The Joy Of Using Fresh Herbs

My love of growing herbs began back in the early nineties. 

I was part of a women’s group called The Herb Society

Once per month, we’d meet and learn about herbs. Designated members would bring a tasty recipe containing herbs for us to enjoy after the meeting.

I recall once we drove out of town to an herb festival. It was great to get together. We became friends, brought about by our mutual love of herbs.

Herbal Treasures, written by Phyllis V. Shaudys, is my very favorite book I happened to purchase at one of the herb group meetings. 

The one you see above is not my original copy. I believe I wore the first one out. I ordered this one from some obscure place online because I wanted another copy.

This is a black and white book unfortunately. No wonderful color photos to gaze at. Still, it is chock-full of great information and ideas on ways to use herbs.

This book was also my introduction to aromatherapy.

And it introduced me to tussie-mussies. Or “talking bouquets.”

I found an herb tussie-mussie on Pinterest to show you. (Unfortunately, when I clicked through to the website, they no longer had it on the site.)

heatherbullard.com

For lunch yesterday, I had a baked potato with fresh chives. So nice to just go out on the patio and snip chives for my potato.

Pineapple Sage
Chocolate Mint

Herbs and flowers are many things to me. Often when I’ve lost a beloved pet, I plant a memory garden in their honor.

I choose herbs/flowers to describe my love for that pet. For instance, rosemary for remembrance. Chamomile for comfort.

The Language Of Flowers:

Floriography is the “language of flowers,” dating back to Victorian times. It allowed people to express feelings which otherwise could not be spoken, through their choice of flowers.

Sounds so old-fashioned, doesn’t it? Well, it is. But it’s also wonderful.

Here’s an article about how flower-obsessed Victorians encoded messages in bouquets.

Using herbs enables all the senses: Sight, smell, touch. Rub the leaf of pineapple sage and you will be rewarded with a gift that is, for me, truly glorious and unlike any other.

Growing herbs gives me joy in so many ways. I have planted wagon wheel herb gardens using bricks as spokes, herb container gardens, herb fairy gardens, etc.  

You can find many of these gardens described in the book.

Getting Unplugged:

In this era of immediacy, I like to get unplugged from all things electronic and go out to my patio. 

I sit and listen to the birds. Watch the hummingbirds and butterflies gather around my herbs and flowers. They enjoy them as much as I do.

It is the ultimate treat in relaxation and contentment. A simple gift we give ourselves that just keeps on giving.

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13 Comments

  1. I'm super excited to get my herbs planted for the season! I have missed being able to go out on my deck and snip what I need for that night's kitchen creation. Unfortunately the only perennial herb that came back is the sage, not counting the chives of course that are in pots on the deck. The dill self seeded all over the beds, but everything else has to be planted fresh each year. Too bad.

  2. What a lovely post! I so enjoy growing and using fresh herbs. Years ago, my cousin and I visited Caprilands, an herb farm in Connecticut. The owner, Adelma Grenier Simmons led us on a tour, and then she gave us a lecture in her barn. She treated us to a tasting featuring her recipes. I will always remember that she said that her parents let her plant herbs and experiment. Thank you for sending me on a trip down Memory Lane. I just ordered the book that you mentioned as well as one of Adelma's.

  3. My family know that herbs are always welcome as Mother's Day presents. It is blissful to step outside and snip them fresh and I learned to love them much as you did, by joining a group and touring herb farms many years ago and reading about them. My father was old fashioned enough to still call them by the old way when I was a child, the H pronounced as in a man's name!

  4. After a winter of rain, my garden is happy and I am actually able to water. And simply sitting in my garden watching the flowers grow is becoming a common occurance.

  5. I would love to use fresh herbs in cooking but I find that when I do I am disappointed because I can't taste them! Maybe I just don't use enough. I particularly like Basil to put in a pasta dish. Never heard of lime basil but that sounds nice. I do love lavender, I think it is a herb, correct me if I am wrong Brenda. I have never cooked with it but love the color and smell. I have been using a lavender soap for as long as I can remember.

  6. Is Hilltop Herb Farm by any chance the one you went to? When I lived in Texas in the early 70's, I went there. They had a farm and small restaurant. They had a tour of their garden and then a lunch prepared with herbs and talked about the preparation. It was very intimate, and Madeline Hill did the tours herself. I just looked it up, and this is what it has grown into…
    https://artesianlakes.com/restaurant/

  7. Herbs can be grown indoors in pots or outdoors in pots or the ground, which makes them accessible to just about everyone. They are delightful to look at, smell, and eat. By the way, Brenda, a book that I got as a gift years ago is very interesting — A City Herbal, by Maida Silverman. It is described on the cover as a guide to the lore, legend and usefulness of 34 plants that grow wild in cities, suburbs and country places. It features plants that most people call weeds, that often grow in waste places and sidewalk cracks. These plants, such as dandelions and Queen Anne's Lace, have some use, maybe as a tea, a salad green or perhaps a poultice. There are only drawings of the plants, but they are very nicely done. I see that the book is available at amazon.com. It's wonderful that you can enjoy your love of herbs in the solitude of your peaceful patio garden.

  8. I enjoy growing herbs. I'm not much of a cook so really never use them. This year I added lime basil and chocolate mint. Can anyone give me suggestions on how to use them

  9. Good Morning Brenda! I like to plant herbs too. I plant them in pots that I can put on our small deck. That way I can enjoy them when I am sitting out there reading or doing some embroidery/quilting by hand. The fragrance
    is wonderful, plus it keeps some of the pesky little nats, etc at bay.