Sometimes known as garden heliotrope, valerian is one of the most fragrant perennials you can grow. Its rounded clusters of pale pink blooms perfume the garden and indoor bouquets for up to six weeks in early summer. But valerian is much more than a pretty flower. More than 1, years ago, the Greek physician Galen prescribed valerian for insomnia. In the study with the most participants, conducted in Switzerland in , valerian reduced nighttime awakenings, especially among people who reported they were poor sleepers.
The active ingredients in valerian are water soluble, so you can take it as a simple tea. Although some think its flavor "foul," I find these claims to be wildly exaggerated. Even without honey, the tea tastes just fine to my sleep-challenged palate. Other people like to combine valerian with hops, which also has sedative effects. Or you can buy valerian as a supplement.
The typical before-bed dosage is mg; exceeding this level could make you feel groggy the next day. Native to Western Europe, valerian grows into a robustly upright, 5-foot-tall tower of sweet vanilla-and-clove fragrance. You can grow the plants from seed sown directly in the garden; or start seeds indoors, then set out container-grown plants in spring or late summer.
Choose a sunny spot with access to water as valerian grows best with constant light moisture.
Established plants bloom in early summer and are most fragrant in late afternoon. If you live in the Northeast—where valerian often becomes weedy—be sure to snip off faded flowers to prevent reseeding. After several seasons, established clumps can be dug and divided in spring or fall. In spring and fall, the medicinal compounds in valerian roots are at their peak potency, so these also are the best times to harvest. Simply dig the plant, with roots intact, and hang it in a dark location indoors to dry.
Freshly dug valerian roots have been said to smell like dirty socks, but to me they smell more like slightly soured laundry with a hint of mint … and after a couple of days of drying, the odor dissipates. When the roots are crisp-dry after several weeks , snip off the best and store them in airtight containers in a cool, dark place.
Contributing editor Barbara Pleasant gardens and writes about herbs at her home in Virginia. Join us in the Lone Star state to explore ways to save money and live efficiently. This two-day event includes hands-on workshops and a marketplace featuring the latest homesteading products. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living! Marie Kondo is back with detailed instructions on how to tidy up various categories of your belongings.
Expanding on the principles outlined in her first book, she goes into much more detail, complete with charming illustrations. Whether you aim to change a habit or completely transform your life, use this book as a blueprint for inspiration. More a lifestyle guide than self-help book, How to Be Alive presents research, personal stories, and exercises so you can live the happy life you were meant to.
Garlic, the King of Companion Planting
Recommended by Jen C. A marriage of two of my all-time favorite things beer and gardening , Joe and Dennis Fisher's The Homebrewer's Garden is an essential reference for any homebrewer looking to adopt a more holistic approach. With information on growing, preparing, and using your own hops, malts, grains, and brewing herbs, and an emphasis on organic methods, The Homebrewer's Garden isn't just the best book of its kind Recommended by Tove H.
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Lately I find my love of gardening is inversely proportional to the amount of money I have to spend on it. Thank goodness for Maureen Gilmer, whose latest book, The Small Budget Gardener , is full of money- and resource- and energy- and sanity- saving suggestions for the frugal gardener.
Melbourne planting guide, companion planting, veggies, herbs | Local Food Connect
Much of what I've learned about vegetable gardening I've learned through trial and error, and while I'm certainly a better gardener now than when I started out, my stubborn refusal to keep a garden journal has made the learning process a slow-going and often frustrating one.
Thankfully, Ron and Jennifer Kujawski have come to the rescue with a vegetable gardening guide so user-friendly it's absurd: all you need is your region's last frost date The author combines lovely photos with lessons learned through the experience of creating her own backyard farm from scratch. The result is an engaging intro to urban homesteading that will have you fantasizing about the world of possibilities that lies right outside your back door. This bestselling manual takes the guesswork out of PNW gardening, offering month-by-month gardening recommendations, tips for extending the growing season, details on the vegetable, herb, and flower varieties best suited to the region, a directory of local resources, and much, much more Are you kicking yourself for One of the most prolific and celebrated authors on the subjects of sustainable agriculture and mindful eating, Wendell Berry has influenced the likes of Wes Jackson, Barbara Kingsolver, Gene Logsdon, Barry Lopez, and Michael Pollan, to name a few.
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There is never a dull moment in a well-stocked perennial garden, but with so many varieties to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. In Perennial Companions , Timber Press editor-in-chief Tom Fischer takes the guesswork but not the fun out of perennial gardening, offering up different perennial combinations that span the gardening year. Ranging from classic to unexpected, the pairings in this book are sure to attract There's more to mindful eating than the "natural foods" aisle of the grocery store, but if that's the farthest you've ever ventured, you may not know where to begin.
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Related The Art of Companion Planting with Herbs: A Little Book Full of All the Information You Need
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