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aromatherapy herb uses

tending the herb garden

All the medicinal plants are in bloom, a rare sight for the herb patch, whose blossoms are usually scarce and short lived.
One might think the herb wheel is a happy go lucky mish-mash of perennials that take care of themselves and require minimal interaction, when in fact it is the exact opposite. You can’t grow an herb garden without giving it your whole heart and your full attention. It needs meticulous care, constant trimming and weeding, it needs to be pristine.

Due to the intent behind its design, which is to grow and harvest plants for home health remedies, nothing in it can be left to chance: the plants must be vigorous and unblemished to maintain their properties. The small hick-ups usually overlooked in a flower garden or even a vegetable one, like the occasional black spot, can not be tolerated here. The spacing and sun exposures have to be respected, the growth patterns carefully controlled, the plants kept in perfect health.
When the time for harvesting finally comes, only the deep green, healthy and flawless leaves make the grade. Perennial herbs need constant pruning to maintain good air flow between their stems and keep their leaves dry. Damaged foliage must be removed immediately.
I still hesitate to pick the calendula and lavender buds just as they open, like all herbalists recommend, because I’m still biased towards keeping flowers in the garden for as long as possible.
To keep the quality standards from slipping, since it is the source of ingredients for teas, salves and tinctures, I like to think of it as an outdoor lab.

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