Did you know about Herbs?
Herbs make a great
addition to your garden, combining attractive display
with practical uses. Popular for centuries, many herbs
are surrounded by myths, lore and historical fact. We’ve
taken a look at a few here. One word of warning, do
not try to make herbal remedies yourself. If you are
interested in exploring this area, consult a professional
- The word ‘herb’
originally meant a plant that ‘lacked persistent
above ground parts’. Now its meaning is based
not on how it grows but how it is used. If a plant
has medicinal or culinary uses, it is described as
- You can make
your own herbal teas. Place the chopped up leaves
of mint or lemon balm, for example, in a tea pot,
pour hot water over them, and allow the infusion to
steep for around five minutes before pouring.
- The second
part of a herb’s botanical name gives some indication
of its properties or how it was used. For example,
odoratus means fragrant, tinctorius refers to colouring
(Salvia officinalis) has been cultivated since the
16th century as a herb. Research carried out at Newcastle
Hospital found that it may help stimulate the memory,
a property that was noted in the 18th century by John
(Rosmarinus officinalis) was voted Herb of the Year
2000 by the International Herb Association. It symbolizes
fidelity and was often used at weddings.
(Borago officinalis) is said to cure hangovers. Its
leaves taste of cucumber and make a pleasant addition
to summer drinks; its flowers can be added to salads
and deserts. It’s also a great plant for attracting
bees to your garden.
- The leaves of
(Coriandrum sativum) are sold as a herb, its seeds
as a spice. It is native to India and the Mediterranean,
but the discovery of seeds in a Bronze Age hut in
Kent revealed that it made its way to England several
thousand years ago.
- In Greece newly
wed couples carried posies of marjoram
(Origanum vulgare), which was thought to be a love
charm. It was also grown on tombs to help the dead
find peace. An old wives’ tale has it that a
mixture of marjoram and thyme hung in a dairy will
prevent thunderstorms from turning milk sour.
- In addition to making
a brilliant summer display, the flowers of nasturtiums
(Tropaeolum majus) are delicious in salads (they have
a peppery taste), whilst the buds, soaked in vinegar,
make an excellent alternative to capers.
to Greek myth, the nymph Mentha was turned into a
plant by Proserpine, who was jealous of her husband
Pluto’s interest in the girl.
fennel (Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’)
can be used to produce coloured dyes in shades of
brown, yellow and green.
- Sprigs of
(Artemisia) will prevent moths from eating your clothes.
- The name for
(Anethum graveolens) is thought to derive from the
Norse word ‘dylla’ meaning ‘lull’.
Dill was an ingredient of gripe water, which was used
to calm babies and small children.
- A pillow of
can assist sleep.
- During the Great
Plague in the 17th century, people carried herb pomanders
in the belief that the illness could not spread through
- The petals of
(Calendula officinalis) flower can be used to colour
rice and be eaten in salads. Planted in a vegetable
patch or kitchen garden, it will deter greenfly from
infesting other plants.
Visit our Superstore to see the attractive lavender
collections we have on offer.
We can also show you how to plant
a perennial in a container.
reprinted with permission from Greenfingers.com