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Herb of the Week for 1st Sept 2006

Herb of the Week for 1 September by Lynn Kirkland

Woodland Magic


Nature has a marvelous way of creating wonderful scenarios which had you’d planned them, may not be quite as successful.
The other day I was walking through the Peace Woods at the Herb Farm and noticed this complementary colour scheme of the pink violets and purple flowering honesty.
The pink violets don’t seem to be as shy as their purple coloured cousins, as they are flowering up above the foliage in great abundance. Often to get a posy of purple ones we need to search under the leaves for some of them.

Honesty, lunaria annua, is a herb that has many common names.
It is known as moonwort or silver dollar plant because after the flowers have finished, the seed heads develop and they are like silver coins.
This is a herb that really appeals to kids.
It is also called a pot herb, because it was used in the kitchen in a pot for cooking or added to salads. It is not a herb commonly used now in the kitchen as it has a bland taste.

So at spring and later in summer, honesty, creates some lovely magic in the woodland gardens where our gnomes live happily among the herbs which have colonized this environment with no help from us.
Violets of different colours grow happily under our eucalyptus trees; honesty, forget-me-nots, ajuga and lemon balm are also herbs we find are very content to grow in the woods.
They do not seem to mind the shade at all. So if you are looking for plants to grow under trees, some of the ones I have mentioned may fit the bill.

Adding a little statue or two can help create an area to delight young and old. Perhaps get the children involved in an area of the garden and create a little bit of magic.

The Herb Farm
Grove Road, RD10
New Zealand


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