Winter Herb Bouquets are Easy & Cheap…
if you grow them yourself!
It’s mid winter and these are the herbs left growing in the garden. These herbs have made the cut, stayed alive and lasted through the winter. It’s not the best time to harvest herbs; the new growth in spring will be more potent and will have far greater medicinal and flavor properties. But, when you’re rustic and resourceful, you take what you can get. My “city” friends always think these are amazing, regardless of the time of year.
And, honestly… they are amazing!
Perfect Gift for Men & Women!
Before heading out of town, I snipped these herbs from the garden to make this bouquet for the hostess of where we’d be staying. She loved it so much she took it to her photo studio and took some amazing photos of it for her own cooking blog www.feastingnotfasting.com.
I bunched them all together, trimmed the stems to the same length, wetted a sheet of newspaper down (the less colored dye the better), wrapped the stems, and then secured with a piece of cooking twine. Super easy – if you’ve done the work beforehand and you have the herbs on site.
If you don’t grow herbs yourself, don’t worry. You can always buy them and put them together, or harvest wild plants. Mint and pennyroyal grow wild all over the Pacific Northewest. In fact, once you plant these near your garden, you’ll never get rid of them.
Quick herb gardening tip: Grow mint and pennyroyal in containers or they will take over your garden!
Growing Herbs in the Garden
Most of these herbs I started from seed, and they have managed to stay alive season after season:
- Fennel – This licorice scented herb is a monster! This plant will grow to be taller than you! Snip the new growth and use as garnish, for flavor in all kinds of recipes or make tea for an upset stomach. If you want to get crazy about it you can use fennel seeds in homemade bloody mary mix… crazy resourceful, that is.
- Wild Mint – Save yourself $5 and grow your own mint. There are a million uses for it, and it is very easy to grow. So easy, in fact, that is is considered a nuisance and will take over your yard if you’re not careful. So grow in a container – and use every day!
Mint & fennel tea will make any tummy feel better. Mint in bouquets is aromatic and gorgeous. Fresh mint in salads, garnishing desserts… I could do a whole blog post about it, and maybe I will. Point is, grow mint or find a patch of wild mint to harvest. No one will care if you pick their mint, so go ahead and ask. You’re probably doing them a favor.
I rub fresh mint on my dogs in between baths, when they start to stink from all the country living. I Also put tea leaves in a pot on the woodstove to help humidify the room and give it a minty fresh smell.
- Rosemary – I knew a guy who used fresh rosemary as cologne. He would just grab a piece of fresh rosemary from his herb garden (front yard) on his way out the door, crumble it up and rub it on himself. They say it increases your circulation – he was kind of going bald. Maybe he was secretly rubbing it on his head for hair growth. Didn’t work, but he smelled nice.
- Clary Sage – I don’t know. I grow it but I’ve never actually used it other than to dry it and burn it to cleanse the air. I need to find some recipes with it, but I haven’t yet.
- Lemon Thyme – Fish! Fish! Fish! I will never tire of eating this, with garlic, butter and lemon juice on fish. Amazing, and I always look like a freaking genius in the kitchen when I make it. When you’re husband is a fisherman, lemon thyme is a lifesaver.
- Spicy Oregano – My favorite kind of oregano! Adds a tiny kick to any italian style meal…. my secret weapon in the garden. I usually add fresh basil and parsley to my elk spaghetti, but those aren’t growing now.
Once you have your containers or your garden set up, you just have to walk through, clip a bit here and there, wrap it and you’re done! Everyone will enjoy the rustic feel that the newspaper and fresh herbs bring, and the gift will keep on giving as the herbs are used in recipes, home remedies and to scent the home.
And don’t forget:
It’s FREE if you Grow it Yourself. Go on, get resourceful.