Feel Good Herbs

It is a well known fact that plants make us feel better and what better way to get that feel-good vibe than with a pot of evergreen herbs. It’s hard to resist squeezing the leaves of a temptingly tactile Rosemary or Thyme as you pass by to release their heady fragrance and give a real hit to the senses.

Most evergreen herbs originate from the Mediterranean and thrive in sunny, well drained conditions. A mix of fine leaved textures and colours make these plants wonderful ornamental additions and provide year-long structure and interest. Bay and Rosemary can be trained as small standard trees whereas Sage, Lavender, Santolina and Teucrium can be grown as low growing hedges. Another plus point is that their small bright flowers attract pollinators throughout the year; Rosemary often blooms through the winter with sprays of tiny pale blue flowers to nourish winter insects.

Not only do they look pretty, but these versatile plants have been used for centuries for cooking, cleaning the home and for their many medicinal properties. Their constant aid to comfort and support us has led them to also being connected with many symbolic meanings that go back as far as the Greeks and Romans.

Here are just a few of those:

Bay: glory, honour, reward and peace

Thyme: activity, bravery, courage and strength

Sage: wisdom, long life and esteem

Rosemary: remembrance, love, loyalty and fidelity

Myrtle: love, good luck and prosperity

Violet: humility, devotion, faithfulness and forgiveness

I think that in this year where we have all had to face many challenges, the meaning of these plants can be a real boost to our spirits and, if you are thinking of giving someone a gift, then a pot of herbs is perfect- you’ll be saying so much more!

Originally published in Focus magazine

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