How To Make Herbs De Provence – Herbs de Provance is a traditional blend of aromatic herbs that flourish in hills of southern France during the hot summer months. Used by the handful when fresh, herbs de Provence is also good using dried herbs.
Bay leaf, thyme, fennel, rosemary, chervil, oregano, summer savory, tarragon, mint, and marjoram are some of the herbs typically used. Orange zest is sometimes included as is lavender, though the lavender is less traditional and was added more for the benefit of tourists who saw lavender fields as almost emblematic of the Provence region. Traditional or not, the addition of lavender is a nice addition to the blend.
Spring Adonis – The legend has it that this attractive yellow spring-flowering perennial sprang from the blood of Adonis, lover of Venus, when he was killed by a boar. It is used as a heart tonic and the flowers are a brilliant sight when they open in the spring, turning to catch the sun’s rays. The herb is also used in the treatment of low blood pressure and its strong diuretic action can be used to counter water retention. The plant will grow in containers in full sun or partial shade and likes well drained, fertile soil with the addition of some leaf mould. Continue Reading
Indoor bonsai is a relatively new idea which has not come from Japan. The center of interest appears to be Germany but the concept has now spread to other countries. You can buy indoor bonsai trees from garden centers and nurseries throughout Britain.
The basic difference from the traditional outdoor bonsai is that non-hardy trees and shrubs are used here. Indoor bonsai are generally much better suited than hardy types to the conditions found in the average home, and of course they must be kept indoors during the winter. Thus they can be regarded as true house plants, although during the summer months they should be given the standard bonsai treatment. This calls for keeping them outdoors and then bringing them inside for a few days at a time.
Elegant Companions Of Spring Plants – Only a handful of spring bulbs grow to a good size. They include Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum), which flowers in late spring and early summer and likes a shaded or semi-shaded site, and the crown imperials. Grown in three colors – yellow, orange, or deep red – the crown imperials are at their best in mid to late spring in a semi-shady or sunny spot.
While the crown imperials are very imposing, the Solomon’s seal is cool, quiet, and elegant. Both bear their flowers well above ground level, so they look best if they are underplanted with a mound of low-growing plants in complementary colors that flower at the same time.
Garden Types Of Bulbs – Many of the popular bulbs which flower in the garden during the spring months can be grown indoors. For many people, helping to plant up a bowl of tulips or hyacinths was their first introduction to the world of indoor gardening.
There are two basic growing techniques. Large bulbs are nearly always ‘forced’ so that they will bloom well ahead of their garden counterparts – this forcing technique involves keeping them cold and dark to make the roots grow and then providing more light and warmth for leaf and flower development.
Decorating Your Garden With Herbs – Most herbs are perennial plants that need six to eight hours of sunlight and well drained soil. Some are annuals and must be replanted every year. Even some annuals like rosemary and lemon verbena become annual in very cold areas of the country unless brought inside during the coldest part of the winter. One of the nicest things about herbs is that most can grow even in small areas with the help of containers.
If you have never cooked with herbs be prepared to have your taste buds awakened. You may want to start with a small herb garden. We suggest beginning with containers.