Northern & Central Midwest
Herb Cultivation and Cookery
As the season draws to a close, I always pull out The Herbal Palate Cookbook, by Maggie Oster and Sally Gilbertie (Storey Publishing, 1998; $19.95), to refresh myself on how to take care of the abundance of herbs left in the garden. This book is a wealth of information on how to grow at least 60 herbs, including how to grow them in containers. Then, at harvest time, I can flip through the luscious recipes (not your average herb recipes) and make plans as I prepare the herbs for the freezer or for drying.
Favorite or New Plant
Biokovo Cranesbill geranium (Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo') is a striking ground cover geranium that caught my eye about 10 years ago and has been a staple in my garden ever since. The plant spreads by rhizomes below ground and grows about 6 to 10 inches high. It has masses of five-petaled, pink-tinged white flowers with pronounced pink stamens. It blooms in late spring, with the blossoms standing softly above the rounded, medium green foliage. The foliage turns scarlet red in fall. This geranium from the Biokovo Mountains in Croatia tolerates wet and dry conditions, and does well in sun or shade.