The History of Herbs

The History of Herbs

National Gardening Week takes place from 11th – 17th April with the theme being ‘Get Fit in the Garden’.  At Houghton Lodge Gardens, we are celebrating NGW with a series of blogs about the healthy benefits of gardening and the use of use of herbs, many of which can be found in our planted herb garden found in the walled garden.

Herbs are great! They add flavour to our food, make many different types of tea and are pretty simple for most of us to grow.

However, the herb hasn’t always been used just to flavour our soups. For thousands of years, humans have used herbs in many different ways, including:

  • as perfumes
  • as disinfectants
  • to protect us against germs
  • as medicines – to heal us when we are sick
  • as currency, instead of money

Today we still use herbs for the same purposes, although we wouldn’t recommend trying to use them as currency!

Did you know that the World Health Organization estimates that 80% of people rely on herbal medicines for some part of their primary healthcare?

At Houghton Lodge Gardens, we are celebrating garden week showcasing the Herb Garden, which can found in the Walled Garden, and the many benefits of using of herbs.

The 250sq m herb garden is made of four key themed areas and not just about those that can be used in cooking.

There are medicinal herbs such as fennel, lemon balm, chives and golden marjoram; herbs that are used as natural dyes including parsley, sorrel and marigold; herbs that can be used to make teas, from the well known chamomile to red/purple sage, yarrow and golden hop. Lastly there are the herbs that can be used in pot pourri such as pineapple sage, oregano, bergamot and southernwood.

Each herb has it’s own unique look, flavour and smell, which make them a joy to look at in the garden.

Why don’t you test yourself during your visit and see how many herbs you can name just by look and smell?

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