Romancing the Rose

Herb of the Month

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.

Herb of the Month – Jerusalem Artichoke

Herb of the Month

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!

Herb of the Month – Chickweed

Herb of the Month

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!

Herb of the Month – Coriander

Herb of the Month

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”.

Herb of the Month – Ginkgo Biloba

Herb of the Month

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”.

Herb of the Month – Red Henna

Herb of the Month, Plant Forum

Many of us know henna as a colour long used in art, tattoos, hair dye, paints, textiles, silk, leather and rug dyes. But, have we thought about what it is? The Herb Society was privileged to have a guest speaker from Iran to tell us.

Herb of the Month – Five Season Herb

Herb of the Month

Five Season Herb Plectranthus (Coleus) ambionicus  – family lamiaceae (mint) A member of the well known, ornamental Coleus, widely grown as a decorative garden plant for its attractive variegated red leaves. Cream bordered This plant is becoming popular and sought after. There have recently been several enquiries about it. There are two varieties now available … Read More

Herbs for Pest & Disease Control

Herb of the Month

from Canterbury Herb Society [one_half] Basil is good for tomato fly Borage is good for tomatoes & attracts bees. Calendula tomatoes and attracts bees  Camomile cabbage and onions Caraway peas Chervil  radishes Dill  cabbage Fennel  green aphid Garlic silver blight, aphid, codlin moth Horseradish potatoes Hyssop cabbage-butterfy, grapes [/one_half] [one_half_last] Marjoram tomatoes, cucumbers Nasturtim woolly … Read More

Herb of the Month – Briar Rose Rosa rubiginosa

Herb of the Month

Common names –Sweet Briar, Eglantine Rose The species is native to Europe, Western Asia and South America. It is a deciduous, thorny, woody, hardy shrub. It is branched from the ground to 3 – 4 metres and does well in arid conditions. It was brought to New Zealand early on as a deciduous ornamental for its … Read More