Creative in the Garden, Creative in the Kitchen

End of summer tinctures; rose geranium

It’s that time of year when I gather in the last of the herbs from my garden.  The plants are nearly spent with autumn on its way.  The first spring harvest of culinary herbs before they blossomed has long ago been dried and put away bearing their early tender flavor.  Now is the time for harvesting the deeply developed medicinal herbs.

My rose geranium did not flower at all this year so it’s an especially good harvest right now.  No energy was spent making blossoms so the leaves have conserved their early-spring qualities of delicate fragrance. The timing is perfect.  I make large batches of this tincture to use as a base for my Artist’s Garden Rose Geranium Foaming Wash and also find it useful as an anti-bacterial rinse for wounds. I do also love making a simple syrup extracted in the same way to make cocktails or lemonade with and when I dry the leaves I can bake with its crumbled flavor all winter long.

As part of this yearly ritual I also make cuts to grow plants in my studio window for next years harvest.  This is a simple process; fill a pot with good potting soil, wet it, poke a hole in the middle, push a cutting down into it and pull the soil around it.  Make sure you have several joints where leaves have been pulled off; this is where it will root.  I further this along by dipping in a root stimulant powder before poking into the hole.


  • Harvest leaves early in the day before the sun hits them.  This is when their qualities are most concentrated. Rinse leaves in cool water to rid of dirt, spider webs and debris.
  • Remove leaves from stems.  Pack a sterilized glass jar with leaves and no stems.
  • Pour over this a mixture of 1/2 vodka and 1/2 distilled water, filling the jar until the leaves are covered.  Seal up tightly and place in a cool dark place.  After 2 – 4 months, remove leaves and strain the liquid through a coffee filter to make sure no plant material is left behind.  
  • Store in a cool dark place and this is aided if you also use a dark colored glass jar/bottle.  NOTE: in time this liquid will darken and this does not harm its potency.  Tincture is still good for several years
Freshly made tincture and 1 year old tincture that has been strained.

Click here to read the story about how I make my Rose Geranium Foaming Wash. Thanks for reading!

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