Herbs lift the winter spirits like a roasting hot fire. Their scented leaves are lovely to pick and smell while wandering the garden since there is little work to do with planting and feeding at this time of year. Potting up herbs also makes a great activity to do with the kids. Try planting in pallets for a cool vertical feature garden near the kitchen, or create a spiral garden for maximum planting in minimum space.
Now is the time to plant woody herbs that will give so much flavour to your food. Herbs do wonders for your health too! Herbs thrive in pots, troughs, or in a raised garden to keep their roots from becoming sodden over the winter months.
Plant these herbs now for winter health:
Lemongrass: When used as a tea helps rebalance intestinal flora and keep fungal or yeast infections in check.
Peppermint: Calming herb and great for relieving colds. Eat fresh or make a cup of tea with the leaves.
Calendula: The petals are used in antifungal creams.
Borage: Use the petals in summer in cooking or as an adrenal tonic.
Rosemary: Use leaves for a calming tea that helps circulation.
Pineapple Sage: The red flowers liven up a winter salad.
Olive tree leaves: Make a good anti-viral tea and help soothe a cold and sore throat.
Kawakawa: The leaves make a tea that is calming, anti-inflammatory and good for pain relief.
Green Tea: Leaves of the Camellia sinesis are used to make green tea. A great antioxidant.
Lavender: Use the petals in Summer to make a relaxing tea.
The best way to make your fresh herb teas is by boiling water and letting it cool for two minutes before adding the leaves or flowers when called for to your pot. Infuse for 5 minutes before consuming. Some teas can be brewed for longer, but check with your naturopath first when intending to drink strong brews for medicinal health.
Caring for your herbs
Give herbs an occasional dose of seaweed solution mixed with water.
Use fallen leaves or good quality compost like Palmers X compost as mulch around summer herbs and trim back ready for next season.