A group to share knowlege and ideas about growing and using herbs.

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Latest Activity: Jul 30, 2016

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Dill 6 Replies

Started by Pam. Last reply by Pam Jan 26, 2014.

Balm of Gilead 4 Replies

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Comment by Lynn on November 30, 2009 at 6:08pm
Lemon Verbena does ok inside in cold climates. In the warmer climates, it can grow up to 15 feet tall. The one I had in the previous place was about 8 feet tall. Sadly, the following people in the place cut it out and dumped it (sacrilege!). You can use lemon verbena in place of lemon zest in recipes. Virtually any fruit salad can be enhanced with its finely chopped leaves. Bury 6 lemon verbena leaves in a cup of sugar that has been placed in a covered jar or container. Use this sugar to top muffins, fruit, or sprinkle on the top of muffin batter before baking. Because the leaf is rather tough you'll need to mince it very fine if you plan on leaving it in a dish, or add it whole and remove before serving. Dried, it should be crumbed before adding to recipes.
Comment by Megan on November 30, 2009 at 5:58pm
hello Lynn, are you able to go back to your old home to get some cuttings of your lemon verbena? Tree :) how high did it grow to? Take a look at the group Propagating by Grafting, Layering and Cuttings - Kali's about to take cuttings of her lemon verbena.
Comment by Fionna Hill on November 30, 2009 at 5:52pm
No Yvonne. Lemon Balm is a perennial. It can be used in fish and poultry dishes, sauces and marinades. Also jams, jellies, fruit juices (the lemon balm lemonade from Lynn sounds lovely), fruit salads and desserts. Also tea. Can be called Melissa Tea. Its easy to grow and in fact can be invasive like mint. Lemon Verbena - I have only made tea with it. Not so sure about that one.
Comment by Megan on November 30, 2009 at 5:48pm
Hello Yvonne, not a silly question, they are often confused. Lemon balm (melissa officialis) grows like mint and can be just as invasive! Bees adore it. Lemon verbena is a shrub (Aloysia triphylla) and once you've grown it, you will fall in love with it as Lynn and I have. I struggle to keep mine and have resorted to growing it as a house plant. In your temperate climate, yours will grow into a lovely bushy shrub. Most garden centres stock it.
Comment by Yvonne Nikolaison on November 30, 2009 at 5:37pm
A silly question but is Lemon verbena and lemon balm one in the same?
Comment by Lynn on November 30, 2009 at 5:32pm
Hi Megan...I LOVE Lemon verbena and it was at my last place, but I couldn't bring the tree with me. It's one I still have to replace...and one that I definitely will...can't be without it for too long.
Comment by Megan on November 30, 2009 at 5:27pm
hello Lynn, what a fabulous collection of herbs. One omission would be lemon verbena, the shrub which is delightful as a tea and great for pot pourri. It's difficult but not impossible to grow from cuttings and should do well in Napier. Down here, it's far too tender to be left outdoors over winter unless it's in a sheltered frost free site.
Comment by Yvonne Nikolaison on November 30, 2009 at 3:52pm
yum thank you Lynn for your receipe, I also have Lemon Balm and was wondering what to do with it, now I know. Hmmm need to find some more lemons too.
Comment by Lynn on November 30, 2009 at 3:41pm
I have just made Lemon Balm Lemonade today, and it's delicious! I had an abundance of Lemon Balm and needed something to use it on...ideal! Trouble is, it's SO delicious, I will run out of Lemon Balm really fast, making this regularly! lol

Old-Fashioned Lemon Balm Lemonade

• 4 lemons
• 1/2 cup fresh lemon balm leaves
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 2/3 cup boiling water
• 2 1/2 cups water
• ice (optional)
• 2-3 fresh sprigs lemon balm, to decorate

Scrub the lemons well. Peel the rind thinly, avoiding the white pithe, and set aside the lemons.

Place the lemon rind, lemon balm leaves, and the sugar into a small heat-proof pitcher. Pour the boiling water into the pitcher and stir well, crushing the lemon balm leaves to release their flavor. Leave mixture to infuse for about 15 minutes.

Now, cut the lemons in half and squeeze out the juice. Strain juice into a large glass pitcher, add a few fresh sprigs of lemon balm, and add the cooled, strained syrup. Top up with water or half-water half-ice, and chill until needed.
Comment by Lynn on November 29, 2009 at 4:12pm
Just found this group! YAY! I grow heaps of herbs and just love using them...for culinary, medicinal AND aromatic purposes. I have just read all the previous posts in this group and enjoyed them...thanks guys. James Wong...his book "Grow Your Own Drugs" is excellent and well worth the investment to purchase (Fishpond, or there is someone selling them new on Trademe). I have made several of the recipes from his book and they are easy...very easy. Most ingredients are easily accessible...most of which I already had. I highly recommend the acne gel, especially for teens! I have done a course in herbs and studied over 140 of them...and it's an ongoing learning experience...I just love them! I've always had a passion for herbs, and natural healing and it's just common sense to me to combine the two. I have thyme x 3 types, catmint, sage (common and white/incense), chamomile (German and Roman), Comfrey, borage, helichrysum (curry plant), lemon balm (common and variegated), feverfew, oreganum, yarrow, rose geranium, lemon geranium, rosemary x 2 types, basil (heaps!), St Johns Wort, rue, mints (basil, peppermint, spearmint, winter, summer, apple, chocolate peppermint), dill, echinacea, hyssop, anise hyssop, sorrels (broad green and red vein), mugwort, figwort, fennels (green and bronze), bay, valerian, aloe vera, wormwood, evening primrose, pineapple sage, chives, parsley, nasturtium, calendula. I had many more, but sadly didn't bring them with me from my previous place. So now I am trying to source many of the scented geraniums, alpine strawberries (white), sweet woodruff, Russian tarragon, selfheal and woundwort, to name a few. I grab new plants/species whenever I see them, but I have pretty much exhausted the 'regular' herbs. If anyone can help me with the more unusual ones, I'd appreciate it.

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