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Growing a Shakespearean Herb Garden 
 
by Wendelynn Gunderson June 22, 2005

  • Summer Savory, Satureia hortensisSummer Savory is an annual herb, which grows to a height of 1 – 2 feet. It prefers full sun. The leaves have a delicate peppery taste and should be harvested on the stem. Savory is best preserved by drying. Savory is used for flavoring meats, egg dishes, stews and soups. It is often used in herbal blends that are used to flavor oils and vinegars. Savory was traditionally a companion plant to any flower garden near beehives, as its addition to the pollen mix made for better honey. Savory is a companion to green beans and onion. Shakespeare might have used it as a tea for relieving indigestion and gas. It was also thought that Savory could cure earaches.
  • Tansy, Tanacetum vulgreWe know Tansy today as the garden flower, Bachelor’s Buttons. Tansy is a hardy perennial that will grow to about 24 inches. It prefers full sun. Harvest the leaves at full maturity but before they turn yellow. Preserve Tansy by drying or freezing. At one time, Tansy was one of the most prized culinary herbs. Tansy has a peppery taste and is nice added to salad dressings or salads. Try infusing it in vinegar or oils and as a flavoring for meats. Tansy also has strongly aromatic leaves that repel flies, fleas and other insects. Tansy tea was beneficial as an astringent, insect repellent, fever reducer and as a tonic for many general digestive disorders. Tansy is a companion to roses and fruits, deterring many beetles and flying insects.
  • Thyme, Thymus vulgarisThyme is a bushy perennial that grows from 12 – 24 inches tall. Its small leaves are best harvested on the stalk and then dried. Harvest the leaves before the flower opens. Thyme is a universal herb and will complement any food. It was commonly thought that the best honey was blended with Thyme. Thyme was used as a strewing herb in addition to its culinary and medicinal uses. Thyme tea was used as a deodorant, disinfectant, and meat preservative, diuretic and to relieve sore throats. Thyme is a companion to cabbages and repels moths.
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