I’m very excited to re-introduce Allspice/Spice Tree (Pimenta officinalis) once again!
This time of year I make Flower Essences in glass bowls all over the gardens. This is to replenish supplies of Flower Essence made here at the farm.
The obvious difficulty with our collections from other parts of the Earth is that it is much harder to keep stocked with these Flower Essences. Allspice/Spice Tree was one casualty of geography: We ran out of this Flower Essence as I never seemed to be on Bermuda when Allspice/Spice Tree was blooming.
Problems with sourcing extended beyond this friend. So many wonderful tropical plants of Bermuda and St. John are beloved Flower Essences and key ingredients in our combination Flower Essences. However trips to both islands are infrequent. So more than 25 years ago I started to raise tropical plants in our greenhouse, so that when it was impossible to get to the islands, we would have a bit of the islands here at the farm.
This time of year these tropical beloveds are particularly happy as they are sunk in soggy peat moss out in the cold frames, directly soaking up the sun, rain, warmth and humidity of summer while also keeping their roots nice and cool and damp.
In this rather muddled picture, the Frangipanis rise up above the many Limes, Lemons, Oranges, Grapefruits, Bougainvilleas, Jasmines, Calliandras, Pink Tecomas, Bananas, Bignonias, Pomegranates and other tropical plants. The Frangipanis are ten feet tall now with many other tropical friends almost as tall.
We sourced most of these tropical plants from Logee’s, a supplier of tropical plants in Danielson, Connecticut. Logee’s has offered tropical plants since 1892. I grew up near Logee’s. Many a winter afternoon saw me in their amazing, ancient and enormous greenhouses wandering to my heart’s content. If you live anywhere near Logee’s ( and even if you don’t) a visit to Logee’s is worth the trip. Some of the plants are over a hundred years old and the fragrances and abundant Flowers are a joy to experience.
And interestingly enough many Bermudian gardens were built with tropical plants from Logee’s. This importing went on until the customs got too difficult about 20 years ago. I was always so happy when I found a plant marker in Bermudian friends’ gardens with the Logee’s logo.
Anyways….a decade ago I noticed that Logee’s offered small Allspice plants. I purchased a tiny pot and then I waited, repotting on occasions as the specimen because a small tree. The wait was worth it as now for the first time it is covered in blossoms.
What a thrill it was to see the first Flowers this summer!
Aren’t they interesting?
Given the intensity of the spice, ground from the berries of this tree and redolent with cinnamon, clove and nutmeg scents and flavors in both berry and leaf, it’s no surprise its Flower Essence is all about the senses.
Here was my original post in the fall 1994 green newsletter introducing Spice Tree/ Allspice..
Any of you out there that remember those green newsletters? I wrote the newsletters and my children, so little at the time, did the art. What fun it was to create those newsletters!
We used to get many thousands of them printed, then we’d hand sort them into matching zip code bundles. The sorting process would take over every room in the farmhouse and from room to room we would call out what we learned as we discovered pockets of Green Hope friends. “We have 25 friends in Fort Bragg, CA.” Did you know we had THAT many friends in Puerto Rico?” All this sorting meant we could send the newsletters out with our postal permit #5 which gave us our first and last savings on postage.
Then came the internet…..and all things online! ( and the kids grew up and weren’t so interested in doing art for their mom’s newsletter).
This last week the Angels, Elementals and I made Allspice/Spice Tree into a Flower Essence again. 24 years later, the Angels and Elementals tell me that they are content with the original description, but they would like us to call the Flower Essence Allspice not Spice Tree so more people can connect it with that spice in their spice cupboard.
I ask them for an I AM affirmation.
I AM my awakened senses.