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By Jack Staub

Gardening specialist Jack Staub keeps his stimulating sequence on detailed additions for your backyard with seventy five extraordinary Herbs in your backyard.

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Far better to understand the majesty and sensory allure of this heroic honey-fragranced plant, with its many fennel-like joints, toothy pinnate leaves, large globe-shaped white-to-green umbels in June or July, and often growing to 8 feet tall or more, making it an absolutely fantastic ornamental idea for the back of a mixed border. Confusingly, angelica is commonly listed as both a biennial and a perennial, although it is really neither. A plant can take more than 2 years to mature and will often die after flowering and seeding, and its cycle is totally disrupted by cutting the flower stalks.

On one hand, there is what we call “Roman” chamomile ( Anthemis nobilis), an aromatic creeper originally native to the Mediterranean and southwest Asia, the “Roman” idea having been bestowed upon it in 1598 by Joachim Camerarius, the German humanist and scholar, who, as you might expect, observed it growing in profusion near Rome. On the other hand, there is the “German” chamomile ( Matricaria recutita), a sweet-scented plant native to the European continent and western Asia, in this pretender’s case, the Matricaria deriving either from matri caria, “beloved mother,” in reference to St.

The flavor of borage is refreshingly cucumber-y, the leaves being excellent steamed or sautéed, the stems peeled and used like celery, and the fresh flowers showstopping in salads and, candied, on desserts. In medieval England, borage leaves were steeped in wine or cider with lemon and sugar to create a “cool tankard” and a little happiness on a sweltering summer eve. Contemporary astrologer and herbalist Jonathan Pearl, however, recommends this “joy”-full elixir to banish melancholy: loosely pack a blender with fresh borage leaves, pour in dry vermouth to cover, pulse into a green soup, let sit for 6 hours, strain, bottle, refrigerate, and sip as your mood dictates.

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75 Exceptional Herbs for Your Garden by Jack Staub

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