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The New Englanders Healing Garden 

Spring is the ideal time to appreciate nature. Learning about flowers, herbs, and other natural healing resources, give me a greater appreciation of Aromatherapy. Planting is a pleasure. The living creations we raise return a plethora of profit. Vegetation can feed us and restore our health. Plants grant us beauty and oxygen. Herbs offer an abundance of healing properties and kitchen uses. Flowers are fabulous for decoration, potpourri, tinctures and much more. Fruits and vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes come in handy for quick, nutritious salads. Many shrubbery choices take just a bit of love and attention to flourish. There are plenty of plants of differing varieties that grow well in New England with little space and only a hint of agricultural know-how. Here are just a few:

* Marigolds: If you have land, marigolds grow easily and spread. Even if you merely have a small porch you may raise marigolds in pots. I like to sow several shades of these fragrant flowers. Novices are best to buy six packs of marigolds at their local garden shop and let them spread. The slightly sophisticated  gardener can cultivate a new season of flowers from last year’s seeds. I sow seeds as soon as the weather turns warm in April, but save some seeds to replant in May in case of an unexpected frost. Marigolds enjoy the sun and drink up lots of water. These magnificent blossoms have an exquisite scent. Marigolds are high in sulfur. They have been used in remedies for gastric ulcers and can be used to make tinctures. Many use marigolds as an economic substitute for saffron, in salads and soups. The flowers are also wonderful to make bed and bath sachets which is nice, since Marigold essential oil is rather expensive to use in the tub.

* Lavender: These timeless flowers have clusters of fragrant buds. Lavender is excellent to use in potpourri, herbal pillows and bath sachets. This classic flower is known to signify motherly love. It has been used to scent linens and laundry for centuries. When used medicinally, lavender has been said to work as a nerve tonic, to help calm coughs, to ease headaches, relieve tired joints and much more. With a small plot of land you can grow a lot of lavender. If you have a porch, it also grows nicely in large pots. In smaller pots, it grows, but is much slower to flower. It is a nice flowers for relaxing tinctures.

* Rosemary: Rosemary is best known as a kitchen herb. It is considered The Herb of Love and Remembrance. It may be planted inside or out. Be careful not to over water and make sure your shrubs have at least partial sun. If allowed to grow to it’s full height, the rosemary bush is likely to reach to a height of six feet. Rosemary has fragrant spiky leaves and it flowers when mature. Medicinally, this herb is sometimes used to aid the liver, heart, head, nerves, and digestive tract. You can breed Rosemary by cutting off a stem that has little bumps at the bottom. Place it and water and after a few weeks you should see roots growing from the bumps. Once the roots are big and strong enough, plant inside until it is big enough to go outdoors.

* Sage: Known as the herb of wisdom, sage is also said to drive away evil spirits. It can be grown in

containers if given enough sun and you are careful not to over water. When mature, mauve Sage flowers appear. In herbal medicine sage is often given to treat liver dysfunction, digestion, headaches, coughs, colds and fevers. It offers a fresh scent and can be made into sage bundles for ritual purposes. 

* Basil: In folklore, Basil represents money. In daily life it is great to have on hand for salads, sauces, soups, and so much more. Basil grows best when given plenty of sun and water (either inside or out). As it grows it develops white flowers; they form in spirals. The scent of basil is refreshing, yet relaxing. Basil may have a stimulating effect on the brain, while calming the nerves; thus it is often ideal when treating nervous exhaustion.

* Spearmint, Peppermint, and Common Mint: Mint is very easy to cultivate. It grows wild in countless regions and spreads quite rapidly.

There are quite a few varieties of mint. These herbs may help ease digestive disorders and can be very comforting to the head when used in teas. Planting mint helps discourage insects and rodents from your garden.

*Parsley: It is best to plant parsley in very moist soil. It grows and spreads quite quickly. Parsley is best know as a garnish, but it is so much more. I love cooking with Parsley, it is so mild you can add lot to sauces, stir-fry, soups and salads. It is full of nutrients. It aids digestion, kidney health, and heart health.

* Thyme: When you plant thyme, it multiplies. Thus you can easily get many plants from one. It's flowers smell fresh and are nice to 

use in potpourri and sachets. Thyme grows wild in many places. It has tiny leaves that can be used for a variety of kitchen and medicinal purposes. Thyme is used to aid digestion, to help headaches, sweeten breath and more.

* Tomatoes: It’s best to plant your tomato saplings in a sunny spot in your yard. As they grow, look at the stems carefully (once a week); if you see a straggly stands of green between the stems, pull them off. Those are known as “suckers” and steal nutrients from the growing fruit. Tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family. They have a hint of acidity, and are loaded with potassium and Vitamin C.

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