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Salad Burnet (Sanguisorba minor)
Salad BurnetSalad Burnet is a lesser-known herb that is well worth discovering. The fresh young leaves have a cucumber-like flavour so they can be used in salads and salad dressings, chopped up and added to cream cheese or soft cheese, used in herb butters, and added to casseroles and soup. The delicate, fern like leaves are an attractive garnish for both light summer meals and cooling cocktails.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
FennelJanuary is the month when we firmly resolve to knock our bodies into shape, after the excesses of Christmas. But instead of dusting off old diets or trying new ones, why not consider a herbal alternative? A herbal infusion made from freshly picked Fennel leaves is known to aid weight loss. It's also an excellent tonic, helping digestion and improving memory.
Borage (Borago officinalis)
BorageDid you know that Borage was used by the Romans to relieve hangovers? Borage (Borago officinalis) is one of nature's best tonics for stress and depression. So if the pre-Christmas parties have put you into reverse mode, reach for the big B.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Lemon BalmAt this time of year we can all do with as much Lemon Balm, or Melissa, as we can find. A soothing cup of Lemon Balm tea works wonders for panic attacks - whether it's Matric exams or just the stress and anxiety of meeting end of year deadlines.
Zen Gardens
Zen GardenI'm not particularly green fingered. In fact I will go a step further and admit that I don't enjoy digging around in the muck at all. Don't get me wrong, I do love gardens, I enjoy the smell of the grass and the perfume of the trees, the different shades of green as the clouds move and the sun goes down. I think gardens are for enjoyment and contemplation, I therefore find myself quite drawn to the idea of a Zen garden. Even maintaining (raking) the garden sounds so lonely and romantic it really appeals to my hermit side.
Dill (Anethum graveolens)
DillAt first glance it's easy to confuse Dill and Fennel and of the two, Dill is the Cinderella herb, less known for its delicate, nuanced flavour. Dill has a particular affinity with fish, as anyone who has enjoyed salmon or trout lightly garnished with a dill dressing will know. But its culinary range extends well beyond that.
Waterwise Gardening
WaterwiseSouth Africa's water consumption is increasing despite the fact that we live in country that is predominantly semi-arid with regions that experience regular drought periods. Waterwise gardening has therefore now become an essential facet of responsible water management.
Moon Planting
Moon PlantingMoon planting, lunar gardening or whatever you want to call it is one aspect of Biodynamic farming that is gaining increasing popularity amongst both gardeners and farmers. Gardening and growing crops in harmony with the cycles of the moon was a largely forgotten practise that has been around for many centuries - but it is now beginning to make a revival.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
RosemaryCelebrate spring with the fragrance and flowers of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). Add the tiny blue flowers in ice cubes to spring punches. Make delectable rosemary syrup and stir it into fruity thirst quenchers or compôte of fresh fruit. Infuse the flavours of the Mediterranean into chicken or lamb slow cooked in chopped rosemary leaves, garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Or just fill jugs with flowering sprigs and enjoy the matchless fragrance as its floats through the house.
Spring into a new herb year
HerbpotsIt is time to get active in the herb garden. The garden centres are full of lush and healthy plants that are just begging to be taken home. But there is nothing more disappointing than buying a healthy plant and after a few weeks it turns up its toes and dies. They say failure is good for us, but success is nicer. Here are 10 tips from Bouquet Garni's Di-Di Hoffman to set you up for a successful herb season.
Yarrow/Duisenblad (Achillea millefolium)
YarrowIt grows like a weed and looks more like a common garden flower than a herb, but Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is in fact an ancient healing herb that dates back to the legendary battle of Troy. Achilles used the flowers and leaves to treat his soldiers wounds, hence its Latin name. What's been more recently discovered is that Yarrow is a good gynaecological herb.
Herbs Gardening in Containers
HerbsHerbs can be grown very successfully in containers and can be an attractive addition to any garden or patio. Apart from their aesthetic value, they are a practical solution for people who have limited gardening space at their disposal.
Beneficial Garden Bugs
LadybirdThese little creatures are seen as pests by many but are essential in organic gardening. Here's an A-Z guide on how they can help you in your efforts to create the perfect garden the organic way.
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