Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Signs of Spring, Herbally Speaking!

Well, for those of you who wanted me to find them a sign of spring.  Here it is!  My lemon verbena has started to sprout!  It usually waits until the end of January or the beginning of February.  Guess it is anxious as well to get growing.  It is in the warmth of the basement at the moment, but when it has bigger leaves I think it should be moved.  It will need a sunny location with good air circulation and that may be the garage rather than a south facing windowsill.  Last year our lemon verbena came down with a case of whitefly and maybe spider mites as well.  They can both definitely stunt the growth of a plant indoors.

OK, here is another resolution that you may already take for granted.  I will always be available to you for your questions.  I hope you avail yourself of this resolution.  I love to answer your comments, but especially your questions.  Thoughts from Taylorsoutback  gave me a good question about rue.  She found a renegade rue plant and moved it in her garden.  She asks: 

". . .I pulled the rue out and relocated it...have heard it is sometimes not friendly with other herbs. Have you had any experience with this?"

 Here's the garden in late June of this year.  In the left hand bottom corner of this photo is my rue.  You might have to click on the photo to get a better view.  Like Taylorsoutback, I love its green-blue foliage.  It doesn't get huge and it sometimes doesn't last long in my garden, but I still love that color.  OK, back to the question.

In Louise Riotte's book, Roses Love Garlic, she says in part:

"Herb of Grace, Rue (Ruta graveolens)

This is a very bitter-tasting herb, strongly aromatic, and once important for medicinal purposes but no longer taken internally.  Contact can cause a rash if you are allergic.

Plant rue with roses to foil the Japanese beetle.  It is also helpful grown with fig trees. (I'm not sure how that works.)  Cats detest rue, so but it on your upholstered furniture to keep them from clawing.  Use against fleas in the dog's bed, and a few sprigs hung in a room will drive out flies.  Rue and basil are incompatible."

Please add anything to the conversation, you might know about rue, especially other incompatible herbs.  In the meantime, I will keep reading.  This is how we all learn.  Working on laundry and cleaning.  New year, new routine!  No, I did clean and do laundry last year!  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later.

Each year is a fresh beginning,
A brand new undertaking...
New friends to know, new ways to go
In the life that we are making
 --- Unknown

The quote is from Mrs. Reppert's Twelve Month Herbal from yesterday. 


Tufa Girl said...

Around San Antonio, many hispanic ladies would buy rue to prevent "the evil eye" or to keep bad people from their home.

Carla said...

LVL, I wish I could send you some lemon verbena! Mine is about 5 feet tall, still doing well even with the cold temperatures we have had lately. This last week we had a few days that got down to 34 degrees. Cold for us.

I have a small rue plant that I put in the herb garden last summer. Amazingly I planted it just a few feet from the fig tree we planted in October! I didn't know to do that, but am glad that I did now that I read your information. I love figs and hope the Rue will help.

I look forward to more spring days with you!

A happy new year to you and your herbal husband!

taylorsoutback said...

Good information! I also like the idea of hanging rue in a room to prevent flies...we live out in the country & the house sits on homesteaded land that used to have a barn. We have battled generations of flies for 14 years - I am willing to give the rue a good try out!
Thanks so much!!

lemonverbenalady said...

TG, I have heard that before. Thanks as always for the reminder!

Carla, I would take your lemon verbena in a minute! Thanks for the offer. I should have a good looking one in a couple of months indoors. Never heard the fig and rue combo so hopefully it will work for you. I'll keep looking for exactly what happens when they are paired together. Looking forward to sharing spring stories with you as well. Happy New Year to you and your family.

TO, glad you liked the info. I vaguely remembered the flies and rue. I didn't remember the rue and basil being incompatible.

Thanks for the question, TO and for each of your friendships. It means a lot to me.