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Calycanthus floridus Carolina allspice Photo

The Herb Society of America is dedicated to promoting the knowledge, use and delight of herbs through educational programs, research, and sharing the experience of its members with the community.

Silybum marianum Milk Thistle Photo
Pelargonium Photo
Salvia xsylvestris ‘Ostfriesland/East Friesland’ Photo
Western Reserve Knot Garden Photo

As the spring grows toward summer, we know many of you probably have spectacular specimens and gorgeous garden views you'd love to share… so why not send in your images to us, we'll collect images to create an online gallery right here on our home page! Dust off your Nikons and power up your smartphones, let's see some of your creations.

Submit your images, along with a brief but interesting blurb of the plant or garden, member and location. Show us your stuff!  Submit to: editor@herbsociety.org


The 2015 Educational Conference in Colonial Williamsburg concluded with bright smiles from our attendees as they experienced both a step back in time and inspiration for the future. Members enjoyed exploring historic herb gardens, heard a variety of speakers and participated in workshops. The Colonial Williamsburg setting itself, if you have never been, is a treat for the senses in it’s own regard — combining the location with our unique focus on herbs and their history created a truly transformative event.

   

The conference included a variety of lecture subjects. Our members were delighted by The Herb Gardens of Williamsburg Lecture, with Don Haynie and members of the Colonial Triangle Unit regaling the audience with tales of the “best” herb gardens; another get-together to tickle the mind was the lecture on The History of Landscape Design in America, led by Kirk Brown. The session on Italian Liqueurs given by Renato Vicario on Saturday was another session given high marks. The opportunity to enjoy the Festival of Flavor, enjoy the competition of bidding in the silent auction and honor our Award winners was a satisfying conclusion to our annual extravaganza.

We are sure the HSA 2015 Educational Conference and Annual Meeting of Members in Colonial Williamsburg will be remembered with fondness for years to come. Be sure to join us next year as we introduce our next generation annual event in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. Don't miss it – we’ll see you there!

   
(L) Speakers Susan Belsinger & Don Haynie  (R) Susan Liechty enjoys a moment with John B.

 


Spring arrives around the country, and thoughts  of seedlings and summer herb gardens begin. From home gardeners to teachers with school gardens are ready to get kids and adults alike involved in growing plants economically. Looking for information on
seed sowing? Be sure to check out our Starting Herbs from Seed
on the Children’s Education page. Our suggestions for Top 10 Herbs or our Essential Guide for Beginners are great resources for garden inspiration!

Still trying to decide what to grow? Why not start with how you want to use the herbs you harvest? Lots of recipe ideas can be found by browsing the Herb of the Month pages from the past couple of years. More in-depth growing and project information can be found in the Herb Profile and Essential Guides in the About Herbs section.

Herbs are wonderfully adaptable to so many growing environments and garden types. Get your creative juices going as you consider incorporating herbs into existing gardens, creating specialty-themed gardens for teas, dyes and other culinary adventures. And don’t forget, herbs do well in containers too!

Happy Garden Planning!


Seedling Growing Tips

"The beauty of the natural world lies in the details." Natalie Angier

In keeping this sage advice in mind, it never hurts to review the basics — no matter how seasoned the gardener, Murphy's Law is always lurking just around the corner to remind one how inescapable the details are.

  • Keep soil moist, but not soggy. Bottom water seeds and seedlings by placing the containers in a flat tray of water until the soil at the top is moist. Bottom watering prevents dieback and promotes deep roots.  
  • Cover containers with plastic wrap or zip-top bag to help conserve moisture and create humidity.
  • Upon germination, make a tent or dome out of the plastic or open bag to allow for air circulation and to avoid mildew.
  • Remove the plastic wrap completely once the seedlings begin growing and have developed several more leaves.
  • 14 to 16 hours of light per day for sturdy, compact growth.  Place 4-6” under florescent lights instead of or to supplement natural day light.
  • Transplant seedlings when several sets of leaves have developed and they are 2-3” tall.
  • Turn the pot upside down and let the seedling fall into your hand. Do not pull the plant out by the stem or the leaves.
  • Gently separate seedlings and plant at the same depth in separate pots or spaced from other seedlings. Pat the soil around the plant and water it in.
  • When danger of frost is past, harden seedlings off by gradually introducing them to a protected location outdoors.
  • Check out requirements for specific herbs, including soil and air temperature and other cultural requirements by consulting our guides and profiles.



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