Herb Lore and Plant Lists
Here we have gathered lists of plants for:
Fragrance
Agastaches, Costmary, Dianthus, Eucalyptus, Mints, Lavender, Melissa, Monardas, Lemongrass, Lilies, Nepeta, Iris florentina (Orris), Rosemary, Roses, Sages, Sweet Grass, Thymes, Wallflowers, Violets
(see fragrance section on our how-to page)

the Rock Garden
 Acinos, Calceolaria, Primula Auricula, Alliums, Thymes, Violets, Ziziphora, Dianthus, Gentians, Lewisia, Penstemons

Shady Subjects
Angelica, Calceolaria, Digitalis, Dicentra, Geum, Lobelia, Mertensia, Primulas, Sweet Cicely, Violets

Tea Plant & Edibles
Agastaches, Calamint, Camomile, Chocolate Root, Clove Root, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Chocolate mint (and  Lime, Grapefruit and Orange Mint), Damask Roses, Musk Strawberries, Grape Sage, Ziziphora
for cooking ideas, see our recipes page.


Dyeing and Weaving
Indigo, Calliopsis, Heleniums, Delphiniums, , Woad, Japanese Indigo, Weld (dyes), Saponaria, Teasel (washing silks and fulling wool), cedarwood, lavender & eucalyptus (moth chasers).

the Cutting Garden
Campanulas, Carnations, Eremurus, Delphiniums, Iris, Mertensia, Penstemons, Pinks, Salvias, Honesty, Roses, Sweet William, Verbascum, Wallflowers

Late Bloomers
Chrysanthemums, Costmary, Heleniums, Lobelias, Lysimachias, Salvia azurea, Fall Crocus, Fall Gentians , New Mexico Sunflower, Primula florindae, Vesper Iris

the Alpine Lawn
For those of us who prefer not to mow:
Antennaria, Chamomile, small Dianthus such as D. deltoides, small Penstemons, strawberries, thymes

Deer Indifferent/Resistant/Proof
Agastache, Catnip, Columbine, Foxglove, Hyssop, Iris, Lavender, Lobelia, Mints, Polemoniums, Oregano, Sages (tho' not always the flowers), Thyme

Butterfly Plants
Agastache foeniculum,  Buddleia, Coreopsis,  Daisies, Dill, Fennel, Gaillardias, Rudbeckia, Stachys, Knautia, Scabiosas

Hummingbird Plants
Agastache cana, mexicana, rupestris; Columbine, Delphiniums. Lobelia cardinalis, Penstemons, Delphiniums, Sages esp. coccinea, lemmonii

for more tips on gardening with wildlife, see our how-to pages

 
Herbs for a Dream Pillow

Catnip
Hops
Mugwort
Lavender
Rose petals

Gather, dry and crumble your chosen herbs.  (Be sure to remove stems as they would be sharp through the pillow!)  Make a pillow from decorative smooth fabric; about 10x10 in. is a nice size to fit inside the pillowslip or take onto a plane.  We like to use a layer of cotton batting to quiet rustling noises from the crinkly herbs, and to soften the pillow.  Sew up three sides of your pillow, fill loosely with herbal mix, and overcast the fourth edge to hold it closed.  Herbs will stay scented and nice for about a year.
  • For a sleep pillow, you might want to change the mix to more batting and less rustly-sounding or less strongly scented botanicals.  
  • For an eye-mask, use about 2 parts lavender flowers to one part flax seeds; sew up in a smooth fabric with a gentle elastic band.  Pop this in the freezer for a really refreshing nap in the summer.  Make this pillow about the size of a business envelope for light blocking!

To see tips on drying herbs, go to our how-to page.

Did you know?
Apparently, once upon a time Fairies were thought to sleep in beds of Thyme.  Patches of Thyme were set aside in quiet garden corners for their use in much the same way birdfeeders and baths are included in gardens today. 
    

Finally!  Nostradamus Does Someting Useful!
Having read some of the mishmash that passes for prophecy in Nostradamus' writings, I was happy to find some items that are actually worth reading.  Turns out he was an apothecary  before going wholeheartedly into the mysticism that was alchemy; amongst the writings he left were many home-remedy type recipes and some quite nice sounding (if slow and overly deliberate) ones.  Shortened quite a bit here for the modern cook, we have

Nostradamus' Marmalade
"To make candied orange peel, using sugar or honey, that will be excellently tasty."
Remove the peel from some oranges which you have quartered.
Soak the peel in good clean water, changing daily for 9 days. (Use salted water the first time to remove bitterness).

At the end of nine days, boil the peel in water until very tender. Blanch in cold water, shake and lay to dry.  Meanwhile, make a simple syrup.
Cover the peel with the syrup, bring to a boil, and let stand overnight.  Strain, re-boil the syrup, and then add back the peels.  Repeat this twice. The last time, add back the peels, bringing back to the boiling point 5 to 6 times.  At this point, either can or refrigerate for a month (don't leave it to set otherwise for a month no matter how much you like Nostradamus!)
He suggests adding some powdered cloves and cinnamon, which do sound good.


Cherry Preserves
Nostradamus uses heart cherries--a nice tart variety like Morello might work, or very dark red ones like Bing.

6-7# cherries
1.5# sugar

Juice 3-4# of the cherries and immediately dissolve the sugar in their juice.  Bring quickly to a boil, stir and skim off any foam, and then just as quickly add in the other
3# cherries and cook, stirring "neither too much nor too little" until cooked through.  When the liquid sheets off a spoon, ladle into small jelly glasses and process.

Using the concentrated juice instead of water makes a deep red preserve.  Modern cooks will want to add some lemon juice, both to preserve and to heighten the color: about 2T per quart of liquid.


More recipes on the recipe page. . .
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