Replacing the Rosemary Hedge

The past two winters have been unusually cold and snowy here in New Jersey.  The first cold winter killed the rosemary hedge in the Herb Garden at Rutgers Gardens.  Actually, it was still alive when the snow melted.  Just the tops that had been above the snowline were dead, having succumbed to the extreme cold.  The rest of the plant...more

The ___ ate my tarragon!

I’ve had terrible luck growing tarragon.  The first year I tried growing it, the herbs around it grew faster than it did and shaded it out.  So I moved it to the sunny edge of my garden where the landscapers mistook it for a weed and “helpfully” removed it for me....more


Hyssop is an herb that I would like to get to know better.  Not anise hyssop.  That’s an entirely different herb.  Nor the holy herb referred to in the Bible used to cleanse sacred spaces.  That’s a mistranslation.  No, the hyssop growing in my garden is a woody shrub that is native to the Middle East, Southern Europe and Caspian Sea area. ...more

Parsley Ice Cubes

Last weekend, when I harvested my garden, I had a ton of parsley leftover. There was no way I could use it all before it went bad, and I hate wasting anything. So, I threw it in the food processor with a little olive oil and froze it in ice-cube trays. This way I can slice a small part off whenever I need fresh parsley in a recipe....more

Orris Root

 Orris root, the sweet smelling component of many perfumes, has been used since the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. Technically it is the rhizome of the iris but if you try sniffing your iris rhizomes next time you are dividing them, you won’t smell anything. That’s because it needs to be dried for at least two years and, in some cases up to five years, to develop its characteristic violet scent....more

Companion Planting with Herbs

Companion planting, planting certain plants together to benefit one or both of them, has been practiced for centuries. Modern science can find no basis for the practice but gardeners swear by it. Companion plants can improve the flavor or health of plants, improve the soil, attract beneficial insects or repel pests. Herbs can do all of these things....more

Basil Dolce Fresca - 2015 AAS Winner

AAS (All-America Selections) is a non-profit organization that tests new cultivars for home gardeners.  Their motto is "Tested Nationally and Proven Locally®".  They have trial gardens all over the country and Canada in every growing zone.  Seeds are grown in the trial gardens and then judged for features such as harvest, flowers and disease resistance.  Each year the best new varieties earn the title of AAS Winner.  The AAS Winner designation means that gardeners can...more

Tell me not to write about roast chicken would you?

I was reading an article written by  a food blogger about what she had decided were the most annoying things that other food bloggers and recipe writers do.  One of the things she asked us all to do was to stop posting recipes for Roast Chicken.  She said that if your readers didn't know how to do that, then there's not much hope for them.  I didn't like the comment or the tone.  It wasn't so many years ago that I didn't know how to roast a chicken.  I didn't consider myself hopeless, but I was just lacking in knowledge.  I understand all to...more

10 Easy Steps to Creating an Indoor Herb Garden

Just because the snow is falling and the temperatures are freezing doesn't mean you have to wait until spring to get your hands in some potting soil. Planting an herb garden is a fun cold-day activity: In a few simple steps, you can create a fragrant collection of herbs to use in recipes. If you have kids, definitely get them involved—they'll enjoy watching their plants grow from little seeds to thriving plants....more
This is great!more

#NaBloPoMo 2014: Day 16: Herbs for Postpartum Sitz Bath

Today's post is focusing on healing the perineum during the postpartum period. Though serious perineum tears are rare in a homebirth setting, it is good to know what herbs can help with healing and soothing....more