The soaring temperatures leave little time for garden work, other than watering in the morning, however despite the heat, my herb garden is ready for its first harvest. Early mornings are spent harvesting for drying, infused oils, vinegars, pastes, teas and salves.
When the heat keeps me out ofthe garden, I like revisiting favorite herb books, and as an educator, looking for new ones to inspire me, as my mother, an amazing gardener and lover of herbs, did in 1974 when she was reading “A Modern Herbal” by Margaret Grieve (Dover Publications) and sharing the information with me.
The two volume set is filled with scientific facts and folklore that I recommend to anyone as an introduction to herbal history.
Another favorite author is herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, who has been writing and teaching about herbs for more than 40 years. Her books are written about the practical ways to incorporate herbs into everyday living.
Two of my favorites include “Family Herbal: A Guide to Living Life with Energy Health and Vitality” and “Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide,” both from Storey Publishing.
Like all her books, she goes into great detail about the plants and their uses, but more importantly she stresses how to incorporate herbs into a healthy lifestyle, and to not think of herbs as something that can just be taken in pill form to make you feel better.
For those who love beautiful photography as well as informative text, “Herbs: Gardens, Decorations and Recipes” by Emelie Tolley and Chris Mead (Clarkson Potter) will inspire you to cook and craft with your summer harvest. One of my favorite recipes is their lemon tea bread with lemon balm and lemon thyme.
What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body and Jessica Ress, from Angel Face Botanicals in Santa Cruz, created the perfect spa book called “100 Organic Skin Recipes: Revitalize your Natural Glow with Facial Masks, Body Scrubs, Home Spa Treatments, and More.” The “Gardener’s Herbal Balm” is the perfect ending to a day spent in the garden.
Scientific research continues to show the restorative benefits of plants, and herbalist and gardener Kathi Keville takes the reader on a tour through some of the plants she grows in her California garden in “The Aromatherapy Garden: Growing Fragrant Plants for Happiness and Well-Being” (Timber Press).
She describes more than 200 herbs and plants that will guide you in creating a fragrance garden.
My newest purchase is “Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies That Heal” by Rosalee de la Foret (Hay House). She began her journey of incorporating herbs into her diet after having being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
She introduces the reader to 33 common plants and healthy recipes that are easy to make.
Want more information on herb? I will be speaking about herbal lore at a free event at the Northern California Herb Society’s Herb Day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., July 9 at the historic Rodger’s Ranch, 315 Cortsen Road in Pleasant Hill.
Send your gardening questions to thegardencoachBANG@gmail.com.
Published at Thu, 29 Jun 2017 21:00:39 +0000