Happy Wednesday Friends! When I first started gardening, I stumbled across herbs in an attempt to combat poor rocky soil and deer who ate everything I planted. Since then, they have become the foundation of my garden and Etsy shop. Herbs thrive in poor soil, survive our long hot summers, and are ignored by the deer! They are a lush, fragrant addition to any garden but did you know they offer many health benefits?
Let's start with Mint--by far one of the easiest herbs to grow. Unfortunately, it has gotten a bad rap for overtaking gardens and it is true that once established it does tend to go wild. If this is a concern, it can always be planted in a container. However, I happily welcome any plant that stays green from Spring through Fall, is drought tolerant and smells so heavenly! I love to garnish drinks and desserts with refreshing Mint. Nutritionally, it is rich in vitamins A and C and contains smaller amounts of B2. It is an antioxidant and may decrease the risk of certain cancers. Mint makes a tummy soothing herbal tea and is also delicious in salads, dressings and even veggies.
Thyme has a fresh lemony scent and produces these pretty pale pink blossoms in the Spring. Like most herbs, it is drought tolerant and does not require much water so I have multiple plants as part of my front yard landscaping. It is rich in iron and manganese and is a good source of calcium and dietary fiber. Some people season with salt and pepper--I add Thyme and pepper to almost everything for its light, delicate flavoring. It is especially good in soups.
Oregano does not seem to be as popular with gardeners as some of its sister herbs. I'm not sure why--a small plant will grow into a large bush and it is rated as one of the plant sources highest in antioxidants. It is a strong source of potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin C. It is a culinary favorite in Mediterranean cuisine and there is nothing like fresh Oregano on pasta or pizza!
Ahh, lovely Lavender--the color, the fragrance, its showy display...sigh! Well known for relaxation and healing properties, it has been used to reduce stress, treat headaches and induce sleep. Lavender essential oil is a staple in my home for cleaning and scenting linens. Culinary Lavender is my "secret" ingredient in my signature french toast and to make a simple syrup for Lavender lemonade.
Aromatic Rosemary borders both the entrance to my garden and walk to my front door, prompting guests to inhale and exclaim, "Your yard smells so good!" In fact, if you were standing in any place in my garden, at least one Rosemary bush would be in your line of vision. It stays green year round and has become a popular herb for weddings. It is a rich source of dietary fiber, iron and calcium. It stimulates the immune system, improves digestion, increases circulation and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Rosemary enhances salmon, lamb, fish and chicken. I often use fresh sprigs as colorful skewers for appetizers.
I am so glad you stopped by today. I hope you are inspired to plant some herbs--whether you have rambling acres or a small patio container garden, you'll be glad you did! I would love to hear how you use herbs in your home and garden.