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Herb of the Week for 17th Nov 2006

Myrtle

Herb of the Week for 17th November


By Lynn Kirkland

 

Herb of the Week for 17th November by Lynn Kirkland

Myrtle

Shrubs and trees which have are beneficial to people by way of their culinary or healing use, are classified as herbs. When designing the themed herb gardens here at the herb farm, a lot of research was carried out to make sure that the trees and shrubs fitted into a herbal classification.
A herbal shrub which had a lovely white flower and glossy green aromatic leaves is myrtle, myrtus communis, and is used in some countries to produce myrtle essential oil.
The usual use is as an ornamental fragrant herb and in some formal settings it is grown to be clipped into sculptural forms.

A visitor to our gardens last weekend brought in a sprig from our myrtle bush planted near the railway hut in the Herbalistís Haven. He was attracted by the fragrant leaves and wondered if it was related to the bay tree.
Certainly sweet bay has a similar fragrance at certain times of the year.
I told our visitor that although I havenít personally used it for cooking, that I knew in Italy, sprigs of myrtle are placed in a roasting dish and lamb is placed on top and slowly roasted. The myrtle leaves give the lamb a beautiful flavour.
Myrtle grows to about a metre in ideal conditions and is available in a variegated form.

Keen to try growing his own bush we directed our visitor to the Fragrant Garden in Feilding to purchase one to plant near his barbeque area.

Summer is coming, although we are wondering as the first weeks in November have been so wet and cold.
Think herbs and barbeques and perhaps the sunshine will arrive.

Grove Road, RD10
Ashhurst
Manawatu
New Zealand


  



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