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MARYS GARDEN:Herbs in My Garden
by Mary Perlmutter
Comfrey: Bocking #14 is very rich in potassium (K). It is used in my garden as a fertilizer as well as a poultice for sprains, cuts and bruises. The comfrey leaves are cut and soaked in water overnight. Plants needing a pick-up are given a drink of the comfrey water and the wet leaves are put down around the plant as a mulch.
Tansy: This herb is very effective in repelling ants. Tanacetum vulgare, a tall perennial plant which produces clusters of tiny yellow flowers on each stem, is an ornamental herb as well.
Garlic: Rocambole, an Italian garlic, grows profusely in my garden. We use a lot in cooking but we also use it with hot Jalapeño peppers blended in water and strained to make a spray to deter insects and spore-borne diseases such as black spot on roses or apple scab. When using members of the garlic family (Allium spp.), I mix the leaves in the blender with cloves of rocambole and strain the mixture so that it can be used in a sprayer.
Rue: Often referred to as the herb of grace, this attractive perennial repels insects. As flying insects get close to it they are supposed to turn around and fly away. Rue likes alkaline soil and full sun.
Agrimony tea can remedy kidney, bladder, or liver disorders. It is also used as a wash to heal wounds or clear up skin problems. My husband has had some trouble from kidney stones so we are growing agrimony to make tea for him. It is a hardy perennial.
Allheal or Self Heal (Prunella vulgaris) which grows wild in my gard-en, is a great medicine for both internal and external problems.
We use many of the herbs in our garden to give variety to the daily salad: lemon balm, the basils, the foliage of the balloon flower (Platycodon) are all edible.
Pyrethrum (Chrysanthemum cinercifolium) is a perennial daisy which we use to make an insecticidal spray. I whirl the flowers with water in an old blender, then strain the mixture well before spraying it..
References: The Healing Garden by Sue Minter, curator of the Chelsey Physic Garden, Headline Book Publ, 338 Euston Road, London, Eng. NW1 3BH.
The Encyclopaedia of Herbs and Herbalism, edited by Malcolm Stuart, 1987 Edition reprinted for W.H. Smith Canada Ltd.
Copyright© 1995.Mary Perlmutter
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
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