Calendula

In winter Calendula officinalis rubs shoulders with pansies, petunias, and violas on the seedling rack in garden centres. That’s because they are sold as bedding plants; easy growing, colourful and pickable. Their rightful place is actually on the herb rack. Calendula has serious flower power in its petals! Their key actions, according to herbal references, […]

Rosemary

Rosemary  How easy it is to take rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) for granted. Once it is in the garden it is just there – doesn’t demand water, doesn’t over-grow everything, and doesn’t mind heat or cold. Winter is a fine time to become reacquainted with this herb. It flavours succulent roasts, can be added to bathwater […]

Super Herbs For Soups

Super herbs for soups The best thing about winter is that is the season for soup, providing yet another reason for using herbs. Besides log fires and red wine, a hearty soup is one of the great pleasures of winter and in most cases herbs are the magic ingredient. Whether herbs are used as seasoning […]

Winter Edible Flowers

Winter edible flowers There is a simple antidote for the winter blues. Use edible flowers in salads, snacks and desserts as a colourful and tasty ingredient. Do’s and don’ts As with vegetables and herbs, don’t use pesticides or else use products labelled for edible crops, making sure you observe the safety period. Pick the flowers […]

Prepare Your Own Winter Herb Pharmacy

Preparing your winter herb garden Pull up summer annuals like basil, dill, borage, to make space for winter herbs or veggies. Add borage plants to the compost heap; the leaves are full of minerals and also act as a compost activator Replenish the soil with compost, adding it to beds where summer annuals have grown […]

Oriental greens

Oriental greens When there is not much green stuff in winter, Oriental greens step in and fill the gap very nicely. The leaves have a mustard tang, to a greater or lesser degree, and can be used in salads, on sandwiches, in stir fries and soups. Plant in a position that receives winter sun and […]

Horseradish

Horseradish  Its root is the most valued part and this is harvested when the plant dies down in autumn. The pungent horseradish sauce that delivers a kick to salads, sauces, mustard and even mayonnaise, is made from the grated raw root. The ground root also has many healing actions; as a mild antibiotic, expectorant and […]

Best Herbs For Preserving

Best herbs for preserving There is a special pleasure that comes from harvesting and preserving herbs in autumn. Just as one squirrels away winter squash, dries strings of chillies, and sauces up excess tomatoes for the freezer, so should herbs be dried, frozen or processed for flavouring winter meals. If nothing else, who can deny […]

French Herbs

Classic French cuisine is both sophisticated and simple and herbs are an essential ingredient. Subtly flavoured herbs like tarragon, chervil, chives, and fennel are used with a light touch, while thyme is favoured for the robust flavour it imparts to casseroles, roasts and soup. BOX: Traditional herb combinations The French use herbs differently, making their […]

Herbs For Autumn Allergies

Herbs for autumn allergies Autumn is the season of allergies, with its abundance of pollen, dust and seed. While the “fruits” of the garden can make us miserable, there are also plants that offer a solution for the ills. Natures supplies what you need, when you need it. Common garden herbs like thyme, sage and […]