Udkansk v/ Nanna & Frederik

28 Jun 2022 10:18

July is the harvest month for Udkansk


Text & photo: Udkansk, Nanna


July is here and the garden is blooming. Now is the best time to be a garden owner, because you now can enjoy, eat and store the crops for later. That is why I Nanna have taken over the blog this month.

July is a month where we have an increasing water-consumption. On the hot days with no rain, the garden hose is frequently used. But another thing, which also increases, is our electricity consumption. We have a machine that is used a lot during the summer (and no, it is not the washing machine). It is the dehydrator.

Last year I got my hands on one of these machines for just 500 DKK (about 55£). A bargain if you ask me. I use it for drying leaves, flowers and all kinds of herbs which I can use during autumn and winter.

In July I am harvesting wild plantains and calendula flowers from our garden. The herbs are thriving in the garden, and I continue to harvest them. Some of it I use fresh, while I put what is left in the dehydrator for later use.

In the greenhouse this year we have tried cultivating lemon grass. So far it has been a success. In fact, we have had to repot the two plants that we bought in larger pots.

In this article I will share some of my favourite recipes for dried flowers and dried leaves. In case you do not have a dehydrator, the oven can be used instead. If an oven is used, put the flowers and the leaves on the rack with a piece of backing paper. Preheat the oven to 40-50 degrees and you will get a similar effect.




Drying times

Always check the dried plants. Some plants need to dry longer than estimated. They must be completely dry if not you may risk that they start to mould when they are stored in a jar with lid.

  • Herbs like thyme, oregano, lovage etc.: 6 hours at 40-50 degrees Celsius
  • Calendula: 8-10 hours at 40 degrees Celsius
  • Flowers (for potpourri): 4-6 hours at 40 degrees Celsius


Teas for coughs

This tea mixture taste delicious, and it helps with sniffles and coughs. Use fresh leaves at this time of year or dry the herbs, so you have ingredients for autumn. You can also spice up your tea with some finely chopped ginger and a smidge of honey.

Mix 1 part thyme leaves, 1 part finely chopped lemon grass leaves and 1 part finely chopped mint.

Pour boiling water over the herbs and let it steep for 10-15 minutes.

Sift the herbs and if you want to, you can add some honey.

Drink and enjoy the tea

Thyme helps loosening coughs and lemon grass gives the tea a nice smell and are said to open the airways to the lungs. The mint gives it a delicious and fresh flavour, and it is good for the lungs. Should you choose to add ginger, the tea will also be good for coughing and phlegm.


Calendula cream

A cream that treats cuts and wounds. I use it on my lips or if I have a cut, a mosquito bite etc.

Pick some calendula flowers. You will need enough flowers to fill a jar and dry them in the oven or with a dehydrator.

Pour oil in the jar – I can recommend almond oil, cold-pressed rapeseed oil or grapeseed oil. Put the lid on and place it somewhere dark. The fridge will do. Daily take out the jar and shake it for six weeks.

Then sift the flowers out by using a tea towel so you are left with only the calendula oil.

The cream is made by heating a water bath. Add 1 part coconut oil, 1 part calendula oil and 2 parts beeswax to the bath. Then it is all melted together, but it must not be boiling. When the mixture is see-through, it is poured into small and clean containers, in which it will solidify and become a cream.

The cream should not be kept somewhere that is too warm. It lasts longer if kept somewhere cool.

It will last for quite a long time – months even – if the containers are clean and good hygiene is maintained.

Calendula is a miracle plant which looks great in the garden. Calendulas has an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. Furthermore, they help with redness and itching. In other words, a great flower to have in all sorts of creams and oils. The calendula oil can also be used as an oil for the body and face.


Dried flowers in potpourri

For me when I think of potpourri, I think of my dear grandma, however, I and Frederik have fallen in love with everything that smells nice. Potpourri is a mix of dried and nice scented flowers, that is kept in the house in a small container or box, which then diffuses the fragrance. I love to make potpourri, especially because I am a bit of a collector, and this way I can have the summer smell of July on a cold day in November. With just one sniff, I can imagine I am back in July with all the blooming lavenders, honeysuckles, roses and geraniums.

Make a mix of all kinds of nice smelling flowers – you are only limited by your imagination.

I love the smell of the following plants: blackcurrant leaves, lavender, different types of scented roses, honeysuckles, lilac, scented geraniums (flowers and leaves), lemon verbena leaves, blackcurrant sage and mint.

I dry my flowers in my dehydrator at 40 degrees Celsius. Alternatively, you can let the leaves and flowers dry on a piece of paper and turn them now and then. They must not be wet as they then will rot in a sealed container. On the other hand, they should not be over-dried, because you then may lose some of the essential oils in the leaves and flowers. 

When it is all dry, they are poured in an open container (we use a small box made of zinc), however, it also looks good in a small and pretty coffee or teacup.

I like to add a bit of essential oil to the flowers to enhance the scent. In this case, I usually use essential oils from the same flowers that I use in my potpourri. This is for instance rose, geranium or lavender.



This was my suggestions to keep some of the smells, flavours and beneficial products from July. I hope you found it inspiring, and maybe you want to try out some of the recipes yourself.

Finally, I hope you have a great summer.


Best wishes