Plant of the Week – Lovage

 

Clean Fresh Foliage, Clean Fresh Aroma

Lovage (Levisticum officinale) this reliable Hardy Perennial is one of the first pants to shoot up in spring. Here on Southern Vancouver Island, it has sprouted up over a foot by the end of March. It is easy to grow but give this plant a lot of room in your garden as it grows over 2 M high.

Leaves have excellent celery like flavor and is used soups, stews and casseroles.  The seeds whole or ground are used in pickling brine, cheese spreads, dressings and sauces. Here are a few ideas.

Potato Salad with Lovage

Spring Lovage Soup

Fettuccine With Tomato And Lovage Sauce

In the Middle Ages lovage leaves were placed in the shoes of travelers to revive their weary feet and an infusion made from the seeds was used to erase freckles !

 

 

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Energy Efficient Landscaping

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To keep myself busy while waiting to return to my greenhouse plant growing job in February, I have been studying various green home energy ideas for passive solar home heating. The colder than normal winter we are experiencing on Vancouver Island  has been very motivating!

While reading the book “The Carbon Busters  Energy Handbook ” by Godo Stoyke I found an interesting reference to increasing the energy efficiency of your home using landscaping, particularly the idea of planting evergreen trees around the north side of your home ” can reduce your heating bill by 10% or more by reducing cold wind from reaching your house and removing heat through convection.”

Sounds good to me ! Selecting shade trees to reduce summer air conditioning requirements are less on a concern on the west coast, but also a consideration.

If this subject interests you this will get you moving in the right direction…

Energy Saving Landscaping Infographic

Winter Savory a Four Season Herb and Possible Deer Repellent

a-winter savoury

This “semievergreen” hardy perennial can be harvested year round on Vancouver Island.
Not only is this plant deer resistant, but it is listed as an aromatic herb that Repels deer!
That’s quite a claim !

Check out what the Sonoma County Master Gardener’s have to say about discouraging deer using aromatic herbs at:
http://ucanr.edu/sites/scmg/2013_Feature_Articles/Aromatic_Herbs_Discourage_Deer/

Vervain – Grow Your Own Vampire Repellent

Vervain - Grow Your Own Vampire Repellent

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 !