Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Herb'N Gardening

It is that time!  Spring is here and the frost is not showing any sign of return and my mini greenhouse is full of herbs and vegetables.  My herb garden is staring some repeat performances from last season, parsley, oregano, sage, fennel, marjoram & thyme (just to name a few).  They all made it through the winter unscathed, not to mention the resilient and robust mints (lemon balm, catnip, chocolate mint, peppermint, etc...) that are relagated to containers to keep them from taking over the garden.  I moved the catnip to a new location so the neighborhood kittys looking for their high have to look elsewhere, to give the plant a break.  There have been times when I have found this plant to be covered in cat fur and the catnip so worn down that I wonder if the plant will survive.  If catnip is anything, it is a survivor.  It may take a while but, it always comes back to be better than what it was before. 

The echinacea is establishing itself rather well and this is the year that I can begin harvesting the roots but, I want to grow a significant amount more before I do, so I have a flat of seedlings that I have started and an herb garden at the Cathcart farm that is awaiting their arrival.  I divided the feverfew and the newly divided plants are really seeming to be happy.  The more plants the better.

The St. John's Wort shrubs and Chastetree and Witch Hazel trees seem to be doing well. The Rue has taken well to the pruning and is growing back even fuller than before.

Rosemary is a no-brainer and grows just about anywhere in this region.  I am glad that it grows so easily and well as rosemary is a very useful herb to deal with sinus congestion, pressure, headaches and so much more!!!  Plus who can resist its flavor, even as a tea? 

This year, I hope is a better year for the english lavender.  We will see.  Drainage is key to the happiness of lavender plants from my observation.  I hope to make more lavender wands and yawn as I weave the ribbons through. LOL!

I am anxious for the basil seedlings to be transplanted for another glorious summer of culinary & therapeutic uses.  I love basil for many reasons.  The taste, the fragance, it makes an excellent pesto (maybe I will share my recipe one day, maybe) & is a wonderful companion to tomatoes. To top it off, especially this time of year as seasons change, basil is the best aid to bringing severe allergic reactions to a halt. 

Here in the Southeast, the pollen is so thick that I daily sweep a layer of pollen off of the porch!  I have seen hives, irritation and swelling come down quickly.  Even yesterday, there was a client at Serenity Suites that began having an asthma attack and she forgot her inhaler at home.  I am so grateful that I was present to give her a dropperful of Breathe Easy formula and a spoonful of pesto that I keep on hand.  Almost immediately, her breathing returned to normal and she resumed her services.  Natural herbs are powerful and potent. It made me feel good to be able to tune into nature and pay attention to the gifts and messages that are awaiting us.

I am looking forward to the new editions:  borage, brazilian verbena, chervil, summer savory, and much more.  There is no time to go through them all but, there is a lot to look forward to and even more to explore!