Garden Club: Beyond parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Garden club meeting will feature guest speaker Lynda Dowling

Lavender and thyme

To me there’s nothing like fresh herbs. They are healthy, tasty and beautiful. And most of them smell so good! With herbs, scissors and a bit of imagination, it’s easy to jazz up a bland meal, perk up a cold summer drink, or whip up a tasty and unusual dessert. Some herbs make delicious teas, some are known to reduce stress, and some promote freshness in and around the house. Herbs are used medicinally and are a source of essential oils, the foundation of aromatherapy, which is gaining popularity as an alternative/complementary medicine.

Although buying fresh-cut herbs at a local store or outdoor market may be an option – the operative word here is ‘may’ – it is generally an expensive one. On the other hand, growing herbs at home in the ground or in containers is easy and has the obvious culinary advantage of providing immediate access to absolutely fresh, organic and super nutritious flavourings. Moreover, it can be a good investment. Many herbs, for example, are hardy perennials, returning year after year with increased resilience. Some, like rosemary and lavender, are small shrubs that add ‘curb appeal’ to landscapes, although they are equally lovely and at home in containers. Herbs tend to be pest free, relatively easy to maintain, tolerant of the inattentive gardener (like me), and easy to harvest.

In the garden, herbs can serve as repellents, keeping pests away from crops and people. They also attract beneficial insects, which feed on pests, as well as butterflies and bees, our most important pollinator. In short, herbs offer a wide array of benefits and demand little in return. They are good for us and for the planet.

Lynda Dowling knows a thing or two about herbs. She has been growing them on in Metchosin for 30 years. The farm sits on the old goat pasture of property purchased by her grandfather in 1910. When she moved there in 1983, the herbs were already there; the lavender came a few years later.

Lynda is guest speaker at this month’s meeting of the Sooke Garden Club. Her presentation will go ‘beyond parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme’ to the how-to of creating herb gardens to suit specific purposes. Is it to be a medicinal garden,  culinary garden,  tea garden,  craft garden, edible flower garden, children’s garden … or simply a beautiful garden? Particular attention will be paid to the growing trend in small space and box/container gardening.

Please join us April 24, 7:30 p.m., at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on Townsend Road. Also on the agenda: parlour show, plant sale, and sale of contest potatoes. New members are always welcome. Membership is $15 and can be purchased at the door. sookegardenclub@yahoo.ca or phone Rose at 250-642-5509.

Just Posted

Sooke’s Lifelong Learning group keeps minds active

Seniors engage in “Einstein for Beginners” and more

Sooke students rally to stock food bank shelves

“For me, it makes the Christmas spirit come alive.”

Algae bloom at Elk Lake prompts CRD advisory notice

Reappearance of blue-green algae lethal to dogs a constant concern for water quality

B.C. historian helped Viola Desmond make it on the $10 bill

Merna Forster of Oak Bay petitioned for years for a Canadian woman to be honoured on currency

Third rink needed immediately at Pearkes, say users

Only four ice pads for Saanich, Victoria groups

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Most Read