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Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Thursday Tidbit about Herbs

Thursday is a perfect day for garden tidbits so here’s one that came in recently from the Garden Media Group. “The National Garden Bureau has designated 2012 as The Year of the Herb, and gardeners are planting both traditional and exciting new varieties, according to The Growers Exchange, a leading online purveyor of herbs.”

"Some of the bestselling herbs for spring may surprise gardeners," says Briscoe White, head farmer of The Growers Exchange. "Stevia, rue and comfrey are ranking near the top. Each year the best sellers vary," he explains. "A TV chef only needs to mention Stevia and all of a sudden everyone wants to grow it in their garden."

So what makes you plant a particular herb? Is it because you read about it or heard somewhere such as the case with Stevia that it is “the fastest growing all-natural sweetener. It is 300 times sweeter than processed sugar and has little to no calories, and according to White, it's easy to grow in your garden. "Stevia may be healthier for diabetics because it does not raise blood glucose levels." He adds, "The leaves themselves are incredibly sweet, it's like herbal candy." 

What do you look for from your herbs? Do you have a favorite? Most know mine is Spearmint but I’ve ignored the Comfrey growing in our garden. It takes up a lot of space in a hidden slope area but I might be paying a bit more attention to its medicinal purposes, especially if I get too much sun. If made into a cooled tea for sunburned skin, it is said to “reduce pain, discomfort, and promote healthy skin regeneration.”  So don’t ignore herbs as part of your planting regime. It is the Year of the Herb. And as William Lawson poignantly reminds us, “What is Paradise? But a Garden, an Orchard of Trees and Herbs, full of pleasure, and nothing there but delights.”

Comfrey growing in our garden - Image by Ann Bilowz
P.S. This is what the Comfrey looks like in our garden this morning but this plant takes up a lot of real estate so give it some room to grow. It also sports a pretty flower but it can become a bit shaggy; best to trim it back often.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for mentioning National Garden Bureau and the "Year of the Herbs."

Unknown said...

You are very welcome!

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)