Drip Irrigation

This short infographic on installing drip irrigation is a good place to start if you’re thinking of conserving water in your garden.

If you live with hard water, like I do, I do not recommend “weeping” type hoses because they soon become encrusted inside by the minerals in the hard water. Using a system with emitters, as in the information, below, is much more satisfactory.

Don’t cut corners by leaving out the filter in the line. You’d be amazed how much debris is in water systems. The filter keeps the small particles of debris from clogging up your emitters.

Enjoy!



Source: Fix.com Blog

A Visit to Peckerwood Garden

 

 

Blue Palm Tree
Mexican Blue Palm. One of the many palm trees at Peckerwood Garden that are native to Mexico

Those of you who know me or have been reading The Herb Cottage Newsletters for a while, know I love to visit gardens. My most recent visit to a garden took place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. My sister-in-law and I visited Peckerwood Garden, not too far from here, outside of a small town called Hempstead, a little more than an hour northwest of Houston.

The Garden is only open to visitors occasionally. One open day is the 4th Saturday of the month. So, we were in luck and made our way there.

From the website:

“There are many ways to describe Peckerwood Garden: it is a collection of more than 3,000 plants including many rarities; it is a conservation garden containing examples of numerous threatened species, many of which are no longer found in the wild; it is a laboratory garden testing a wide range of ‘new’ plants and our Mexican discoveries. 

It is a garden with a mission to encourage other gardeners to see a beauty in landscape that is consistent with our plants and climate; it is a pioneering garden exploring new plants and cultivation methods and aesthetic concepts for other gardeners. It is a garden that looks to the future, not to the past.

Yet, most essential, it is my studio, a place where artistic and horticultural research are fused to create an environment that stimulates all of the senses, including the most elusive of all, our sense of time.”

—John G. Fairey

We were greeted by such friendly staff! Our visit was lead by 2 docents who are very knowledgeable about the many species of trees and other plants planted on the property. The plants are mostly introductions from Mexico and Asia, that thrive in the local climate. There are native Texas trees and plants, too.

I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the plants. I felt I was completely stuffed with plant information by the time our tour ended.

Mexican Oak
This Mexican Oak is one of many varieties of oaks I’d never seen before

There were so many trees I’m unfamiliar with. We were told that Mexico has more types of oak trees than any other country in the world, including China and the US.

Below is a beautiful specimen of a Mexican Magnolia. There are many here, all grown from seed collected in Mexico.

Mexican Magnolia
Magnolia tamaulipana. This Mexican Magnolia is so beautiful. I fell in love!

I’ll leave the rest of the pictures for you to enjoy on the tour, below.

I hope you can make a visit Peckerwood Garden one day.

Peckerwood Garden Tour

Give the slide show a bit of time to load.

Summer Pruning for Herbs

 

 

Mexican Oregano loves the summer heat! Picture taken at The Herb Cottage
Mexican Oregano loves the summer heat!
Picture taken at The Herb Cottage

Here in my area of Texas, from mid summer until at least the end of September, it is very hot, humid and stressful for our plants, even the hardy herbs. (It’s stressful for the gardener, too… but that’s a topic for another discussion!)

One way to help our herbs survive the summer weather is to prune them back so they don’t have so much plant matter to keep hydrated. It is easier for the roots to deliver water to shorter stems and the plant stays looking healthier and prettier, too. 

Herbs That May Need Pruning

Mints

peppermint_lg
Healthy Peppermint Plant

Mints tend to become leggy by this time in the summer, unless you’ve really been using them a lot to keep their growth compact.

I find this is the perfect time of year to prune the mints back. The intense heat of late summer here in Texas is not kind to mints. So, I like to prune off the long growth and dry it for use in iced teas and allow the plant to put on new growth from the roots. This practice gives the plants some rest from having to pump so much water out to the ends of the stems during the hottest time of the year.

You can prune all the way to the ground, if you like. They’ll come back beautifully, provided you keep the plants watered.

Mint Flower- don't be afraid to let your mints flower. The flowers bring beneficial insects to your garden. Use the flowers in teas and drinks, too!
Mint Flower- don’t be afraid to let your mints flower. The flowers bring beneficial insects to your garden. Use the flowers in teas and drinks, too!

 

This is also a good time to divide your mints. Whether they’re growing in containers or in the ground, you can dig sections out or dig (or de-pot) the whole plant and see where new little sections have started themselves. Clip those off the main plant and replant or repot them. If you see brown or shriveled roots on the main part of the plant, prune those off, too. Then, repot or replant the main plant- or discard it if it looks tired or if the center of the plant has died out.

 

This mint need pruning! I'll take it all the way to the soil line.
This mint need pruning! I’ll take it all the way to the soil line.

 

Just remember to keep all the plants watered well after pruning,  transplanting or dividing and you’ll be rewarded with new growth in just a few weeks. Meanwhile, you have the dried mint for your tea.

Oregano/Marjoram

Blooming Greek Oregano. Picture taken at The Herb Cottage
Blooming Greek Oregano. Picture taken at The Herb Cottage

By this time of year, my oregano and marjoram have flowered or are flowering. Since these are perennial plants, you can enjoy the flowers and leave them on until they are played out. Flowers from the oregano family bring beneficial insects to your garden and they are pretty. If you like, you can clip them for cut display or use them to flavor your cooking.

There are several types of oregano designated a ‘flowering oregano’ or ‘ornamental oregano’. These are cultivars that have been bred for their more dramatic flowers. Alas, some of the flavor has been lost from these types and they are best used as hardy ornamental landscape plants.

Blue Oregano. Not great flavor, but a striking plant when in bloom!
Blue Oregano. Not great flavor, but a striking plant when in bloom!

Whichever type of oregano you are growing, after the flowers fade, the plant doesn’t look its best. The stems can become leggy and the spent flowers are rather unattractive. So, now’s the time to prune the flower heads off. You can also prune the whole plant back if it’s gotten too big or needs shaping.

Terribly overgrown Greek Oregano. Lots of bare stems. I'll prune to the soil level here and dry the leaves for use in the kitchen.
Terribly overgrown Greek Oregano. Lots of bare stems. I’ll prune to the soil level here and dry the leaves for use in the kitchen.

There is rule of pruning which says for best results, don’t prune more than about 1/3 of the growth of the plant. This is true for some plants, like a large Rosemary, roses and other shrubs. But, many herbs can be pruned all the way to the ground when they’ve gotten out of control. Which ones, you might ask? Here’s a list of some common herbs that can be pruned all the way to the ground, whether you’re growing in pots or in the ground:

  • oregano
  • marjoram
  • mints
  • lemon balm
  • catnip
  • chives/garlic chives

Continue reading “Summer Pruning for Herbs”

Pollinators

Swallowtail Butterfly on Dill
Swallowtail Butterfly on Dill

We hear a lot of talk now about the importance of pollinators. There have been numerous articles encouraging us to plant for pollinators in our garden and landscapes. And, what a good idea that is! Bees, butterflies, even flies can all serve to pollinate our plants. 

Many of our food crops need pollinators to form the fruits and vegetables we eat daily. Some vegetables are wind pollinated, but most are pollinated by insects. Have you ever grown squash or cucumbers, seen lots of flowers on your plants but had few or no vegetables form? The main reason for that is lack of pollination. Those crops, the circubits, have both male and female flowers. The pollen needs to be transferred from the male flower to the female one for the fruit to form. That’s where the bees come in. While they are after the pollen for their hives, as a side benefit, they transfer pollen from flower to flower creating the magic that makes our squash and cucumbers form. There would be no Hallowe’en Jack O’ Lanterns without the bees!

borage
Bees love Blue Borage!

Pollinators also help the plants set good, viable seed. By cross pollinating within a species, strong seed is created to carry on the best traits of the current generation. 

Sometimes, though, the pollinators create unwanted crosses in the garden. If you’re growing several types of squash, for instance, and want to save the seed, having the plants too close together can cause cross pollination and the resulting seed is not the variety you thought it was. Sometimes these hybrids turn out OK, but most often they are not very tasty. 

I usually grow several types of basil in the garden. I have had volunteer seedlings come up that look like sweet basil but have a distinctive lemon flavor due to the bees bringing the pollen from the lemon basil to the sweet basil. 

Peppers are notorious crossers. If you save seeds from sweet bell peppers that have been grown close to hot peppers, you might have hot bell peppers from the seed you plant next season! 

Pollinators for every garden

Spanish Lavender Plant
Spanish Lavender is a short lived evergreen perennial for me

 

Continue reading “Pollinators”

DIY Pest Control

There is lots of information in books, magazines and on the web for homemade pest and disease control for garden problems. If you read about these, you’ll soon recognize many of the same ingredients throughout. 

And, that’s good, because it means these practices have been tried many times in different situations and they work. 

Below is a link to yet another DIY garden pest control that I found very helpful and easy to follow:

The situation is dire: a multitude of destructive super-villains are attacking your precious garden. These creatures have no remorse and they won’t stop until they exterminate every last blade of grass in your precious, green utopia.

These criminals are each specialized in a specific method of destruction and are so powerful that your innocent plants don’t stand a chance against them, alone. They can level a healthy looking garden in as quickly as a week and can leave nothing standing.

Beetles, aphids, caterpillars and a whole host of baddies descend into your garden and they are not taking any prisoners today. They are set on plundering and looting everything they see till there is nothing more left to destroy.

Is there no way to defeat them? Must you stand by helplessly and watch as they wreak havoc?

Not really. Enter the Guardians Of The Garden.

Here is the rest of the article. 

Houston’s Garden Academy

I learned about this useful gardening website from the Lazy Gardener newsletter from Brenda Smith of the Houston Chronicle. The site is full of good info for those living on or near the Gulf Coast. The info is also relevant, with a few tweaks, to those gardening elsewhere in mild weather regions. I hope you check it out and see if it’s useful to you.

The Garden Academy

Spring!

Spring just has to be the most exciting time of year for us gardeners.

The equinox has passed and the sun is climbing in the sky offering us longer days, more sun to help our plants grow and milder days to work in the garden.

Oh, I know many of you are still in the grip of Old Man Winter, but, Spring will come soon enough. Have you started your seeds yet? Planned this year’s garden? Started cleaning out the beds?

Here in the South, our gardens are transforming, with the end of our winter crops of leafy greens, root vegetables and green peas clearing space for warm weather crops such as beans, cucumbers, squash, melons, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and the like.

I’ve been harvesting Snap Peas for weeks.

Tired Pea Vines!
Tired Pea Vines!

 

The vines are looking a little peaked now and I think it’s time to cut the pea vines and plant something else in that tub. Since I grew peas, which added lots of nitrogen to the soil, I’ll grow a heavy feeder such as a Tomato, Pepper or Eggplant in that tub.

New Lavender, Thyme and Rue!
New Lavender, Thyme and Rue!

 

New herbs are being stocked here at The Herb Cottage just in time for Spring shows and markets.

 

 

 

People are making their way out to the farm to get the best selection of herbs and vegetables, too.

Cucumber, Melons, Okra

In the herb beds, new growth is everywhere!

IMG_0315
Texas Bluebonnets love The Herb Cottage!

Of course, since I let our State Flower, the Texas Bluebonnet, grow wherever it pleases, the beds are full of them now. I’ll have to wait another few weeks until they fade and throw their seed out before I can replant my favorite warm weather annual, basil.

In the greenhouse, I have seeded traditional Genovese Basil, but also lemon, lime, Holy and Thai varieties.

Los of little basil! 4 varieties!
Los of little basil! 4 varieties!

 

 

Each type has a different aroma and flavor. Watch for it at my markets starting in mid to late April.

 

 

 

This year I also have African Blue Basil, which I ordered in for a local bee keeper. He said his bees love it the best. So… if you want to attract bees to your gardens and yard, plant some African Blue Basil for them. Most people find the flavor of the African Blue variety too strong for cooking, but it makes a fabulous landscape plant for the bees and for cut flowers. It’ll bloom until frost! If you live in a frost free area, African Blue Basil is perennial! Start more plants from cuttings, as the seed is sterile.

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia
African Blue Basil- Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

African Blue Basil isn’t just for bees. It’s a great butterfly plant as well.

In fact, most plants that bees like are also favored by butterflies.

 

Continue reading “Spring!”

Peppermint

Candy Cane
Candy Cane

Peppermint, Mentha piperata.

Peppermint doesn’t really get the respect it deserves, in my estimation. It’s commonly found in most herb collections and many people eschew it due to its invasive habit.

Peppermint Leaves
Peppermint Leaves

And, it’s not new! Or exotic! Or called a SuperFood.

But! Peppermint is a herb for all around use! I hope you long-time herb lovers will find new information here. And for those of you who have recently discovered the wonderful world of herbs, you will find some ways to use peppermint you weren’t yet aware of, growing tips and other useful information.

Description

Peppermint is a perennial mint with coarsely serrated leaves which can reach more than 2 inches (5 cm) in length. The stems are square and can be from green to reddish in color. The flowers are pink to red, form in the leaf axils of the upper leaves and are placed in whorls of loose spikes. The whole plant can reach to 36 inches (1 m) high in a favorable environment.

peppermint
Botanical Drawing of Peppermint

 

True Peppermint is a sterile hybrid between Water Mint, M. aquatic and Spearmint, M. spicata.

This means that Peppermint does not produce viable seed. So if you see Peppermint seed for sale, you will not get true Peppermint by growing it out, but, rather, a form of Spearmint with, often, a less than pleasing aroma and taste.

 Because the mints which make up Peppermint are themselves somewhat variable, not all Peppermint smells or tastes the same. If you find a Peppermint that you really like, the best way to keep it going is through vegetative propagation: stem or root cuttings, ground layering or division.

Other Mints in the Peppermint Family

Mints in general are very promiscuous, crossing with each other when in flower at the same time. This habit can cause your mints to lose character over time, so if you have a mint you especially like, keep it isolated from its brethren, or you may lose the properties of it that you like the best. The following are either found cultivars or man-made ones that are popular.

Orange MintMentha piperata f. citrata ‘Orange’– Hardy perennial grows up to 32 inches (30 cm) with an indefinite spread. Small, pale pink flowers. Large rounded leaves, oval, dark green, can be tinged with purple. Citrusy scent.

Black PeppermintMentha piperata– Hardy perennial grows up to 2 feet, (60 cm), leaves pointed, oval and toothed on the margin, dark plum brown tinged with green.

Grapefruit MintMentha X piperata var. citrata has very rounded, fuzzy leaves, grows taller than many other Peppermints and has a citrus-like flavor.

Chocolate Mint, is a cultivar of Peppermint that smells and tastes somewhat of chocolate. It is a favorite for sauces to be served over ice cream. It has shiny, dark green leaves and dark stems.

Cultivation

Most mints are easy to grow and Peppermint is no exception. In fact, many people consider it a garden pest if it escapes into the landscape. Of course, that definition is in the eye of the beholder. If you really like Peppermint Tea or want to make Peppermint Essential Oil, you’ll need lots of Peppermint leaves, so a rambling plant may be just what you need. If not, mints grow quite well contained in pots or hanging baskets.

Peppermint likes cool moist roots and to grow into the sun. If you live in a desert area or the hot, humid Gulf Coast South, as I do, mints can tend to fail in the heat of the summer. My recommendation is to grow your mint where the plant gets morning sun and afternoon shade, especially in the summer. Under a deciduous tree is perfect- Winter sun, Summer shade.

If you’re growing your mint in a container, you can give it lots of Winter and early Spring sun, then move it to a spot where it’s shaded from the searing late summer sun. Or… you can move to Seattle or Milwaukee or Pittsburg and grow your mint in full sun where it will thrive and try to take over the neighborhood.

Peppermint is hardy to Zone 5 and grows in a wide range of soils. It likes water and does well where herbs that need better drainage will not do well. I’ve seen it growing happily under the drip of a room air conditioner or near a faucet in the garden. In containers, it still needs decent drainage. Don’t neglect to water it.

For best results with Peppermint, it’s best to divide and replant an established plant every 3 to 4 years. Cut plants back after flowering to encourage new leaf growth. Leave the flowers until they fade, though, as they attract butterflies and beneficial insects such as hover flies to the garden. In high heat areas, cutting your Peppermint back in late summer will cause fresh, new growth to come out once the fall weather arrives and you’ll have a new crop to harvest.

Healthy Peppermint Plant
Healthy Peppermint Plant

Continue reading “Peppermint”

Winter Solstice and Gardening

Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year because the earth’s axis is tilted farthest from the sun and, therefore, is also the longest night. Our ancestors took this very seriously, as darkness presented more danger as well as cold due to lack of sunlight.

Winter Solstice
Stonehenge marks the Winter and Summer Solstice

Many cultures and religions celebrate the longest night of the year with rituals involving fire, light, noise, singing- anything to lessen the impact of the darkness and to encourage daylight to return with the continuation of the cycle of the earth.

Winter SolsticeWinter Solstice

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 21: People carry lanterns at the Burning The Clocks Festival on December 21, 2011 in Brighton, England. The annual celebration is enjoyed by thousands of people who carry paper lanterns through the streets of Brighton culminating on Brighton Beach where the lanterns are burnt and the Winter Solstice is marked.

As gardeners, the short days of Winter cause us to look forward to the Spring planting season. One way we while away the short days until Spring is to peruse new seed and plant catalogs coming in the mail. As the days slowly lengthen, all seems possible in the upcoming growing season

When I buy seeds, I usually order on-line, but I use the print catalog first to carefully look at my choices for the upcoming season. Somehow, I think the paper catalog allows for more contemplation and comparison, than on-line listings.

 

cat_coversThe problem with those colorful photographs and glowing descriptions is, of course, that we order much more than we can fit in our garden space or than we have time to tend.

 

 

 

overgrown_garden

 

 

 

Overgrown Garden

 

But… what’s a gardener to do? This is the perfect time of year to sit in a cozy house with a hot beverage and a stack of seed catalogs to thumb through and dream with. Each catalog has exciting new varieties to offer. Each variety of tomato sounds tastier than the last. Each piquant pepper will add just the right note to your salsa. Each new flower color will add just the right touch to your garden.

Basil Siam Queen.JPG

African Blue Basil 

There is a danger in all those pretty pictures and descriptions, each plant seeming like the perfect choice for your garden. Not all plants do well in all parts of the country, in all soil types and in all situations. So, before you get completely carried away, there are a few things you should take into account when looking at seed and plant catalogs. 

Continue reading “Winter Solstice and Gardening”

Books

 

Featured Post for November 2015

As many of you know, if you’ve been following The Herb Cottage for a while, I like books!

I especially like books on plants and gardening. And, it will come as no surprise to you, that I especially like books on herbs. I keep finding myself adding to my book collection, even though the volumes I have would likely comprise the foundation of a good herb library. Each person who sets out to write a book on herbs brings something different to the project than anyone else. At least, that’s my excuse for having so many good books on herbs!

As I have done in past years, I’ve decided to review some herb books that you might find interesting for gifts or for yourself. Some of these are new titles, some are new to me, but published earlier, and some are my favorites for the study of herbs. So, settle back and enjoy the journey through some books on herbs. A cup of herb tea would be just the thing to accompany you.

lavender_garden

The Lavender Garden

by Robert Kourik,

Photographs by Deborah Jones,                    Published 1998

This book has been reviewed many times since its pubication. It is a lovely and useful book on growing lavender, one of the most popular herbs, if my sales are any indication. It covers the main species and many of the cultivars available. The information on growing deals with soil, light, climate and what types do best in what growing conditions. There is a section that will introduce you to the many varieties of lavender- all lavenders are not created equal, you might say- and the pictures are beautiful and helpful. Harvesting and pruning of the plants is also included.

If you are not interested in growing lavender, only in using it for crafts or cooking, you will still find this book helpful. There is considerable information on using lavender in crafts, toiletries and cooking. Mr. Kourik even talks about using the leaves of the lavender plant for flavor, not just the flowers or buds.

You can’t go wrong with this book for a lavender lover! It captures the essence of lavender and is a useful book to have on the shelf. The photographs are divine!


 

dental_herbalism

Dental Herbalism, Natural Therapies for the Mouth

by Leslie M. Alexander, PhD, RH(AHG) and Linda A. Straub-Bruce, BS Ed, RDH                                        Published 2014

I saw this book at our local library and thought I would scan it, reading bits here and there to see what it’s all about. Much to my surprise, I’m quite fascinated by it. Dental Herbalism has an introductory section on the physical characteristics of the mouth including teeth, gums, bone, etc. Then, the book opens up into why our oral health is so important. How the mouth is key to our total good health.

As the book continues, various strategies concerning the health of the mouth, teeth, etc. are discussed with the focus being on using herbs to maintain good oral health. There’s a mini herbal encyclopedia with herbs listed that are beneficial to the care of the mouth. Alternative methods for oral care are discussed, giving the reader choices other than the commercial products available.

All in all, this is a valuable approach to wholistic health with the care of the mouth as the focus. A good reference for anyone interested in a healthier body aided by the use of herbs. Even with so much technical information, the book is easy to read and comprehend. It’s written in a very friendly style.


 

southern_herb_growing

Southern Herb Growing

by Madalene Hill and Gwen Barclay    Published 1997

If you live and want to grow herbs in South Texas or elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, this book is a must-have. Written in 1997 and updated a couple of times since then, it was the first book that really addressed growing herbs in Texas, which many people said “couldn’t be done”. The book is a wealth of growing information in the Southern climate, when to plant which herb, which ones are easy and which ones are more difficult to get to thrive. It’s useful for anyone along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida.

There is a Recipe Section with absolutely mouth-watering photographs accompanying each recipe, a section on planning your herb garden, preserving and crafting which makes the book really complete.

Even with all the books in my library, this is still my go-to book for growing herbs here in Texas.


 

The Big Book of Herbs

by Arthur O. Clark and Thomas DeBaggio Published 2000

More scholarly than some of the other books on this list, this one goes into great detail about all the various cultivars available for each herb, how to grow the varieties, historical uses as well as the chemistry of each plant. Even though the book is very detailed, it is easy to read and understand. Here’s what Jim Long, publisher of many books on herbs says: “Tom DeBaggio and Dr. Art Tucker give us new insight into herbs we thought we knew well. Everything from propagation to the chemistry of herbs is found here, along with precise pronunciation and the origins of each plant. These two highly esteemed experts have brought together expansive and enlightening information from their many years of experience.”

If you’re serious about herbs, whether growing or using them in products, this book is invaluable. 


 

ency_of_herbs

The Herb Society of America New Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses

by Deni Bown                                         Published 2001

This is an extensive and very complete collection of herbal information. The Herb Catalog section contains a description of the plants, country of origin and, in some cases, a bit of the usage. In the next section, The Herb Dictionary, you’ll find what the herb is used for, how to grow it, harvest it and a history of usage. Good photos compliment the listings.

If you have room for only one book on herbs and their uses, this would definitely be one to consider.


 

ency_of_magical_herbs

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs

by Scott Cunningham                                                             Published 1985 (numerous updates)

I added this book to my collection in 2014. Even though I’m not given to casting spells or magical chanting, I do think there is more to this world than we can see. (Fairies, Elves, ESP, Dreams …?)

Scott Cunningham has nicely categorized many herbs into encyclopedic form listing the botanical name, associations for each herb (gender, planet, element and powers) and provided a black and white line drawing for most every listing.

Here’s a sample:

“Dill, Anethum graveolens
Folk Names: Aneton, Dill Weed, Dilly, Garden Dill, Chebbit, Sowa, Keper, Hulwa, Buzzalchippet
Gender: Masculine
Planet: Mercury
Element: Fire
Powers: Protection, money, Lust, Love
Magical Uses: The herb is protective when hung at the door and carried in protective sachets. Placed in the cradle it protects children. And if it is placed over the door, no one ill-disposed or envious of you can enter your house.

Dill, owing to the number of seeds the plant produces, is used in money spells. (As is fennel.)

Added to the bath, it makes the bather irresistible, and dill stimulates lust if eaten or smelled (which is why dill pickles are so popular).

Smell dill to cure hiccoughs.”

It’s an interesting and useful book, even if you never want to cast a spell!


 

 

wild_weedy

The Wild and Weedy Apothecary by Doreen Shababy, Published in 2010

I wrote about this book in the November 2012 edition of the newsletter. I love the tone of this book… and the title! And, now in 2015, I find myself using this book more and more!

It’s incredibly useful, easy to read and the information is clearly presented. The book contains “recipes” for healing uses of herbs, simple teas, food recipes using herbs and a lot about harvesting and using herbs found in your own area. Then, there is an encyclopedic listing of herbs with remedies and recipes for each listing. For instance, under A, you will find the following– Alliums, Anise, Apple, Aromatherapy and Aunt Carols’s Manicotti– each with a recipe or useful commentary.

The Wild and Weedy Apothecary is a book to own and browse through. Use it to make tried and true homemade recipes for simple, everyday ailments with easy to find ingredients.


 

edibleEdible, An Illustrated Reference to the World’s Food Plants

by National Geographic                                           Published 2008

This book isn’t about herbs, but it’s a fascinating look into the geography of the food we eat.

Given the intense interest today in local foods and eating a more plant based and basic diet, this reference gives us a look at food worldwide. If you’re looking to add some more unusual foods to your diet, this book can help- with food history, how the food is prepared locally and lots more interesting information.


There are almost innumerable books on herbs, each one offering something a little bit different. Whether your herbal passion is to cook with herbs, use them in the garden as pollinators and companion plants, for skin care or other medicinal uses, for use in rituals or in crafts there are books for you.
In addition to books, there is a wealth of information on the Internet, of course. But, something I like about books is how immediate the format is. You can flip from section to section, have several books open on your table at once, make notes in the margins, press herb sprigs or flowers among the pages -try doing that with your laptop! Books are warm, they don’t intrude and can be kept forever.

Oh, if your books are being nibbled on by silverfish, press wormwood, Artemesia officinalis, among the pages or scatter it around your bookshelves to deter them.

cornucopiahappy_thanksgiving

And… who could resist…

Happy-Thanksgiving-Day-From-Samantha-Endora-bewitched-2915030-800-600
QUOTE FOR THE MONTH

The best theology is probably no theology; just love one another.

-Charles Schulz, cartoonist (26 Nov 1922-2000)