Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium ) has been a popular culinary and medicinal herb since before the times of the Roman Empire. However recently, it seems to be out of favor. To bad , it has a lot going for it …. it’s delicate anise flavor adds depth to a green salad, also it is part of the French herb combination ” Fines Herbes” used as a herb base for many culinary masterpieces. This short lived annual is easy to grow, can be harvested all year and self seeds readily, so keep a moist partial shade area of your herb garden reserved for a Chervil corner.
The myth and magic of Vervain ( Verbena officinalis ) has been embedded in human culture for 1000’s of years. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, all had beliefs about the powers of this plant. In the Middle Ages it was used as a key ingredient in a mixture for protection against demons. Of course in modern times, with our massive body of scientific knowledge it is used more often as a Vampire Repellent…. live and learn !
I bumped into this Meadow Clary plant ( Salvia pratensis ) blooming in the farm’s demonstration garden.. Then I found out that the Royal Horticultural Society have given Meadow Clary their Award of Garden Merit (AGM). Since England has a similar climate to Vancouver Island I explored the RHS web site further and found a really interesting interactive herb plant selector guide. It would be perfect for planning a herb garden since you may search for plants using a huge number of different requirements such as available sunlight, height of plant, when it blooms and many other factors. Check it out ! RHS Herb Selector Guide
May Day is an ancient Northern Hemisphere spring festival with ( of course ! ) a connection to herbs. In Germany Sweet Woodruff ( Galium odoratum ) is added to Rhine wine to make a delicious drink called Mailbowle. In Romania Mugwort ( Artemisia vulgaris ) flavored red wine is one of the beverages of choice. Spring, dancing, herbs, and wine …. Tanz in den Mai !
Here is another interesting podcast from Robin Hood Radio – an introduction to Medicinal Herbs.
Lemon thyme (Thymus x citrodorus) grows well in a sunny garden location or as part of container herb garden. Small flowers arrive in the summer and attract lots of bees.
Lemon thyme is an excellent culinary variety and combines well with chicken, fish and vegetarian dishes. In addition to having a wonderful flavor, the leaves of lemon thyme are excellent source of iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, selenium, and potassium. Lemon thyme also contains Vitamins C, A and B-6.
Lemon thyme dries well and the left over woody stems can be laid over charcoal when barbecuing to flavor the smoke.