Herb Gardens pt. 1: witches garden

 

 

 

Have you always wanted to plant an herb garden but you weren’t really sure what to plant, how to take care of it, or how to use the product?  We will occasionally be posting blogs about either specific herbs or types of herb gardens.  On this post we are going to tackle the witches garden.  First a little history:  Herbs, as you probably know, have been used by humans for thyme (see what we did there) immemorial.  Herbs, have been used to flavor food and create medicines as far back as the beginnings of human civilization, turning up over and over again in the archaeological record.  But most of these herbs were not “gardened” in the way that we think about it, but rather cultivated in an in-situ gardening/foraging system.  Once formal gardens became a thing herbs were always the star.  When we think of herb gardens, we now, tend to think of the middle ages and witches gardens, which either helped witches or helped the wise women of the village, depending on your viewpoint.

So, what’s in a witch garden and why is it there?  Also can you plant one?  Read on.

A basic witch garden contains:

Rosemary- To keep out evil plant it at the four corners of the garden.

Thyme- To shorten grief.

Lavender-Cultivated and carried to bring you love.

Sage- To bring wisdom and clarity.

Mint- To bring forth love and fertility.

Basil– Planted by the front door, or gate to bring you wealth.

Parsley- To show strength and gain power.

The funny thing about calling this a witch garden is that all of these plants have culinary properties.  In fact even the term “witch” garden is of later usage and what you really have is a traditional British cottage garden.  And while some of these plants do have proven medicinal value, most of us are just using them to make things taste better.  So let’s try that again:

A basic herb garden contains:

Rosemary– Great with meat. Sprinkle some fresh on chicken or roast before you put them in the oven. Add some dried to soup and stew

Thyme– Is a good flavor to balance strong cheeses.  It’s great for baking as well to bring a fresh flavor to biscuits and bread.

Lavender– Makes a good room spray to help with deodorizing.  Also good in candy and ice cream. It makes a very calming tea.

Sage- Perfect for fowl.  Dried powdered sage is amazing on turkey.  In fact, it is the main ingredient in most turkey spice mixes.  But have you tried it in an omelette with fresh garden tomatoes and sharp cheddar?

Mint- From ice cream and candy we all know mint.  But, you have never had mint until you have muddled it with equal parts bourbon and  simple syrup then poured it into a copper mug.

Basil- Most people think pesto when they think about basil, but there are so many more uses. One of our favorites is basil mayonnaise.  It is amazing on chicken sandwiches, and adds depth of flavor to vegetarian sandwiches.

Parsley- Did you know that it’s on your plate at restaurants, because it is a natural breath mint?  It is also good in stews and soups just pluck the leaves fresh from the stalk and drop it in.

To answer your final question, yes, we carry all of these amazing plants.  We can also special order them for you if you don’t see what you are looking for.  If you have a small space stop by and talk to one of our helpful hardware people about pots and indoor herb gardens.  We promise that the knowledge that they have is almost, well, magical.

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