By Lynn Kirkland
The garden rejoiced in the rain we had a little while ago and I was delighted
to see how our herbs responded.
They had used all their survival strategies to get through the drought period, which had been more prolonged than any before. They drop unneeded leaves and the ones left would hang limp. Then the rains came and they have freshened up, some have flowered and those with fruit like the rosehips have plumped up and developed a sheen.
The herb farm philosophy of gardening has developed both as a necessity
and a strategy to develop robust plants which evolve their own survival
We do not have water for the garden so if the heavens do not supply it then we must wait until they do.
Over the fifteen years of gardening here I have seen how if left to their own devices the herbs will become stronger at surviving the vagaries of the weather, more potent in healing constituents and stronger fragrances in the aromatherapy herbs.
The healing constituents and the essential oils in the plants develop because of a need in the plant. If there is plentiful water and compost the plant gets the message to grow big and lush and does not have the same urgency to develop more of the phytochemicals that stress produces.
The photo shows peppermint which if touched releases the most powerful
I use this herb in jugs of water to give a refreshing taste and it is a lovely tummy settling herb tea for after dinner or anytime you want a delicious cuppa.
One sprig, and yes flowers are fine too, into a mug and cover with boiling water. Place a saucer on top to trap in the volatile oils and leave for five minutes.
Remove the herb and add a little honey if sweetening is needed and sit down to enjoy a delicious and health giving cup of tea.
Ponder on the wonders of nature and how there are many lessons in the garden, survival of the fittest for one. Our plants get stronger and healthier and more adapted to our needs every season.