The Clamor For Herb Gardening, From Early History Roots to Current Practices

The Clamor For Herb Gardening, From Early History Roots to Current Practices

Article by Ned Marx

Gardening has been opened to several modifications throughout centuries of wide practice. It has several kinds and herb gardening has been acclaiming more acceptance everyday.

Various private clubs, associations, virtual communities, websites and commercial farms venture into prioritizing herbs as the main produce. In Google alone, 31 million search links would appear when you type in “herbs”. And 2.79 million search links would appear when you type in “herb garden”. These figures may somehow reflect the proximate population of people who are very interested in herbs.

Herbs have been around since time immemorial. Its hundred-fold varieties and hundred-fold cultivars have been utilized for food, medicine, cosmetics, therapies, ornaments and spiritual symbolism. It has become such an intrinsic part of human needs, and that is what brought about making herbs a major key player in the human way of living.

Gardening of herbs has been approached in many ways – making it one of the most practiced methods in growing medicinal supplements, popular personal hobbies, commercial farming and even subject of extensive scientific research. Below are two major gardening styles that have involved herbs as major source of vegetation. These two have incorporated several herbs of different purposes.

Physic Gardening – for aesthetics and medicinal purposes of herbs

This type of gardening involves botanical gardens mainly featuring herbs as used in apothecary shops. Apothecary gardens have emerged in the early 15th century. Many popular literary works have attributed going to the apothecary as the subtle main climactic event for the whole story. The deaths of Romeo and Juliet have been caused by the death and sleeping elixirs they bought from the apothecary. Faulkner’s character Emily Grierson, from the story “A Rose for Emily”, bought an arsenic apothecary mix to kill another important character.

Distinguished apothecaries include Dante Alighieri, Nicholas Culpeper, John Keats and Joseph Proust. They may have been noted due to their other works but their earliest practice being apothecary have sprouted from physic gardening.

Today, there have been recreations of apothecary settings, from London to the USA. London holds a few of the oldest apothecaries in world, which are carefully maintained to accommodate tourists and herbalism enthusiasts. Parts of Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina have locations for reenacting 19th century apothecary practices and shops.

Potager Gardening – for aesthetics, aromatic and culinary purposes of herbs

This is a French term to mean kitchen garden. This gardening style has become a well-liked approach for people who have huge lawns. This gardening is mainly done to present an aesthetic edible garden. The culinary and ornamental herbs and select vegetables are arranged in beds organized as if a fully ornamental garden. The plants are arranged usually according to color combination and height growth for more creation of dimensions and levels.

Currently, this type of gardening has also two subtypes, namely cottage and knot gardening. The cottage garden applies rustic growth for plants. The herbs and flowers used in this garden style are not religiously trimmed, taking on the effect of meshing plant colors through their wild expansion. The other is more popular among royalty gardens in the UK. All the plants especially the herbs are delicately manicured to form certain patterns and elaborate designs.

These two gardens are good examples of how herb gardening could be flexible and practical to have room for different purposes.

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