Herb of the week for 26th January
By Lynn Kirkland
Colour in the garden is sometimes planned
for and sometimes just happens.
When there is a planned process one needs
to think not only of complementary colours
but of the heights and widths that your
plants will grow to at maturity.
Our photo this week shows the layers of
colour in our fragrance wheel with the
majestic towering eucalyptus as a backdrop.
When it is all in harmony there is a scene
that pleases the eye and gives a lift
to ones spirit.
Let us look at the layers and talk a little
about each fragrant herb.
In the foreground is my absolute favourite
lavender. It is called Blue Mountain and
has the most intense purple flowers especially
just before the little flowers open on
the flower spike.
Picking for drying is best done when the
first flower opens and then hang your
bunches up in a shady but airy place.
Do not dry your lavender in full sun or
you will find it fades and also the fragrance
will be less as some will have vanished
into the air in the drying process.
The taller lavender with a paler flower
is a variety called Super.
This lavender was developed for the production
of lavender oil and it is also a lovely
lavender for picking to dry. It has long
stems and the flowers hold well on the
spike when dried.
The rose in the middle of the photo is
a rugosa variety called Belle de Poitevine
and then towering above are the silver
blue leaves of the eucalyptus trees.
Not a tree for a small city garden but
lovely for those with larger gardens.
Eucalyptus and lavender essential oils
are essential in any natural first aid
With these two in your arsenal you will
be prepared for coughs and colds, insomnia,
bites and cuts and so much more.
Without specialised distilling equipment
it is not possible to produce essential
oil however any gardener keen to add fragrance
and colour to their garden can achieve
lovely effects in the garden.