The Herb Garden in June

Saturday, July 25, 2015 - by Timothy Fraser

rosa gallica officinalis - the apothecaries rose
Aside the ubiquitous mints, sages, chives and all their familiar culinary comrades that thrive here in our Herb Garden, I thought it might be more refreshing and illuminating to focus attention on the less commonplace, non-culinary herbs that are to be found growing in and amongst these stalwart soldiers of the kitchen.

Rosa Gallica officinalis – The Apothecary’s Rose is an ancient rose and contains a peculiar chemical property that facilitates the preserving of the delicate perfume of its petals, even when dried and reduced to powder. Having made this discovery, the apothecaries of this ancient time developed this distinctive asset by making conserves and confections using the petals of the Rosa gallica officinalis. And so it earns its place in the Herb Garden.

rosa gallica officinalis - the apothecaries rose

Rosa gallica officinalis – The Apothecary’s Rose

Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’

A hedge of Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ separates the Herb Garden from the steep banking, which leads down to the wood below. It flowers continuously all summer long and is boasts a most delicious scent. We do not remove the faded blooms as these will, of course, become the large fruity hips that are produced throughout late summer and into autumn. Rich in vitamin C, the herbalist will use these as a supplement; the culinarian will produce jellies and sauces;  but here in this garden room, the hips of R. rugosa ‘Alba’ are usually left as a much-appreciated source of food for the birds in winter.

Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’   
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