Lower South

November, 2005
Regional Report

Books

The Herb Garden Cookbook
Looking to add a little zest to your cuisine? Love to grow herbs but need some ideas on ways to use them in cooking? The Herb Garden Cookbook: The Complete Gardening and Gourmet Guide, by Lucinda Hutson (Gulf Publishing Company, 1998; $25), includes recipes for over 20 favorite herbs for the south. Lucinda brings a wealth of information and her contagious enthusiasm for herbs into this superb reference. Along with all the wonderful recipes are sections on Mexican herbs, Southeast Asian herbs, herb butters, herb vinegars, and special menu suggestions. Lucinda tops it off with a listing of selected botanical gardens and herb farms across the country, and sources of herb seeds and plants to make this book a prize possession of herb gardeners and cooks alike.

Favorite or New Plant

Mexican Mint Marigold
Equally at home in the herb garden and perennial flower border, Mexican mint marigold (Tagetes lucida) does double duty as a culinary herb and beautiful fall flowering plant. It's a dependable perennial that returns each year to form a mounded plant 2 to 3 feet in height. Plant it in a well-drained soil with full sun for best results. The leaves have distinctive, pleasing anise-like scent. They are used in herbal teas and as a substitute for tarragon in herbal vinegars, salad dressings, and sauces. In fall the plant is covered with a multitude of small, yellow, 1/2-inch, single blooms.

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