Book Review: Homegrown Herbs

As most of my readers know, I was a Marine wife for 24 years. During that time, I had the opportunity to garden in a variety of different climates and locations. Yuma was the perfect place to learn about growing cacti and succulents. We learned more about container gardening in Okinawa than we’ve ever learned anywhere else (we weren’t allowed to grow in the ground). Then we moved to North Idaho and, once again, I needed to learn a different style of growing.

The book Homegrown Herbs was one book I’ve relied heavily upon when making choices about what to grow in each new location. Though there’s some information on how to use herbs, this book’s primary focus is on choosing and growing herbs.

Handy tables

The tables in the beginning of the book give the reader wonderful information on:

  • plant habitat preferences
  • plant characteristics & requirements (including color if you want to use that to design your layout)
  • planning a children’s theme garden
  • planning a culinary themed garden
  • planning a scented themed garden
  • planning a tea themed garden
  • planning a medicinal themed garden
  • planning a wildlife themed garden

The author also includes harvesting and storage best-practices and gives the basics of herbal preparations.

Lists & 100 herbs

Also included are lists of edible flowers and recipes to use in the kitchen. The book concludes with a section entitled “Herb Personalities,” which is a short overview of 100 herbs covering:

  • botanical name
  • ethnic & other names
  • personality (description)
  • height
  • bloom traits
  • likes/dislikes
  • propagation/maintenance
  • sun/soil
  • harvesting
  • medicinal benefits (this is not a thorough monograph, just a tiny blurb)
  • parts used
  • home pharmacy uses

Homegrown Herbs is a book I have referred to over and over. The layout and brevity of the content is what I most appreciate: this book provides a lot of information without a lot of fluff. It gets the job done, so you can get the job done. Highly recommended!

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