Bergamot Plant

Bergamot (Bee Balm, Monarda didyma) is a native perennial plant of North America, formerly used as a tea drunk by the Oswego Indians. Bergamot was supposed to have antidepressant qualities and an infusion was used to treat colds.

The plant is a good addition to any container or herbaceous border for it is attractive with deep red flowers that act as a focal point in any color scheme although it can be invasive and, if grown in a container, is best confined within a pot plunged in the soil.

Bergamot has a dark green, pointed leaves – some varieties have reddish veined leaves. Bergamot required a fertile, moisture retentive soil and morning sun or partial shade for successful growth.

Continue Reading

Natural Healing Herbs

Natural healing herbs for anxiety can prevent and eliminate the pain and suffering caused by anxiety and panic attacks without the side effects commonly experienced with anxiety drugs.

Passion flower and lemon balm have been clinically proven as safe and effective herbs for anxiety. When used in combination passion flower and lemon balm are even more effective for anxiety relief. There is a synergy or interaction relationship between these two herbs that enhances effectiveness and the natural healing process. Although natural healing herbs like passion flower and lemon balm are still used more prevalently in the United Kingdom and Europe, they are gaining momentum and increased popularity in the United States.

Continue Reading

Growing Clove Pink

It is a good idea to grow some clove pink (Dianthus caryophyllus) at the front of a container if you have a sunny site and enough room. Single, semidouble, or double flowers in white and shades of pink, rose, red, yellow, and orange; many have rich, spicy fragrance. Clove pink has a greyish-green to blue-green slender leaves and intensely sweetly scented bright pinkish-purple flowers that attracts butterflies. The clove pinks (or Wild Carnation) are most attractive perennial flowers, deliciously scented, especially the old-fashioned varieties, and the flowers of the clove pink D. caryophyllus can be used to make cordials, flavor drinks and decorate soups and salads.

Continue Reading


The bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) is an attractive evergreen shrub of great importance in herbal medicine. It is a very useful plant. The bearberry was used for tobacco by the Native Americans, who also utilized the mealy red berries for food and beverages. The small, leathery leaves yield a medicinal astringent and a dye. It is used to treat bladder and kidney infections but, as with all medicinal herbs, on no account should any part of the plant be used at home. The roots can be made into a tea that can treat a constant cough or slow down menstrual bleeding.

It needs acid soil to flourish and can be grown in a container with conifers or in the garden, used as a ground cover plant in acid soil. Being evergreen, it retains the interest of the leaves throughout the winter.

Continue Reading

Growing Dill

Dill (Anethum graveolens), a member of the carrot family, has been a favored culinary herb for centuries. Not only its flavorful foliage, but its pungent seeds are used. Native to southern Europe, dill is a staple in Greek cooking. Though dill is best known as a pickling herb for cucumbers, the leaves can be used fresh or dried in salads, meats, vegetable dishes and soups. Used whole or ground, the seeds add zest to bread, cheese, and salad dressing.

Dill grows well in gardens throughout the entire United States. Its delicate foliage provides an ornamental element wherever it is grown, making it an ideal candidate not only for herb gardens, but for flower beds as well.

Continue Reading

Parsley – Planting & Growing

Parsley is one of the best known herbs in the kitchen and is sprinkled over vegetables as a garnish and added to soups and stews. What most people don’t realize is that parsley is extremely nourishing, containing vitamins C, A, and B; iron, calcium, manganese; phosphorous; and even iron. Its fresh taste enhances dips, spreads, soups, quiches, salads, potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini. Parsley also acts as a breath freshener, so chew a sprig after eating a garlicky dish.

It is difficult to germinate and requires a high temperature. Some people delay sowing until into the summer but it is a help to soak the seed in warm water overnight and pour boiling water down the seed drills if parsley is to be sown directly in the kitchen garden.

Continue Reading