A bouquet garni, which is French for a “garnished bouquet”; is a bundle of more pungent or “robust” herbs which release their flavor during a slow cooking process. It is mainly used to flavour soup, stews and stock. In contrast, “fines herbes” are a combination of fresh chopped fragrant herbs, such as, parsley, chervil, tarragon, and chives. Fine … Read More
At our July 2021 meeting, we had a very informative talk by local Naturopath, Rachael Stott. Rachael was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in her mid-30’s. As a means to better her health she studied Naturopathy and became a Naturopath and medical herbalist . Rachael lives in Temuka and travels once a month to Christchurch and … Read More
Traditionally, garlic (Allium sativum Liliaceae) should be planted on the shortest day of the year and harvested on the longest day of the year. It is not the only time to plant it, but it is a good time to do it. Allium includes garlic, onions, leeks, chives and shallots. Gillian Polson (a founder member of … Read More
Parsley is the 2021 Herb of the Year of the International Herb Association as well as the New Zealand Herb Federation There are several kinds of parsley but two types are much used in New Zealand namely curly parsley (petroselinum crispum) and flat leaved variety, Italian parsley (petroselinum petroselinum crispum var. neapolitanum). It is one … Read More
Thursday 25th June saw an exciting line up of Midwinter Christmas events for the Canterbury HERB Society’s comeback after the lockdown. The group has begun regular evening meetings on a monthly basis (previously only on alternate months) to accommodate the surge in younger new members. There will also be day meetings through the Winter as … Read More
Discover the Effects of the Jasmine Plant on Health Jasmine is a plant believed to have originated in the western Chinese Himalayas. The name is derived from the Persian yasmin, meaning “a gift from God,” because of the strong, pleasant scent of jasmine’s flowers. More than 300 species of jasmine exist, most of which are … Read More
Our first roses will be blooming now. So many types and varieties grow almost world wide. The name for a “rose’ is almost the same in any European language, an indication of its antiquity.
Early poets all sang praises of the rose. Dried roses have been found in Egyptian tombs. “Rose” by any name signifies joy, beauty and love. During the medieval period people associated the rose with Spring and fertility, also with pleasure and enjoyment.
Have you got a sunny empty spot at the back of your garden? You may like to try this ancient tuberous sunflower species grown by native Americans long before the arrival of Europeans. It is an attractive tall growing perennial with sunflower heads up to about 10cm across. It grows from white underground tubers that are rich in inulin, can be eaten raw, or cooked. They also make a delicious soup which tastes a little like oyster soup. It was taken to Europe and became very popular there in the 1600s. Despite the name, the plant has nothing to do with either Jerusalem or with artichokes! Another old European name, Sunchoke is more appropriate!
A real nuisance once it gets into your garden, this plant does have its uses! Originally native to Europe and Asia it now grows wild throughout much of the world preferring cultivated moist soils but is not fussy, becoming variable in size and habit. Buried seeds are known to retain their viability for at least 25 years and the plant can even flower and ripen seeds under snow! Don’t let it flower or you will have it forever!
This beautiful Autumn golden deciduous tree is the one remaining species of the Ginkgoaceae family and was around before the dinosaurs, when there were ferns but no true flowering plants. Charles Darwin referred to it as “A living fossil”.