Monday, December 15, 2008

Herbal Gifts for the Holidays!

The Herbal Husband and I went shopping today. What were we thinking! The stores were packed with shoppers and the choices were very picked over. However, we did have success for the husband! Thank goodness! Now I would like to give you some last minute book ideas for that herb gardener in your life.

First, my favorite book is Bertha Reppert's Mrs. Reppert's Twelve Month Herbal. It is a year in the life of Bertha Reppert and her garden, founder of The Rosemary House in Mechanicsburg, PA. As you know by now in reading my blog, I truly love, respect and have learned so much from this talented family. Bertha passed away in 1999, but left a very rich legacy. This book will be a favorite for you as well. Each page is a day in the life of Bertha Reppert, has the weather conditions and a quotation and a recipe, a craft or just the doings of the day. For example, today's entry, December 15 mentioned it was snowing and talks about the herbs of the creche, pennyroyal, bedstraw and thyme. I think The Rosemary House still has copies available. It is a wonderful addition to any library.

My second choice is Adelma Grenier Simmons, Herb Gardening in Five Seasons. Don't forget the fifth season is Christmas. It is a classic herb gardening book written in early 1964. The book begins with "Happy is the herb gardener through all the seasons and the years." I couldn't agree more. It also has lovely line drawings of the herbs in the Dictionary of Fifty Selected Herbs. It can be found on Bookfinder, one of a number of search engines for finding out of print or even in print books.

My next favorite is a fictional series of books featuring China Bayles as a criminal attorney who gave up her professional career to open an herb shop. Maybe a fantasy of mine once upon a time! She gets mixed up in the murders of the town she lives in. I have heard Susan Wittig Albert speak here and her blog is one of my favorites. I think she is up to Number 17 in the series or may be more. You can find both hardbacks and paperbacks of the China Bayles series at Amazon, Bookfinder, maybe Rosemary House or other herb shops across the country.
My last choice is the fictional series of books featuring Theodosia Browning who owns the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston written by Laura Childs. Theodosia is always stumbling into a murder scene. Ms. Childs adds tea recipes and tips at the end of each book. There are nine books so far in this series. You can find them at Amazon, Bookfinder and maybe tea shops in your area. Thousands of books and really just a very small portion of my favorites. I feel books are to be treasured and the digital age is upon us. I will share more favorites later.


Anonymous said...

I'm honored that China's adventures are in the same company with Bertha's lovely book. I had her Twelve-Month Herbal in mind when China and I compiled the China Bayles' Book of Days. Before Bertha died, I told her I wanted to use her book as a model--she was so supportive. Thanks for mentioning my work, and for posting a link to my blog!--Susan Albert

Rosemary said...

Thanks Nancy for including my Mother's TwelveMonth Herbal in your selection of favorite books, and all your kinds words and support for The Rosemary House. We appreciate that!

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Thank you both for inspiring me every day in my herbal life! It has been the best blessing for me. And your scones are to die for, Nancy!

P.S. China Bayles' Book of Days would be another good choice of herbal gift.