera periclymenum

Lonicera caprifolium

The Bach Flower Remedy honeysuckle is for people who are stuck in the past and find it difficult to move on. They will often romanticise ‘the good old days’ and find it hard to get the most out of life because they regret that things have changed. If you find yourself thinking about the past a lot and don’t expect to experience as much happiness now as you have before, then honeysuckle flower remedy will help you to move on and find more joy in the present.

Fifteen of the Bach Flower Remedies are made from trees and there’s a wonderful contrast between the size of the trees and their often tiny flowers. Most of the Bach Flower Remedy trees are growing at Offshoots and in the surrounding woodland.

Can you spot the tiny red female oak flower in this picture?

Saplings of Bach Flower Remedy trees are being lovingly tended on-site, gifted by Trees by Post, Buckingham Nurseries and Mail Order Trees. Thank you to all the nurseries who donated trees to the project.

Many of the trees are only in flower for a couple of weeks and the flowers are so small that they’re easy to miss. Elm (Ulmus procera) is in flower in March and April in the UK (depending on your location). Watch out for the pink haze on the trees before the flowers are replaced with the pale papery seedheads.

We made elm flower remedy at the start of April following Dr Edward Bach’s instructions for making a remedy by the boiling method. Tiny elm flowers and twigs are boiled up for 30 mins, cooled, filtered and then preserved in brandy to make the Mother Tincture. From this Mother Tincture, 7 drops are taken and further diluted in brandy to make the stock bottles that you will see in health food shops in chemists.

Elm flower remedy is for when you feel overwhelmed; you’ve taken on too much and don’t think you can cope. As elm is taken it helps you to see things in perspective again.

Chestnut bud is in flower at the same time as elm; chestnut bud flower remedy is made from the sticky buds of the Horse Chestnut tree (Aesculus hippocastanum).

Chestnut Bud is the Bach Flower Remedy that aids learning, so it can be used as an aid for studying. It’s also used to help you learn lessons in life so if you find yourself in similar situations (relationships, issues with people etc.) over and over again chestnut bud will help you learn what you need and move on.

Most of us know what holly berries look like but fewer people have seen holly in flower. These waxy little flowers appear between April and June in the UK. The holly trees between the Offshoots site and the car park are tall so most of the flowers are high up among the glossy green leaves.

Holly is the Bach Flower Remedy that treats anger, jealousy, envy, rage and suspicion, which can be difficult patterns for people to see and accept in themselves. However we can all have these feelings from time to time.

Holly flower remedy (Ilex aquifolium) will restore your inner peace if you get easily annoyed, react aggressively to others, feel bad-tempered and frustrated or jealous and distrustful.