Following is a selection of herbs that can be used for making teas, culinary purposes, pot-pourris or for decorative drying purposes.
LADY’S MANTLE (Alchemilla mollis) — This beautiful plant looks absolutely lovely growing in the garden and is a hardy perennial that can be propagated by division in the spring or autumn. The flowers can be preserved with the air-drying method or the glycerine method. They are very popular in fresh or dried flower bouquets or posies. Small sprays of the flowers can be pressed for flower work. The leaves, when applied to the skin, make a great skin tonic after they have been infused and chilled in the refrigerator. Or, infuse the whole plant and drink as a medicinal tea to help relieve symptons of diarrhoea or menopausal discomforts.
WORMWOOD (Artemisia absinthium) or SOUTHERNWOOD (Artemisia abrotanum) — Both these hardy plants are easy to grow and can be propagated from cuttings in early autumn. The silvery foliage is very attractive in the garden and can also be used in fresh flower posies or pressed or dried flower arrangements. Using herbs in pot-pourris or in anti-moth sachets is very popular. The leaves, when dried, can be used for this purpose.
RUE (Ruta graveolens) — A hardy evergreen shrub; propagate by division in spring or from cuttings in early autumn. For decorative purposes, dry the seed heads. The leaves can be either pressed or glycerined. Rue looks very attractive in the garden and is used for fresh tussie-mussies. It can also be used in small amounts for cooking and works very well in anti-moth sachets.
COTTON LAVENDER (Santolina chamaecyparissus) — Another hardy evergreen shrub that will give some silver color to the borders of a garden. Propagate from cuttings through the summer and early autumn.
One shrub that is particularly pretty is “Lemon Queen”. Rather than the normal bright yellow color of most other varieties, it has a cream-colored flower. Another variety worth mentioning is Santolina neapolitana, because of the very attractive foliage. This herb can be used fresh, dried or pressed for decorative purposes and is also used in pot-pourris and anti-moth sachets.