Herbs: The Complete Gardener's Guide

Overview

When first published, Herbs was extremely well received and set a new standard of excellence for gardening books. Turid Forsyth's photographs and watercolor illustrations capture all the beauty and detail of these fascinating and practical plants, and Patrick Lima's highly entertaining text is chock-full of clear information, helpful advice ...

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Overview

When first published, Herbs was extremely well received and set a new standard of excellence for gardening books. Turid Forsyth's photographs and watercolor illustrations capture all the beauty and detail of these fascinating and practical plants, and Patrick Lima's highly entertaining text is chock-full of clear information, helpful advice and wry anecdotes.

The book covers:

  • Selecting and growing herbs
  • Soil
  • Perennial kitchen herbs, such as horseradish, oregano, bay leaf and rosemary
  • Annual and biennial kitchen herbs, such as basil, chili peppers and parsley
  • Varieties of thyme
  • Varieties of sage
  • Seeds and sprouts, including anise, caraway, coriander and cumin
  • Alliums, including chives, leeks, onions, garlic and shallots
  • Leafy herbs, such as arugula and watercress
  • Herbs for blending and brewing, such as mint, chamomile and bergamot
  • Fragrant herbs, such as old roses and lavender
  • Gathering wild herbs

Special sections outline how to use herbs to add color to flowerbeds and how to propagate, preserve and grow herbs indoors. The book concludes with 16 delicious recipes that make the most of fresh herbs.

This beautiful book combines the wisdom of two longtime gardeners, creating a comprehensive reference that any gardener will enjoy and use regularly.

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Editorial Reviews

Maclean's
The book is like a colorful, calming stroll through the realm of summer.
Globe and Mail
Comprehensive guide ... lots of practical advice on growing herbs as well as suggestions for medicinal uses, recipes and decorations.
Chesapeake Home
A must read for cooks who wish to enhance new and favorite recipes with fresh herbs, people interested in natural alternative medicines, craftspeople who turn their hand to scented designs and, of course, gardeners who enjoy tending herbs and are on the lookout for interesting new plants to add colors, scents and foliage to their beds.
Paper Clips
Filled with delightful vignettes and essential advice ... lavishly illustrated.
American Gardener
It is ... herbs as they can be used to enhance the landscape that is most appealing about this book.
American Herb Association Quarterly
A text to sit back and read enjoyably while comparing qualities of different herbs.
American Reference Book Annual - Koraljka Lockhart
A most attractive coffee-table book, this volume is at the same time an excellent reference resource for the herb gardener.
Hamilton Spectator - Robert Howard
Essential... Lima is one of our great garden writers... a literate charming guide.
Lexington Herald-Leader - Julie Coleman
The striking color photographs and detailed watercolors make this a hard book to put down. But as I read through it, I realized that it's more than a coffee-table book. It contains very good herbal information ... This is a delightful and very informative read.
Appleton Post-Crescent - Myrna Collins
The informational material in this book is exquisitely complemented by photos and illustrations ... the use of high-quality paper assures great reproduction. "Herbs" is as beautiful as it is useful.
Colorado Homes and Lifestyle Magazine - Haley Carpinelli
Herbs provides you with the essential knowledge to build your herbal garden from the soil up ... fun read.
Vaughan Today - Mary Fran McQuade
Herbs: The Complete Gardener's Guide by Ontario gardener Patrick Lima is big, beautiful and reasonably priced. More than 100 herbs are covered in chatty fashion, together with tales of Lima's personal herb-growing adventures.
Canadian Gardening - Aldona Satterthwaite
Patrick Lima's graceful garden prose takes a wide-ranging approach to herbs. His observations and advice are anchored in the herbs he and his partner grow at Larkwhistle, their garden high up on Ontario's Bruce Peninsula, as well as those found in the garden of his collaborator Turid Forsyth. Some chapters are devoted to such idiosyncratic subjects as alliums and garden silverware-or herbs with silvery leaves. Turid Forsyth's watercolours and photographs are given lots of elbow room to very good effect. A lovely book.
Paper Clips
Filled with delightful vignettes and essential advice ... lavishly illustrated.
American Reference Book Annual
A most attractive coffee-table book, this volume is at the same time an excellent reference resource for the herb gardener.
Lexington Herald-Leader
Striking color photographs and detailed watercolors ... This is a delightful and very informative read.
Appleton Post-Crescent
The informational material in this book is exquisitely complemented by photos and illustrations ...as beautiful as it is useful.
Colorado Homes & Lifestyle Magazine
Herbs provides you with the essential knowledge to build your herbal garden from the soil up ... fun read.
E-Streams
A high-quality, extremely readable and gorgeous treatise ... The photography by Turid Forsyth is nothing short of magnificent.
Robert Howard
What a lovely, informative and motivating book this is.
The Hamilton Spectator
Dominique Browning
…may make you think about turning your entire lawn over to herbs…A gardener could get lost for hours in Lima's treasure trove of a book.
—The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
Leafy, flowering vines and kitchen herbs, seeds, pods, bulbs and all things herbal are showcased in this expansive study. Lima (The Art of Perennial Gardening) and Forsyth focus on the plants' physical characteristics rather than on cultivation: how they look, smell, feel and taste, what makes them thrive, which parts make the best food or medicine. With some basic but not comprehensive know-how ("This 3-foot North American herb [anise-hyssop] wants a place in the middle of a bed of tea herbs or perennials"), the book offers facts and aesthetic appreciation, and as such will primarily benefit cognoscenti. A handful of recipes and hundreds of photos enhance this charming book. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
American Reference Book Annual
A most attractive coffee-table book, this volume is at the same time an excellent reference resource for the herb gardener.
— Koraljka Lockhart
Vaughan Today
Herbs: The Complete Gardener's Guide by Ontario gardener Patrick Lima is big, beautiful and reasonably priced. More than 100 herbs are covered in chatty fashion, together with tales of Lima's personal herb-growing adventures.
— Mary Fran McQuade
Canadian Gardening
Patrick Lima's graceful garden prose takes a wide-ranging approach to herbs.... A lovely book.
— Aldona Satterthwaite
Lexington Herald-Leader
Striking color photographs and detailed watercolors ... This is a delightful and very informative read.
— Julie Coleman
Appleton Post-Crescent
Informational material in this book is exquisitely complemented by photos and illustrations ... as beautiful as it is useful.
— Myrna Collins
Colorado Homes and Lifestyle Magazine
Herbs provides you with the essential knowledge to build your herbal garden from the soil up ... fun read.
— Haley Carpinelli
Hamilton Spectator
Essential... Lima is one of our great garden writers... a literate charming guide.
— Robert Howard
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552096246
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/25/2012
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,172,631
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Lima shares his gardening secrets and strategies he has gleaned from carving out a garden in Ontario's Bruce Peninsula. He is the author of The Art of Perennial Gardening and The Harrowsmith Perennial Garden.

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Read an Excerpt

Summer Seasonings: Annual and biennial kitchen herbs Chervil
Anthriscus cerefolium

Chervil is so delicate, it never appears in markets. To have chervil in the kitchen, you must grow it in the garden. But once established, this pretty annual sows its hardy seeds and reappears gratis every season. Chervil does not transplant. To start a patch, scratch the long black seeds shallowly into decent loam in sun or light shade. Keep the ground moist until the seeds sprout, thin the seedlings to 6 inches apart, and harvest the outside leaves, always leaving the central crown to continue growing. Lacy umbels of pinkish white flowers -- "like exquisite bits of enamel work," says one observant writer -- are followed in midsummer by seeds. Allowing chervil to seed down saves you the work, but be prepared for new plants to pop up in odd places. When chervil is left to its own schedule, its seeds sprout in early fall, forming a small rosette that winters over and begins to grow first thing in spring.

"The leaves put into a sallet give a marvellous relish to the rest," wrote John Parkinson in his 1629 "speaking garden," Paradisi in Sole.

Later, in the 1699 Acetaria, John Evelyn added his assent: "The tender tips of chervil should never be wanting in our sallets, being exceedingly wholesome and cheering of the spirits." Indeed, the herb's name comes from the Latin chaerephyllum, "a joy-giving leaf"; chervil equals cheerful.

A close cousin to the robustly perennial sweet cicely, chervil holds a milder anise flavor in its soft curly leaves. Given its early growth, chervil is a natural with chives and dill to season spring dishes; try the three in cottage cheese or dips. Chervil butter flavors asparagus, and later on, minced chervil and chives go into lettuce salads and warm potato salad. I often use up to one-third chervil with parsley for tabbouleh. The French fines herbes always include chervil and chives with two others chosen from thyme, savory, basil or tarragon; in any combination, they make a splendid green-flecked omelette. Chervil is best fresh and may be added at the last minute to cream soups such as carrot, asparagus or puree of green pea. In fact, this is all the cooking that chervil's subtle flavor will withstand.

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Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. Starting Out: Herbs in the landscape
    • A Lively Definition
    • Herbs in the Garden
    • Diversity
  3. Family Ties: Getting to know herbs
    • Living Latin
    • More to Know
  4. The Garden Pantry: Perennial kitchen herbs
    • Horseradish
    • Lovage
    • Oregano
    • Salad Burnet
    • Sorrel
    • Tarragon
    • Winter Savory
    • Bay Leaf
    • Ginger
    • Rosemary
  5. Summer Seasonings: Annual and biennial kitchen herbs
    • Basil
    • Chervil
    • Chili Peppers
      • Drying
        Peppers
      • A Pepper Frame
    • Coriander
    • Dill
    • Fennel
    • Leaf Celery
    • Marjoram
    • Parsley
    • Perilla
    • Summer Savory
  6. On Thyme: This herb, too, is of the essence
    • Lemon Thyme
    • Caraway Thyme
    • Creeping Thymes
    • Thymus Miscellaneous
  7. Sage Advice: Salvias useful and decorative
    • Cooking Sage
    • Clary Sage
    • Hardy Salvias
    • Azure Sage
    • Red-Top, or Painted, Sage
    • Tender Tropical Sages
  8. Going to Seed: Seeds for flavoring and sprouts
    • Anise
    • Black Cumin
    • Caraway
    • Coriander
    • Cumin
    • Opium Poppy
    • Sprouted Seeds
  9. All About Alliums: Onions for flavor and color
    • Chives
    • Garlic Chives
    • Welsh Onion
    • Wild Leeks
    • Egyptian Onion
    • Garlic
    • Elephant Garlic
    • Shallots
    • Ornamental Onions
  10. Salad Days: Leafy herbs
    • Mustard Greens and Mizuna
    • Arugula, or Roquette
    • Cress
    • Purslane
    • Watercress
  11. Tea Leaves: Herbs to blend and brew
    • Mints
    • Catnip
    • Chamomile
    • Bergamot
    • Anise-Hyssop
    • Costmary
    • Horehound
    • Roses
    • Lemon Balm
    • Lemon
      Bergamot
    • Lemon Grass
    • Lemon Verbena
      • Drying, Storing And Brewing
  12. Garden Silverware: Plants with gray foliage
    • Artemisias
    • Catmints
    • Lamb's Ears
    • Milk Thistle
    • Mullein
    • Rue
    • Russian Sage
    • Santolina
    • Yarrow
  13. In Living Color: Beyond the green herbal horizon
    • Foxglove
    • Valerian
    • Monkshood
    • Hyssop
    • Hollyhock
    • Musk Mallow
    • Saffron Crocus
    • Borage
    • Anchusa
    • Purple Coneflower
    • Golden Marguerite
    • Feverfew
    • Nasturtium
    • Calendula
  14. Shades of
    Green
    : Choice selections for dark corners
    • Sweet Woodruff
    • Lady's Bedstraw
    • Bugleweed
    • Dead Nettle
    • Sweet Cicely
    • Angelica
    • Goutweed
    • Lady's Mantle
    • Solomon's Seal
    • Comfrey
    • Violets
  15. Uncommon Scents: Herbs for fragrance
    • Old Roses
    • Lavender
    • Florentine Iris
    • Carnations; Pinks
    • Scented Geraniums
    • Potpourri
  16. From the Wild: Herbs from woods, fields and meadows
      • Tea from the Wild
    • Alfalfa
    • Horsetail
    • Mullein
    • Plantain
    • Raspberry
    • Red Clover
    • St. John's Wort
    • Violet
    • Wild Strawberry
    • Yarrow
      • Beyond Tea
    • Chicory
    • Dandelion
    • Stinging Nettle
  17. Herbal Know-How: Propagation, preservation and growing herbs indoors
    • Herbs from Seed
    • Dividing Plants
      • Multiplication by Root Division
    • Cuttings
    • Layering
    • Bring Them
    • Preserving Herbs for Winter
      • Freezing
      • Drying
  18. In the Kitchen: Cooking with fresh Herbs
    • Tabbouleh
    • Crunchy Cabbage Salad with Herb Dressing
    • Fish Fillets with Herb and Tomato Topping
    • Herbed Potato Salad
    • Grilled Marinated Chicken
    • Bean Dip With Garlic, Cumin and Cilantro
    • Carrot Puree
    • Herb-Dressed Roasted Peppers and Bocconcini
    • Penne With Herb-Roasted Summer Vegetables
    • Herb-Roasted Potates
    • Rosemary Garlic Lamb Chops
    • Tzatziki
    • Spicy Tofu
    • Sweet Corn, Bean and Tomato Stew With Herbs
    • Iced Herbal Lemonade
    • Margot's Tea

    Sources
    Index


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First Chapter

Excerpt from Chapter 1; Sample Entry from Chapter 4

Excerpted from Chapter 1
Starting Out: Herbs in the landscape
Diversity

In a garden, as in nature as a whole, diversity is a hallmark of health and balance. Anything that reduces diversity -- growing a strictly limited number of plants, for instance, or using chemicals that deplete soil organisms or spraying to wipe out insect friends and foes alike -- invites trouble down the road. In contrast, planting a variety of herbs about a garden promotes diversity in both subtle and obvious ways. Beneficial parasitic wasps are drawn to the flowers of lovage, sweet cicely, dill and other umbelliferous plants. Hummingbirds arrive to sip nectar from crowns of tubular bergamot flowers, while swallowtail, admiral and monarch butterflies flit among purple coneflowers or land on the great cartwheel blooms of angelica. Essential for pollination, bumblebees and honeybees seek out nectar from herbs such as lemon balm, lavender, mints and hyssop and busily gather pollen from opium poppies. Where conditions are right, frogs, toads, bats and ladybugs will inhabit a garden and eat their share, of aphids and mosquitoes. Having admired frogs sitting placidly on their water-lily pads, you may be discomfited on occasion to come upon a garter snake -- or, in these parts, a massasauga rattlesnake -- with its mouth full of web-toed amphibian, but it's all of a piece. In late summer, twittering goldfinches fly in to feast on sunflower and mullein seeds.

I can't imagine our garden without its herbs, plants that enchant us somehow and elicit contact and response. When I think of herbs, I think of essence, intensity andstrength: pervasive aroma; flavors pungent or sweet but always distinct; essential oils concentrated to a degree that gives a plant character. Working with herbs brings us in touch with intertwining traditions of gardening, cookery, brewing, folk medicine and home-based crafts. So many simple pleasures are associated with herbs: picking fresh leaves for the kitchen; making a pot of fragrant tea; traveling down memory lane on a whiff of costmary or rue; tousling the lavender as you stroll by and breathing in its calming scent.

Herbs encompass a huge variety, and our aim is to be as inclusive as possible. Something that shows up as a herb here may well be another gardener's weed, vegetable or flower. In the chapters that follow, herbs are grouped according to common characteristics and uses: annual and perennial culinary herbs; tea herbs; the various thymes, sages and alliums; herbs grown primarily for fragrance; and old-time medicinals that remain excellent ornamentals for sun and shade. Look around the piece of earth you tend. There are places in every landscape where herbs of one kind or another will thrive, adding their varied appeal of scent and savor, utility and tradition -- creating a garden full of interest and beauty by any definition.

  Excerpted from Chapter 4.
Summer Seasonings: Annual and biennial kitchen herbs
Chervil
Anthriscus cerefolium

Chervil is so delicate, it never appears in markets. To have chervil in the kitchen, you must grow it in the garden. But once established, this pretty annual sows its hardy seeds and reappears gratis every season. Chervil does not transplant. To start a patch, scratch the long black seeds shallowly into decent loam in sun or light shade. Keep the ground moist until the seeds sprout, thin the seedlings to 6 inches apart, and harvest the outside leaves, always leaving the central crown to continue growing. Lacy umbels of pinkish white flowers -- "like exquisite bits of enamel work," says one observant writer -- are followed in midsummer by seeds. Allowing chervil to seed down saves you the work, but be prepared for new plants to pop up in odd places. When chervil is left to its own schedule, its seeds sprout in early fall, forming a small rosette that winters over and begins to grow first thing in spring.

"The leaves put into a sallet give a marvellous relish to the rest," wrote John Parkinson in his 1629 "speaking garden," Paradisi in Sole.

Later, in the 1699 Acetaria, John Evelyn added his assent: "The tender tips of chervil should never be wanting in our sallets, being exceedingly wholesome and cheering of the spirits." Indeed, the herb's name comes from the Latin chaerephyllum, "a joy-giving leaf"; chervil equals cheerful.

A close cousin to the robustly perennial sweet cicely, chervil holds a milder anise flavor in its soft curly leaves. Given its early growth, chervil is a natural with chives and dill to season spring dishes; try the three in cottage cheese or dips. Chervil butter flavors asparagus, and later on, minced chervil and chives go into lettuce salads and warm potato salad. I often use up to one-third chervil with parsley for tabbouleh. The French fines herbes always include chervil and chives with two others chosen from thyme, savory, basil or tarragon; in any combination, they make a splendid green-flecked omelette. Chervil is best fresh and may be added at the last minute to cream soups such as carrot, asparagus or puree of green pea. In fact, this is all the cooking that chervil's subtle flavor will withstand.

 

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Recipe

When I feel a bout of sniffles coming on, I load this dish with ginger and garlic and make it extra-hot with chilies. It seems to knock back an incipient cold. Adjust the spices to your liking, and serve with rice and steamed greens.
1 block tofu, regular or firm
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
2 fresh red chili peppers, chopped, or 1/2 tsp. dried red chili flakes, or more to taste
2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped, or more to taste
1/2 tsp. curry powder (optional)
1/2 tsp. tamari
1 Tbsp. water

Cut the tofu into bite sized cubes or strips, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the ginger, chili peppers or flakes and garlic, and cook for a minute or two, stirring to prevent the garlic from browning. Add the tofu, and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until the tofu turns slightly golden. (Unless you are using a well-seasoned, cast-iron or non-stick frying pan, you may have to add a little more oil to keep the tofu from sticking.) Add the curry powder if using, and stir for 1 minute. Add the tamari and water, and bring to a high simmer. Serve hot.

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