Garden Mastery: Herbs’ versatility a gift in many parts of our lives

Ah, spring has arrived and what an exquisite time to be within the backyard, particularly in case you develop herbs, lots of which thrive in our Mediterranean local weather. Gardeners develop herbs so as to add to meals to make them style higher, however they accomplish that way more. The herbs rising in my backyard can repel bugs, nurture my pores and skin, be used to make beautiful wreaths, enhance well being and extra.


Thyme (Thymus spp.) is a drought-tolerant Mediterranean herb that provides taste to many dishes. In truth, the Germans have a saying, “When in doubt, use thyme.” Thyme can be the primary treatment Germans use once they get an higher respiratory an infection: It is added to a tea together with ginger, lemon and honey and sometimes works in addition to an antibiotic. Furthermore, in case you’re on the lookout for a waterwise floor cowl, contemplate charming woolly thyme, which is roofed with pink flowers within the spring.


Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) provides rooster, fish and potatoes and even shortbread a beautiful taste, nevertheless it does way more: It can enhance one’s temper and scale back anxiousness and is full of nutritional vitamins A, C and B6. Use rosemary leaves and flowers to make a aromatic wreath or sachet. Our beloved pollinating bees love its blue flowers.

Lemon grass is a kitchen herb used for flavoring food and is used as a medicinal tea.

Lemon grass is a kitchen herb used for flavoring meals and is used as a medicinal tea.

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Lemon grass

If you make Thai dishes, then lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) is crucial to your backyard. It will develop in solar or shade, in a pot or the bottom. In Latin America, this herb is used not for cooking however for a medicinal tea to deal with digestive points. The important oils of lemon grass make an efficient insect repellent. To propagate this herb, merely dig up and separate a couple of bulbs and stick them within the floor. Your pals can be very grateful in case you share them.

Bay laurel, grown as a bush or tree, can be part of an aromatic herb bundle used in cooking.

Bay laurel, grown as a bush or tree, might be a part of an fragrant herb bundle utilized in cooking.

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Bay laurel

Waterwise bay laurels (Laurus nobilis) abound with makes use of. Grown as a tree or shrub in a pot or the bottom, leaves of bay laurel impart taste to many dishes and are an important ingredient in French bouquet garni. Get your craftiness going and make a bay laurel wreath to hold in your kitchen. Also, do you know {that a} recent leaf or two positioned in your pantry shelf will hold pantry moths away?

Santolina (Santolina chamaecyparissus) grows next to a brick walkway.

Santolina (Santolina chamaecyparissus) appears stunning subsequent to a walkway or on a slope, and a sprig of it in your closet will assist to discourage moths.

(Mary Friestedt)


Another stunning herb that deters moths is santolina (Santolina chamaecyparissus). With aromatic grey or inexperienced foliage and charming yellow button flowers, a sprig hung in your closet will repel moths, that are drawn to wool. Try utilizing the leaves and flowers in additional natural wreaths.

Aloe vera

Mention aloe vera (Aloe vera) and everybody thinks of its makes use of for bites and burns. But this herb was additionally one in all Cleopatra’s magnificence secrets and techniques. She rubbed the gel on her face to realize flawless magnificence. Hummingbirds love the yellow flowers of this drought-tolerant and easy-to-grow herb.

Close-up basil Ocimum basilicum leaves

Basil is definitely within the mint household and consists of candy basils, Thai basils, holy basil and decorative basils.

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Basil (Octimum spp.) is among the most versatile crops within the mint household. There are candy basils, Thai basils, holy basil and decorative basils. We use candy basil for pestos and different Mediterranean dishes; Thai basils characteristic prominently in Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese specialties; holy basil, often known as tulsi in India, is utilized in Ayurvedic drugs and has vital non secular associations; decorative basils are prized fortheir ornamental qualities. Some basils are anti-inflammatory and excessive in antioxidants, so eat extra pesto!


Oregano (Oreganum vulgare) is among the hottest culinary herbs, however its makes use of go far past the edible. Essential oil of oregano has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties. With its anti-microbial properties, a couple of drops of the important oil in water are an excellent treatment for sore throats. Additionally, decorative oreganos create curiosity in a backyard with flowers that resemble hop flowers. Add leaves to potpourris, and dried oregano flowers are fairly in wreaths.

Lavender (Lavandula dentata) attracts bees and needs little water; its fragrance will calm you and relieve anxiety.

Lavender (Lavandula dentata) attracts bees and wishes little water; its perfume will calm you and relieve anxiousness.

(Mary Friestedt)


Lavender (Lavandula spp.) is the herb that everybody loves for its perfume in soaps, shampoos and aromatherapy. Breathe within the scent to realize calm and relieve anxiousness. Use it in meals from ice cream to cookies and truffles. Try lavender oil to appease complications and migraines. The scent will repel some bugs, however bees find it irresistible.


Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a star within the kitchen. Most cooks want the flat-leaved Italian sort, however the curly selection can be tasty and provides shade when used as a garnish. Parsley is a nutritious powerhouse full of nutritional vitamins A and C and a number of other B-complex nutritional vitamins. It is a good breath-freshener and has been used to deal with urinary tract infections. Parsley requires extra water than most herbs and likes wealthy well-drained soil, as do most herbs.

Our Native Americans know the flexibility of herbs. Come to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and uncover the numerous ways in which Kumeyaay individuals use sages, as an example. They can taste meals, be used to heal, repel bugs, camouflage odors, improve non secular ceremonies and extra. Furthermore, these treasures are drought tolerant. It’s time to take pleasure in your herbs and suppose all the time about their many makes use of.

Friestedt is a San Diego Master Gardener and a retired trainer who now spends her time as a docent at San Diego Botanic Garden and Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. She can be lively within the Del Mar Garden Club as head of its beautification groups.

Get free gardening recommendation on the UCCE Master Gardeners of San Diego County Hotline, (858) 822-6910, or by e mail at [email protected]. Due to COVID-19, the Master Gardener Hotline workers members are working remotely to make sure that they reply to your questions in a well timed method.

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