Interesting Tidbits from the Garden

Did you know that parsley is a natural breath freshener?  Yep.  A couple of chomps on this distinctive green and you’ll feel minty fresh and ready to converse.  So next time you see that little gem on your dinner plate, pluck a few leaves off and plop them in your mouth.  Your table companions will thank you. 🙂

Basil?  This one is just pain delicious with a scent rivaling the rose–IMHO–but guess what?  It’s also good for digestion.  And you probably know that chamomile has calming abilities, but how about lavender?  I don’t know about you, but every time I catch the scent of lavender I’m instantly transformed into a relaxing machine!

But lavender does double-duty.  Not only is it perfect for bath time before bed, this plant is said to repel fleas.  *gee* Does it get any better?  Plant it everywhere–inside, outside, you name it!

Talk about two-timing duties, did you know that cilantro and coriander come from the same plant?  Yes, ma’am!  The first leaves are used as cilantro (think salsa), but if you let it continue to grow and flower, you’ll find yourself with a whole host of coriander seeds.  Awesome.  Just awesome.

One of my all-time favorite herbs is rosemary.  Not only does it make for a great hedge around the house, but this one provides a natural mental boost.  Simply brush your hands through its leaves and inhale.  Ahhh…….  Better yet, it prevents forgetfulness. Woo hoo!  I mean, who doesn’t need that? 

And your kids will love this one:  how about growing your own sugar?  Well, in so many words, that is.  Stevia is a plant that produces naturally sweet leaves–leaves you can use to sweeten almost anything.  The kids and I made a lovely cucumber soup sweetened with stevia, and it was delightful.  (They ate it, anyway.)  But how about lemonade?  Pull a few lemons from that tree and juice them up, add a few leaves of stevia and blend.  Voila!  Instant homemade lemonade to die for.  Add a cup of steeped rosemary per gallon of lemonade and now you have yourself a REAL treat.  For this recipe and others, check out my garden blog Bloominthyme!

Caution:  if you love both basil and rosemary, be aware that planting basil near rosemary can KILL your rosemary plant.  Who knew

Got ants?   No problem.  Plant mint–peppermint, spearmint, plain mint–they’re all good not to mention they make wonderful borders along walkways and flower beds.  Last but not least is my beloved aloe plant.  You may have heard this one is good for burns and you heard right.  Anytime I burn myself slaving away over a hot stove or oven (the things I do for my family), I immediately cut a spiked aloe leaf and rub the gooey salve directly on the fresh wound.  I’ll warn you, it’s stinky (and stains), but doing so will eliminate any scar you may otherwise have suffered.  LOVE it!

So what do you say?  Know of any special herbs or plants in the garden with outstanding qualities that I missed?


Posted on February 13, 2012, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I know of NONE, but sure loved reading about these! Thanks for sharing, Dianne!

  2. Our days are finally getting longer and the snow is slowly melting. Needless to say, I’ve been thinking a lot about getting back outside in the garden. Plants like rosemary and aloe won’t make it through out winters, so I have to either grow them indoors (and hope I get enough light for them to survive) or buy new plants every year.

    Dianne, you are so lucky to be able to walk out your door and pluck a lemon from the tree. Fresh lemons must taste amazing. 🙂

    Thanks for all the great tidbits!

  3. You bet! Though with last night’s freeze, I feel your pain. I don’t want to be in the snow unless I’m skiing!!!!

  4. Well, Diane, it’s ironic that my daughter and I were just talking about starting a garden; however, we have no dirt left in our backyard, so we’ll have to construct some sort of above-ground box thing to plant seeds. Any suggestions?

  5. Yes, ma’am! Depends on what you’re growing, but you can do a simple wood box construction using treated (so they don’t rot) 2 X 6 boards. Make sure that it’s not deeper than you can reach on any side. 🙂 If you want to grow carrots or potatoes, go with 2 X 8 boards instead.

    Line them with black weed paper (fairly heavy-duty) to prevent absorbing any of the toxic chemicals from your wood, then fill with dirt of your choice. Best bet is organic and easiy drained — but don’t pack it in! Plants like soft beds. 🙂

    For full details, head on over to my website and look through the Garden Elements section.

  6. I love herbs. I used to have an herb garden, but last year, we got so busy and crazy that all our peppers and herbs and veggies kind of were on their own and got overgrown and forgotten about. My husband ended up pulling everything out and we’ll start over this year. We do a square foot garden around the perimeter of the back yard, so everything is easy to reach. Basil gets so enormous and tall though, I wish it wouldn’t. I get basil, lemon basil (love the smell) oregano, cilantro (did not know about the seeds! interesting!), peppermint, thyme, chives, parsley, and last year we got chocolate mint, just out of curiosity. I thought it was really cool, but to be honest it kind of went to waste because I didn’t know what to do with it. 🙂 Smelled good though!

  7. I do love the “aromatherapy” benefits of a garden ~ especially when it comes to herbs! Hmmm….

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