We are reaping our first harvests in the distilling garden as annuals have made speedy growth and there is nothing more cheery than the glowing faces of Calendula. Easy to pick, easy to grow with such an uplifting sunshiny glowing tangerine shine in its petals. More earthy and farmers-wife than the elegant wiry californian poppies that also give us sprinklings of glowing ember orange, Calendula soothes our skin and I can almost imagine it picking up its roots and marching into the kitchen to finish the washing up and make a pot of tea. With disciplined picking every few days the plants will flower for months, although we are careful to also let a few heads set seed to start the next generation. July is also a good moment to be thinking about making more of other more permanent shrubby plants too, such as cistus, lavender, sage and rosemary. It is the perfect moment to buy a bottle of wine and visit your friend who has the best lavender bush or the most sticky cistus and after a glass snip fresh young shoots off to take home and try and root. Increase your chances by taking quite a few, maybe after telling the owner that their bush will enjoy the light pruning and invite them over to see your lavender field, cistus hedge or rosemary maze in a couple of years time.