Wake Up and Smell the Basil!
This week’s guest blogger – lovely Janice Walsh – talks to us about growing herbs (and flowers) that have multiple benefits for our health (yes herbs are nutritious too!), gardening which is fantastic for getting us outdoors and giving us head space, encouraging us to try new reipes and last but definitely not least – the lovely bees benefit from the herbs/flowers you grow as it provides them with a food source! Janice, who is a charity manager, illustrator and volunteer for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust explains more…
So let’s get one thing straight from the off, I am not an habitual healthy eater, so I’m not in any position to say what you should and shouldn’t be munching, but what I can say is that if I find myself in a food related motivational slump, it’s my garden that helps me out.
Hey, you there, the guy who lives in an apartment and only has a balcony, and you, the lady with nothing but a window-box worth of outside space, don’t go, I’m talking to you too!
You see, you don’t need a Chelsea garden to reap the benefits of herbs. Most do just fine in a small pot or hanging basket and really, what’s not to like; the more you pick them, the more they grow, they are packed with nutrients and come with a wealth of health benefits, and best of all they smell and taste great! They’re so diverse you’re bound to find something that could give your cooking a bit of va va voom and maybe even encourage you to try out some new recipes.
There’s something so uplifting about picking a few leaves from your home-grown marjoram to add to an otherwise lacklustre tomato salad, or taking a baked sweet potato to new levels with a sprig of self-nurtured rosemary!
But there’s more…Herbs are also a fantastic source of food for my favourite pollinators, Bumblebees.
As a volunteer for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust I try to spread the word about their plight and encourage people to select plants that are rich in pollen and nectar. So herbs will not only sass up your diet but you’ll be supporting one of our struggling buzzers too. A few of their favourites include chives, rosemary and thyme, but there are loads to choose from, and if you want to go one better you could throw in a few flowers too. They particularly like purple flowers such as lavender, alliums or verbena bonariensis, but just look out for the ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ symbol when you’re making your selection and you can’t go wrong.
There are loads of great websites out there to tell you the what, where and how of growing and you can get the lowdown on the health benefits of specific herbs from Kate at Elliot Nutrition.
So don’t waste any more Thyme, turn over a new leaf and get growing! (Hee hee, triple pun points to me!)
If you would like to contact me about the post or find out more just visit illustration website to get in touch! www.bumblequail.co.uk
Royal Horticultural Society – www.rhs.org.uk
Jekka’s Herb Farm – www.jekkasherbfarm.com
Bumblebee Conservation Trust – www.bumblebeeconservation.org