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Thursday, September 22, 2011

The End of the Season

Hi everyone!

I thought I would walk around outside and snap a few photos of the last of the flower blooms on our herb plants. There is a soft misting rain happening and that just draws me to our plants. I don’t know why but, when plants are gently dripping with rain I find them the most beautiful.I know, I am odd.

You all know that I love herbs. Of course, since it is our business, I REALLY love herbs. However, I have been growing my own herbs since way before I even met Troy. Even if you don’t use herbs, they are beautiful plants to surround yourself in. The uniqueness of each plant, the scent and the flowering blossoms are worth planting them.

Herbs make up a huge part of English Gardens. They really became popular during the Victorian Era.


By Victorian times although physicians were the ones with the power as far as healing was concerned, the poorer folks still preferred herbs and while it might seem obvious that it was because it was all they could afford, it was also normal for rich people to have at least one of their servants to be skilled in the use of herbs so that they had remedies to hand for any illness that should strike.

There are just so many uses for herbs that have nothing to do with culinary uses.

So, come and walk with me among our herbs.

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Oregano has a very ancient reputation and has been used in both the kitchen and the sickroom since the time of the ancients. The Greeks used it extensively, both internally and externally as a remedy for narcotic poisons, convulsions and dropsy. Oregano oil and leaf are both strong herbal antibacterial agents due to the high thymol* content. Externally, the dried leaves and tops may be applied in bags as a hot fomentation to painful swellings arthritic joints and rheumatism, as well as for colic. Oregano tea is a strong sedative and traditionally used to treat colds, fevers, and painful menstruation.

Bonus Tidbits

We have been working on creating a line of herbal teas. I have played with tea that I used some Oregano. When steeped in a tea, it really does help in relaxation.

*Thymol is also the active compound in Thyme, hence the name.

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The medicinal qualities of the oil extracted from Sweet Marjoram - Oleum majoranae - are similar to that of the Wild Marjoram. To get fifteen ounces of the oil requires 150 lb. of the fresh herb. On being kept, it assumes a solid form. It is used as an external application for sprains, bruises, etc., and also as an emmenagogue.

Sweet marjoram is known mainly as a culinary herb and is used to season soups, salads and vegetable sauces.

Outdoor2011spring 100 Basil

Outdoor2011spring 102Cinnamon Basil

Basil is more than just a culinary herb for herbalists. They use it to improve appetite and gently combat fatigue. Like other herbs in the mint family it is carminative and disinfectant. The fresh picked leaves make a stimulating and refreshing tea. Basil has also been used as an aphrodisiac, and for melancholy and depression.

Basil First Aid for skin: Fresh basil leaves are an excellent first aid remedy for warts, insect bites and rashes. The leaves are the source of the antibacterial essential oil which gives basil it's uplifting aroma, and is the bane of insects as well. This is really handy when you are out tending to the summer garden, and are bitten. Just snip a few basil leaves and rub them on the itch for immediate relief.

Bonus tidbit

Also use Savory for insect bites. I was stung in the neck one evening by a wasp. It instantly swelled and hurt like a son of a gun. Troy grabbed several Savory leaves, smashed them and held them to the sting. Within 2 minutes the swelling and pain was gone.

Outdoor2011spring 103Peppermint

Of all the mints, peppermint is now probably the most widely used of all, due to its high content of menthol. Peppermint has a antispasmodic effect that soothes stomachaches and is effective in colic and flatulence. Externally peppermint oil is used in pain relieving balms and massage oils. Menthol is cooling and analgesic, and increases blood flow to the painful area. Peppermint oil also contains azulene, which is known for it's anti-inflammatory and ulcer healing effects.

Outdoor2011spring 105Spearmint

Spearmint has much the same properties as peppermint, but is milder and good for use with children's complaints. Spearmint tea will relieve hiccough, flatulence as well as indigestion. Generally, the sweetened herb tea is an excellent remedy, and is also a pleasant to use in case of colds, congestion or just as a pleasant beverage.

Interesting tidbit

Spearmint tea may help to control excessive hair growth in women, say Turkish researchers. Drinking the tea twice a day, reduced levels of male sex hormones, which can cause excessive hair growth (hirsutism) on the stomach, breasts and face.

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Feverfew inhibits platelet aggregating in the bloodstream, thus preventing blockage of small capillaries. This action is one of the reasons behind feverfew's popularity in treatment of migraines. It has a mild tranquilizing effect and is especially good for headaches caused by tension or fatigue. Feverfew has been used in the treatment of headaches since the first century. It has also been used for inflammation, arthritis, menstrual discomforts, fever, and other aches and pains

Outdoor2011spring 107-tileGarlic Chives

This was our first year to add these to our garden. I love them. Last week these cluster of pretty white flowers were so dense and beautiful! I definitely want to divide these up next year and get a lot more growing! and the flavor is wonderful!Found in kitchen gardens since the early 1800s

Outdoor2011spring 115Lime Mint

With so many flowers dying out for the season, some are just showing their pretty petals.

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Outdoor2011spring 111-tileOutdoor2011spring 114Outdoor2011spring 116This pretty pink petunia just popped up in some mint. I never planted it.

Thank you for joining me in my walk through our garden. I know you are a little chilled and slightly damp so, come on in and warm up with some black tea infused with some cinnamon basil.

I used standard black tea bags and added about 6 large bruised Cinnamon Basil leaves. Once in the pot with hot water, let steep for 15 minutes.

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  1. You know your herb flowers have me wanting to plant even more next year. Well I didn't even do much of a garden this year at all. Next year will be better. I've started my list and will be reading up and I will ask you any questions I might expert friends! hugs, Linda

  2. Lime mint sounds interesting. Very pretty too!