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Discover Fall Flowers In Season

10/19/2010 12:55:34 PM

Tags: Lemon Verbena Lady, Basil Mint, Borage, Pineapple Sage, Lavender, Nasturtiums, Fall Herbs, My Garden

n.heraud2You can check out the Lemon Verbena Lady at her blog

I thought I might take a small break from my English travels and get you into my fall herb garden. I will admit that I do need a break from gardening in the winter. I enjoy the fall garden because there are a lot of herbs blooming this time of year. More than you might imagine.

The Lemon Verbena Lady's fall-flourishing herbs.
Photo by Nancy Heraud

• Pineapple Sage: I talked about pineapple sage (Saliva elegans) when I shared my Pineapple Sage Jelly recipe last year.

Pineapple sage attracts pollinators and makes delicious jelly.
Photo by Nancy Heraud

Even though we had a hotter than normal summer in my area (Pennsylvannia), the pineapple sage did not bloom this season before the hummingbirds were gone! Besides jelly, pineapple sage flowers and leaves can be added to fruit salads and drinks, and dried leaves can be added to potpourri mixes. Unfortunately for me, pineapple sage is not hardy in this area. It can be brought indoors and placed where it is away from drafts but in as bright an area you can give it with south, east or west exposures. If you have only northern exposures, you need to purchase a grow light!

• Nasturtiums: I consider nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) a fall flower because ours seem to take off near the end of the season.

Both the flowers and the leaves of nasturiums are edible.
Photo by Nancy Heraud

This is a variety from Territorial Seeds called 'Tall Trailing Mix'. As I have mentioned in other posts (Edible Delights: 3 Nasturtium Recipes), nasturtiums are native to Peru. They are a wonderful flower to grow with your kids or grandkids because the seed size is comparatively large and a good size for their little fingers. Both flowers and leaves can be eaten in salads and placed in vinegars.  They have a spicy peppery taste. I shared my favorite vinegar recipe in a previous post.

• Basil Mint: I'm always glad to see an herb that can grow even in damp shade and that is basil mint (Mentha arvensis) in this case.

Basil mint can grow in damp, shady areas.
Photo by Nancy Heraud 

It is used in Asian dishes and has a full mint flavor with a spicy component. As with all mint plants, you need to put them in a confined area. Most all of my mints are growing in the ground, so I haven't even taken my own advice! I know you might find this hard to believe but mint can be easily pulled out of an area if it gets out of control. At the beginning of the season, I usually pull out and process mint to keep it to a manageable size for the summer season.

• Borage: The one of the last herbs that I'm still seeing in the fall herb garden is borage (Borago officinalis).

Bees enjoy borage flowers.
Photo by Nancy Heraud

These flowers are loved by the bees and we still have a lot of bees making the rounds in the bright sunny, cool days of autumn. Borage is an annual, but it self-sows readily. It does not like to be moved. So you want to sow seeds where you want it to grow and make sure you give it space because it can take up a lot of area. I love the star-shaped flowers, which can be put in ice cubes for cold drinks. They have a slight cucumber flavor and smell.

• Extra: My 'Fairy' rose and 'Hidcote' and 'Munstead' lavenders are also still in bloom. These herbs are all my workhorses in my herb garden. They are perennial favorites, even when some of them need help getting through the winter. So I hope you have found your favorite workhorses that keep flowering into the autumn and it gives you a boost to get you through the winter months!  Hopefully, we will not have the snow we had last season, but I know a lot of these herbs will be waiting to flourish again next spring.

If you have herb questions, please feel free to leave me a comment or e-mail me at Talk to you soon.

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