July 2011

News from

The Thyme Garden

July 2011



�Our newsletter is a way to keep in touch�with our customers and share�the excitement of the season as well as�the knowledge we've gained in our 22 years in busniness as an�organic herb nursery.�You've received this newsletter because you are one of those customers we'd like to stay in contact with! We apologize if you received this email and don't want to be bothered. You can easily unsubscribe�below.


Wings in the Garden

~�Choosing Herbs�for You and�Your Winged Friends to Enjoy

Featured Herb: Basil

~�Exploring all the different types & �uses. Tips for growing, harvesting and storing and a recipe!

Giving a Bird a Home

~ Local artists making unique homes for our feathered friends

Coming Soon: The Thyme Garden Video

~ Our very own video featuring clips of the many facets of this special place


Season Wrap Up

~ Recount of Midnight in the Garden,� our End of Season Specials, and a word on what we're up to next.

Savoring the Harvest

~ Harvesting and drying your own herbs and flowers

Featured Herbs: The Lemon Collection

~ A special feature on all our favorite delightful Lemon herbs

Infusion Profusion

~ Creating infusions to take your summer libations up a notch!

Wings in the Garden

The sun is out and the garden is in full bloom. Walking the paths you can't help admiring the return of summer friends who have flown in for the summer. Butterflies flit from flower to flower, hummingbirds�whizz by�at daredevil speeds to the next sweet spots, and bees busily collect nectar to turn to liquid gold. Welcome visitors, we do what we can to encourage that they keep returning to our gardens to fill the air with their beauty.
Swallowtails on Red Jupiters Beard and Hesperis

�Swallowtail with Hesperis(purple), Jupiter's Beard (red), Showy Milkweed (fuzzy�leaves), and Echinacea (green buds.)

Over the years, we've been keeping track of which plants are especillay attractive to different winged friends. If you have our catalog, you will have noticed that we have a graphic of a butterfly, bee, or hummingbird by plants that each of these three prefer. This is a great resource for those of you wanting to plant a garden that will be full of�life in summer. In this issue, we will focus on the butterflies.

��� Of all the families of plants on our farm, I would have to say that the one that gets most attention from butterflies are the Milkweeds (Asclepias). Three years ago we did a large planting of Showy Milkweed which is espeically important for Monarch habitat. Showy Milkweed is a particularly decorative variety with large silver leaves and clusters of almost wax-like starshaped�white and rose�flowers. Its a very nice addition to the garden as a background plant as it can get up to�4 feet tall.

�� Other members of the Milkweed family include the aptly named Butterflyweed, Common Milkweed, and Swamp Milkweed.

Swallowtails on White Jupiters Beard��

�� Hesperis or Sweet Rocket is another flower that not only smells heavenly to us, but draws a lot of butterflies. Hesperis is a biennial and tends to reseed, flowering early and long. Jupiter's Beard, both Red and White,�are great mid-height plants that butterflies flock to.

�� All types of Bergamot or Beebalm (Common, Red, or Wild)�are worth including in the butterfly garden - and they make excellent tea (See below). Their flowers are nice additions to bouquets and the bees love them as well. Another species of flower that brings to mind is Liatris - We carry Gayfeather, Meadow Blazing Star and Prairie Blazing Star. They are wonderful in bouquets, as a garden accent, and as a butterfly food source.

�� Another factor to consider when planting for the butterflies is what their offspring will eat. The caterpillars need foliage to eat when they emerge. Some plants that stand out in my mind as great caterpillar food are Sweet Fennel, Florence Fennel�and Bronze Fennel, Angelica, Milkweeds and the members of the Liatris family�mentioned above.

July's Featured Herb: Basil

�� In a hundred words or less, I will attempt to write an outline highlighting the importance of basil through time and across continents. Here goes�There are about 150 species of basil native to areas of Asia, Africa, Central America and South America. It is believed that Alexander the Great introduced the herb to Greece after returning from his Asian campaign. Basil was considered by the early Greeks as the herb of kings. The Romans thought it a symbol of love (and it is still considered an aphrodisiac) and even to this day Tulsi Basil is considered holy and sacred to Hindus.� Cultivated for more than 5000 years, basil was once used by Egyptians as an embalming herb in the mummification process.

� Today basil is primarily used as a choice culinary herb in dishes ranging from Italian to Thai. One of the best characteristics of basil is that it seems to actually like being used; pinching off leaves keeps the plant from going into seed production and stimulates growth. Don�t be afraid to pinch off the growing tips � it will make your plants bushier. Italian Large Leaf Basil

�� We offer such a large selection of basil because there are so many interesting varieties to try and they are so easy and fun to grow.� There are several different species of basil that have many different cultivars selected for desirable characteristics. For example, the Sweet Basils are what we generally think of as regular basil, the kind you generally find in the store and would use in spaghetti sauce and things of that nature. They �can be green or purple. �Green sweet basils that we offer are Baja, Blue Spice, Di Genova, Emily, Genovese, Italian Large Leaf, Mammoth �Napoletano� and just plain Sweet Basil. They also come in bush types such as Bush �Marseillais�, Minette, and Spicy Globe. �These miniature leaved types are decorative as well as culinary. �It would be a tough choice, but if I was forced to choose just one sweet basil to grow, I would go with the Genovese Basil because the leaves are large, the flavor is wonderful, and it seems to withstand our Oregon weather of on and off again summer heat.

�Rolfe�s favorite new introduction is the Amethyst Basil, which is by far the purplest basil he�s seen. It has a true sweet basil flavor and is a robust grower. �Other purple sweet basil types are Dark Opal, Osmin, Purple Ruffles, Red Rubin, and Rosie Basil.

�� ��As I mentioned above, basil is used extensively in Thai cooking and in foods of the Pacific Rim including the Vietnamese dish Pho. The Thai basils are a little different in appearance and flavor. They tend to have smaller leaves that are pointed and edged with purple. The flavor is spicier, with more cinnamon and anise tones. I love Thai basils as garnish and in fruit salad. The Thai basils we offer are Queenette, Siam Queen, and Thai Basil (also known as Asian or Anise Basil.)

There are still other types of basil: Ararat, Cinnamon, Lemon Basil (Mrs. Burns), Lime, Licorice, and East Indian (also known as Tree Basil), Magical Michael, New Guinea, and Serata that all have their own unique flavors and growth habits.

��� One last type of basil that I haven�t mentioned is the Tulsi or Sacred Basil, which you can read about in the Filling Your Teapot section below.

A great entr�e recipe featuring basil is our Chicken Roulade.� Visit our blog to check it out: www.moregoodthymes.blogspot.com

Filling Your Teapot

�� My mom, Janet, is an excellent treasure hunter. She found this great wire teapot at a thrift-shop recently and her creative mind came up with a perfect use for it � a tea-garden in a teapot! It was a really fun and creative project that didn�t take much to accomplish and ended up being super neat. The hardest part for us was deciding which of our many tea herbs we wanted to include because the teapot was only so big.

� We selected Tulsi Basil, Lemongrass, Skullcap and German Chamomile. These four herbs together will make tea that will be calming, soothing to the stomach, and delicious to the taste buds. �We wanted to also add Bergamot, but ran out of room. Keep reading for specific properties of our five chosen tea herbs.

� Tulsi or sacred basil is excellent in tea not only for its taste, but also for its many medicinal properties. It's been used as an adaptagen, expectorant, poison antidote, anti-inflammatory, liver protector, stomach ulcer preventative, immune stimulator, anti-asthmatic, and air purifier. It aids in the treatment of common colds, fevers, and sore throats. It is considered holy by Hindus and can be found in temple gardens. It�s thought to help purify the spirit and promote health and well being. Parts Used: Leaves

Sacred or Tulsi Basil
West Indian Lemongrass
�� Lemongrass adds a wonderful citrus flavor to teas with the added medicinal benefits of being a digestive aid and a stress reliever. Parts Used: Leaves

Skullcap can be used as a mild sedative and sleep aid. Unlike over the counter sleep medications, I have found that skullcap doesn�t leave me feeling slightly drugged in the morning. It has a calming effect on the body, and in addition to be being a relaxant is also an anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic. Parts Used: Leaves

German Chamomile ��� German Chamomile is a wonderful digestive herb that has helped me ease many a sour stomach. It has a pleasant fruity taste and aroma. It also soothes nerves and can help ease menstrual cramps. Parts Used: Flowers

�� Bergamot or Beebalm is used to make an orange mint tea. It�s one of the main ingredients one of the most popular teas � Earl Gray. Long used by American Indians for medicinal purposes along the Oswego River, it is also known as Oswego Tea. Bergamot has a citrus fruity flavor and is also a digestive aid and a slight stimulant. Parts Used: Flowers and Leaves.

Red Bergamot

Other Tea Herbs to Consider: Echinacea, Feverfew, Gotu Kola, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Red Clover, Spearmint, Stevia, Wild Yam, and Yerba Mate.

Directions for making your Teapot Tea Garden:

1. Line your teapot all the way to the top with moss. If you live in an area with trees, borrow it from them. If not, you can find moss at craft stores. Re-hydrate it by soaking it in water for an hour or misting it with a spray bottle.
2. Fill your teapot about � full with potting soil (or to about to the depth of the pot the plant has been growing in.)
3. Remove your plants from their pots, loosen roots and remove excess soil (you may need to almost bare root them to get them to fit.) Arrange in teapot and fill in around the plants with soil. Add moss around the top rim if it has gotten packed down during assembly.

4. Water plants in and watch them grow! Use the leaves and flowers fresh or dry some and enjoy hot or cold year-round!

�� If you aren�t as lucky as my mom to find a teapot to plant in your local thrift shop, I found this one on Etsy that�s really similar.�

Or, if you don�t have the time or space to grow your own teas, you can order dried herbs or tea blends from us.

Giving a Bird a Home

Using�found objects such as drift wood and downed logs,�Florence, Oregon artists Maria and Amen Fisher�have made a niche for themselves building one of-a-kind birdhouses. We've been selling their amazing�works of art�for a few months now and have enjoyed just having them hanging around to enjoy.

�� The Fisher's�call their homes Given Back Birdhouses, and it seems the perfect name for these as they use so many natural pieces. I am actually feeling a little jealous that I am not a bird! The other day Rolfe saw a chickadee trying one out. I guess we'll have to suggest that customers take a look inside before taking them home to make sure they aren't bringing home an early tenant! Given Back Birdhouses at The Thyme Garden

�� We only offer the birdhouses for sale from our nursery at this point ��they�d be as heavy as a log to ship!�You can also check them out�through the Given Back website.

Coming Soon to DVD and Blu-Ray!

����� The Thyme Garden�Video Project

��� We are happy to announce the launch of a new project we have wanted to do for years: a quality video about The Thyme Garden. We recently got to know professional film producer Davey Porter. He has produced short films for PBS and OPB and also is an accomplished writer. Davy is totally excited about creating a video for us that will detail a cross section of all the various facets The Thyme Garden is involved in from salmon recovery to herbal luncheons. It will be fun for us to see twenty-two years of creativity on video. Hopefully this will do a great job of answering the question �What do you do at The Thyme Garden?� We will have a trailer of our video on YouTube with a link to the complete video on our website. We hope to have it done by the next newsletter. As for DVD and Blu-Ray, Davey has told us that we can produce these too if we see a need to. Exciting new developments!

Thanks for Reading and Happy Summer!

�� �~ The Thyme Garden Staff and Starlets

The Thyme Garden

~20546 Alsea Hwy.�~Alsea, OR 97324 ~ 541-487-8671~

herbs@thymegarden.com������������ www.thymegarden.com

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