Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 72 > Page 51 - A Little Taste of Living with Herbs

Page 51 - A Little Taste of Living with Herbs

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1997/6/1 (643 reads)

A Little Taste of Living witli l-lerbs Jo Ann Gardner's New Book Readers know Jo Ann Gardner as a knowledgeable and encour? aging friend to anybody who cares about plants. Her life has been self-sufficiency, research, and sharing. In Issue 63 of Cape Breton's Magazine she talked at length about finding and culti? vating and appreciating heritage plants, described in her book Tiie Heirloom Garden. Here is a selection from her new book, Living with Herbs. The book includes 74 herb portraits, some history, methods of planting, cultivating, and harvesting, and a wide range of uses of herbs. We suggest that you read the book this year and plan for next year, and thereby avoid all the usual disappointments. With Jo Ann's help, you won't say, "Oh, I should have put it in two weeks ago," or "So that plant needed a shady spot, eh!" Living with Herbs is both a pleasure and a useful tool. AND she did it HERE, in Cape Breton, so her advice makes sense to any? one who might have poor soil or wet windy conditions. We picked the following selection just because it shares the joy of seeking an herb and of introducing Jo Ann's neighbour to the search. Sweet White Clover Melilotus alba Fabaceae (Bean Family) Type: Biennial Height: 3 to 10 feet Site: Sun/Partial shade Soil: Most Growing Zones: 3-8 AN OLD WORLD WILDFLOWER once grown as a forage crop, sweet white clover is widely naturalized in North America along roadsides and in waste places. It's a tall, airy plant with many side branches clothed in three-part, cloverlike leaves and five-petaled, small white flowers typical of the Bean Family • the two lower petals form a keel, the two side petals form the wings, and the upper one tbrms a flag; these bloom in tight, spiky clusters. The wonderful sweet scent, like new-mown hay, of the dried leaves and flowers comes from the chemical coumarin. Sweet white clover is valued as a bee plant as its genus name, Melilotus, from the Greek for honey, suggests. Colour Enlargements • Portrait Sessions Custom Black-and-white Printing • Copy Work Photo Restoration • Hand Colouring • Print Toning photoSf 760 VICTORIA ROAD, WHITNEY PIER, SYDNEY PHOTOGRAPHER GRANT YOUNG For many years our floral 539-8654 J world was divided. Jigs pre- The first choice for fine food and lodging on the Cabot Trail The Normaway is proud to be able to share a part of Cape Breton's culture. Enjoy traditional music, nightly films, a choice selection of Cape Breton books & records. Concerts/ceilidhs/dances in The Bam Fridays (spring/fall); Wednesdays (summer) You don't have to be a guest of the Inn to enjoy a Normaway evening. Dinner served from 6 to 9 p.m., June 15 to October 15. Reservations suggested. THE NORMAWAY INN 902-248-2987 or 1-800-565-9463 ferred wildflowers (an interest he de? veloped as a gradu? ate student when we • lived in Wisconsin), ; while my province was the cultivated ones. This may seem strange for one who has lived so long in a clearing j in the woods, whol? ly surrounded by nature (with a capi? tal N) 24 hours a day. In fact, that's probably why I was indifferent, if not hostile, to natural flora. We devote a good part of our waking hours to coping with nature in one form or another: keeping it at bay in the hayfield, battling vigorous weeds in the gardens, and struggling to grow food for ourselves and our animals. But on our daily mile-long walks to and from the mailbox, I couldn't help noticing the wildflowers that grow along the lane in dappled shade at the woodland's edge, among the soft grays and greens of mosses and lichens. I admired the low sweeps of glistening white bunchberry and the dainty drifts of the diminutive, Ught pink twin- flower. Deeper in the woods there are great colonies of tall, hand? some cinnamon fern and • always a wonderful surprise • 'the mocca? sin flowers (lady's-slipper orchids) in splendid isolation, with their heavily veined, rich pink pouches. Visit an Underground Coal IVIine Glace Bay, N.S. One of the Foremost Museums in Nova Scotia! Bring your family to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime adventure of touring an actual Coal Mine with a retired miner as your guide, and experience our simulated mine ride. After touring Museum and Mine, visit the well-stocked Gift Shop and the Miners' Village and Restaurant on the same 15- acre site located just one mile from downtown Glace Bay. The Miners' Museum Is Open Year Round and Welcomes Group Tours Inquire about our "Men of the Deeps" Concerts Assisted by: '"%ra' Department of Education Nova Scotia Museum Complex For information about admission fees, school tours, group tours, or off-season hours, PHONE: (902) 849-4522 51
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