Herb of the Week for 17th November by
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
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
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
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.