Discover the Fun of Gardening
November 15, 2018   
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Garden Tip  |   Featured Plants   |  Fall Workshops  

A visit to the apothecary.

When I hear the word apothecary, I immediately think of the Friends episode where Rachel buys an apothecary table from Pottery Barn. When Monica tells her that Phoebe hates Pottery Barn, Rachel concocts a story about buying the table from a flea market for $1.50 and tells Phoebe that it was from 'the days of yore'. She has her convinced, and then Ross gets the same table and throws the story into disarray. It is definitely a funny episode.

But 90s sitcoms aside, this summer in Colonial Williamsburg, we learned what an apothecary really is. One of the shops on the main street was an apothecary shop and it was just as it would have been in the 1600s. The lady behind the counter answered all of our questions about how to cure various ailments, using plants and trees that we still grow today: willow bark for headaches, camphor for nasal congestion as well as for muscle aches and pains and common garden herbs like basil, sage and rosemary to make various tonics. We learned a lot about what could be done for healing and medicine hundreds of years ago and had a great time pretending we were part of that time period. (As you can see in the picture, Abby was dressed for it).

When we were about to head out of the shop, one of the labeled drawers caught our eye. It said Pip. Long. (in the picture above, that's what Abby is pointing at). The reason it jumped out at us was Abby had just finished reading the original Pippi Longstocking book. As it turns out Pip. Long. has nothing to do with a mischievous red-head, but is an abbreviation for Piper longum, a cousin of the Black Pepper used for a variety of medicinal purposes, including relieving asthma, cough and sore throat as well as gout and rheumatism. I'm not sure what Abby and I thought it would be . . . but that's still pretty interesting.

Today, when we talk about medicine, it tends to be about pills and going to the doctor, and when we talk about herbs, we almost always talk about their culinary qualities, not their medicinal qualities. But so many of the plants that grow in our gardens can be used not just for delectable dishes, but also to help keep us healthy. See below for a few tips on using herbs for health and wellness and then this Saturday, come on out to the last workshop of the Fall Season on Herb Gardening. It is just in time for Thanksgiving, so we'll talk about how to grow fresh herbs and use them in all of your favorite recipes. Don't worry, we'll talk about some of their healing properties as well. Abby and Maddy will be back with their homemade three-basil lemonade as well as some Rosemary Madeleines for you to sample. So come on out and learn how tasty (and healthy) gardening can be.

Happy Gardening,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

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Let's get herbal.
Garden Tip
Healing Herbs

When we talk about herbs, we tend to think only of their culinary properties. But for centuries herbs have been an important part of health and wellness. Check out some of the most popular herbs below and their various healing properties.

Basil - A basil tea can help to calm stomach issues. Chew fresh basil leaves to relieve a cough and the leaves can alleviate the sting from an insect bite.
Parsley - Chew parsley leaves to get rid of garlic breath. Parsley is high in minerals and nutrients, has antimicrobial properties and is also high in antioxidants.
Sage - Increases concentration and focus. It is anti-inflammatory and has plenty of antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress. It is high in vitamin K which is good for bone health and can also prevent major fluctuations in blood sugar.
Rosemary - Helps soothe heartburn and gas, can make a great insect repellant and can also help liver, gallbladder and circulation issues.
Lavender - Lavender smells amazing and makes a wonderful potpourri or perfume, but is also good for soothing aches and pains and can function as an antiseptic when applied to minor cuts and bruises.
Catnip - Used as a stimulant for cats, catnip can also be a soothing sedative for humans. A tea made from catnip leaves can reduce the pain and stress of cold and flu symptoms.
Lemon Balm - With a bright, fresh lemon flavor, lemon balm speeds the healing of cold sores and can also help relieve anxiety, insomnia, insect bites and upset stomach.

So there are a few more reasons to get out and plant an herb garden. Not just because they make the delectable difference in your best dishes, but because they also help keep our minds and bodies happy and healthy. With cool weather coming, it is the perfect time to plant.
Information on healing properties of herbs provided for information only. Always consult a doctor for health or medical issues.
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Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

Store Hours

Monday - Saturday,  9am - 5pm
Sunday,  11am - 4pm
Wednesday, 11/21, 9am - 12pm
Thanksgiving, Thursday, 11/22, Closed