Growing Native Plants And Herbs For Cutting

Growing Native Plants And Herbs For Cutting

Surprisingly perhaps, many of the most popular materials for cutting, such as alchemilla, are native plants. Of recent years the wild arum has been found a place in many a strange suburban plot; this is the ‘lords and ladies’ of the hedgerows. Arum maculatum has spotted leaves, arrow shaped and very handsome. The leaves are favoured more highly than the flowers, but I like these strange green blooms. However, even if the flowers do not appeal to you don’t disdain the leaves. The plant will grow quite happily beneath some shrub. I have one that lives at the foot of a shrub rose and another grows under a sumach.

Angelica produces almost globular umbels or flower-clusters which are extremely useful and handsome in large arrangements. The flowers vary in tone according to their maturity, being sometimes green, rose or greenywhite. Angelica archangelica is the herb used for flavouring liqueurs and its stems are candied for confectionery. It grows up to 5 ft. There is a smaller, 4 ft. species, A. sylvestris, with white flowers. Both of these plants like a shady place with deep, moist loam.

Many culinary and other herbs can be used. The lovely blue-green rue can be gathered the year round. Also the purple-leaved sage, lavender and rosemary. The perennial umbels of yellow flowers which look well in autumnal arrangements mid of course any of the umbels can be dried and used in winter arrangements. They are very effective when frosted and used in Christmas decorations.

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