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Saintly Gardener
By Lynn Kirkland

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Herb of the Week for 22nd June
by Lynn Kirkland

Saintly Gardener

As winter settles in and many herbs go into their dormant phase it becomes a time when one notices other features in the garden.
These are often referred to as "hardscape" in landscaping terms. It can be things like paths and seating and also includes statues, birdbaths or sundials. It can be naturally occurring additions to the landscape such as lichen covered rocks or tree stumps.
All add to the landscape environment and winter is a great time to consider if an area of your garden could do with an addition or two.
The theme of your garden may dictate what you are looking for. A native area may be enhanced by an ornamental pukeko for instance.

Herb gardens look great with saintly additions and who better than the Patron Saint of Gardeners, Saint Fiacre, as he was a herbalist as well as a gardener.
Saint Fiacre was raised in an Irish monastery and had a gift of using herbs for healing. People flocked to him and being a quiet soul he decided to go to France seeking a more peaceful life. He went to an area outside Paris and established a hermitage. However the isolation he sought out for reflection was not to be. Word of his healing gift spread and he realised he couldn't hide from the people who sought his help.
He asked the local bishop for some land to grow his herbs and vegetables so he could use them to care for the poor.
The bishop said that whatever land he could entrench in a day could be his. With divine help Fiacre only needed to wander along trailing his spade and the trenches dug themselves. Thus with a huge area Fiacre was able to grow an abundance of healthy foods and herbs for the poor.
And so Fiacre became known as the patron saint of gardeners.

Saintly statues enhance the garden and add an aura of peace and tranquillity.
Winter could be the perfect time to visit your local garden centre and see if there is an appropriate one for your garden.

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