Gardening Vivian | 05 Jun 2011 05:26 pm

Herbs Have More Uses Than Dinner

While cooking is the primary reason gardeners set aside a special place for herbs, there are other benefits to growing them.

Sweet herbs can also be grown to serve a pleasing and aesthetic purpose. Many herbs may be used for decoration. A bouquet of the pale pink blossoms of thyme and the delicate flowers of marjoram, the fragrant sprigs of lemon balm mixed with the bright yellow umbels of sweet fennel, the finely divided leaves of rue and the long glassy ones of bergamot, is not only novel in appearance but in scent. In sweetness it excels even sweet peas and roses. Mixed with the brilliant red berries of barberry and multiflora rose, and the dark-green branches of hardy thyme, which continues fresh and sweet through the year, a handsome and lasting bouquet may be made for a midwinter table decoration, a fragrant reminder of Shakespeare’s lines in “A Winter’s Tale”:

“Here’s flowers for you;

Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram;

The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ the sun

And with him rises weeping.”

The rare aroma of sweet marjoram reminds many people of their grandmother’s country garden. So much so that countless muslin bags of dried marjoram leaves intended to be used for stuffing poultry never reach the kitchen. They are placed in the sunlight of a bay window where Old Sol coaxes forth their imprisoned odors and perfumes the air with childhood memories of summers in the country.

Other memories cling to the delicate little lavender. Most people have at least one lavender sachet in a dresser drawer, linen closet or hope chest. Would any country wedding be complete without little silk bags filled with dried lavender buds and blooms? They certainly add the finishing touch of romance to the dainty trousseau of linen and lace.

Scent can affect mood, memory, and sense of well-being. Add some herbs to your home so your kids and grandkids will have a special scent associated with you, something that when they smell it will trigger fond memories of their childhood.

Comments are closed.