Chestnut Herbal School

Author: Juliet Blankespoor

Witch hazel

Witch Hazel- Bloomoogling unusual male parts, explosive seeds, and medicinal uses

Witch Hazel- Bloomoogling unusual male parts, explosive seeds, and medicinal uses   When witch hazel flowers in late fall, its leaves are golden with the season’s splendor, or already fallen to join the rich tapestry of the eastern deciduous forest floor. Its yellow petals resemble crimped streamers, lending a wild look to the close aggregation [...]

An Invitation

Attention all fleuraphiles, fleuravores, and fleurologists: I formally invite you to join me in celebration of the juicy colors, textures and stories of plant reproduction. I will be featuring a flower every Friday for a year in my not-so-originally-named A Year in Flowers The flowers will be seasonal during the growing season, and drawn from […]

Another trick up my sleeve

I recently discovered an easy way to make photo collages (an app called pic frame, available for macs). Apparently, there are many easy-to-use applications in the ethers perfect for folks like me, who lack photoshop skills or inclinations. Here are some of the goodies I was able to create in minutes…..

Large Milkweed Seed Bugs

I recently photographed some colorful milkweed bugs in my garden and decided to repost a small piece I had previously posted about these gorgeous gregarious insects with the new photos, figuring most of you didn’t read the original essay, and would absolutely love to learn more about these charismatic insects. The large milkweed bug, Oncopeltus […]


It is truly feeling like autumn with the temperatures dropping down into the thirties and the light slanting low and golden. The air like a cool mountain stream: cool, clear and invigorating. Here is the second set of my favorite summer photos. Enjoy, and keep it frisky folks! I do love to hear from you, […]


As summer draws to a close, I am sharing some of my favorite photos of the season. One of my favorite aspects of photography is the ability to lift out one aspect of reality by featuring my perspective on time and place. Photography shapes my perception of light and form and also helps me to […]

Even Violets Need a Plan B

Even Violets Need a Plan B Common blue violet (Viola sororia, Violaceae) The little blue edible flowers of common blue violet are a welcome sight in our garden in early spring, as my fleuravorous daughter loves to feed the sweet little flowers to our family, passersby, and her miniature menagerie. Most people are familiar with [...]