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Herbs Delight The Senses And Have Other Uses
by Jennifer Moore
by Jennifer Moore

email: moorelandscaping@sympatico.ca

Jennifer Moore is the owner and operator of Moore Landscaping based in Elora, Ontario. Jennifer is a talented writer and landscape designer providing unique landscaping services.

Her website can be reached here...

http://www3.sympatico.ca/moorelandscaping


September 16, 2007

1pt.gif (86 bytes)For my last article for this gardening year, it is the final part of the three-part series on herbs. The many uses of herbs; culinary or medicinal seem to amaze me. Every turn of a page of a book or click of the computer mouse give me more information than ever before. More and more people want additional information than already provided to them. Some gardeners are seeing these plants no longer as a pretty flower, but instead have other "keeping" properties for their garden; decorative when dried, medicinal, culinary and more. And, with so many species of plants being offered with many varieties within the species, and our properties and time available getting smaller, the choices seem even harder to make.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)Here are a few herbs to think about and to enjoy while the snow blows around you in winter:

Lavender - This woody perennial has grey-green, narrow leaves and pale purple flowers that bloom in July to September. It thrives in a dry, hot and sunny location, growing 2 to 3 feet tall. The blooms should be picked in the early morning and just as the lower buds start to open on the stem, thus ensuring the fragrance is not emitted into the air. Small bunches tied together and hung upside-down to dry is the best way of preserving this herb. Not only is this plant valued for its scent, but a mild lavender water tea is said to help indigestion and ease a sore throat if used as a gargle.

Dill - A multi-use plant mainly used for culinary purposes, the most common is in pickles. This annual plant grows 2 to 3 feet tall, has very fine almost wispy leaves growing up the central stem. Yellow umbrella-like blooms appear on the top of these stems, which then mature to provide the seeds or fruits. The leaves can be used in potato dishes, stews and sauces; either dried or fresh. The fruits (or seeds) are easily found in stores and can be used in place of the leaves as well. Medicinally speaking, dill water, prepared from oil of dill is a common folk remedy to ease colic in infants and digestive disorders in small children. It can also be used to perfume soaps and perfumes.

Herb-Robert - A member of the geranium family, this native to Europe plant is seen growing wild in many parts of North America. It is commonly seen in a woodland setting, but can do equally as well in ditches, clearings and common gardens. This is said to be an annual, but it self sows so readily, it can become almost weed-like if not carefully watched. Growing up to 24 inches tall in warmer climates than ours, it usually grows 9 to 12 inches tall here. The leaves are palmately divided and are a medium green that is edged in a purple tint. This plant blooms in June thru October with pink, five-petalled dainty blooms. Not only good as a ground cover in tough areas, it works well as an astringent for skin irritations and bruises and helps stop bleeding.

1pt.gif (86 bytes)Now, with the season coming to a close, my bulbs are planted, the shrubs are pruned, my roses covered and tools are put away, I will get to enjoy the heavy reading I look forward to every winter.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)Being on an acre on the edge of town, I do have the space to grow many plants, but with a busy lifestyle I am limited in the amount of time I am able to garden. My many flowerbeds are packed with perennials, yet they are easy keepers and they are kept almost weed-free by the heavy wood chip mulch I apply every few years. So, with this in mind it is possible to have a garden than can almost look after itself, and when the mail order catelogues arrive shortly, I can once again, dream of all the wonderful things to plant in my garden next year - that is of course after I re-arrange what I already have!


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