A garden of herbs - PDF book by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde

A garden of herbs

A garden of herbs

Contains recipes, mostly from old books, for herbal teas, conserves, homemade wines, candied flowers, and leaves, pomanders, etc

were it not for the sake of Custom, which has made it as unfashionable for a Book to come abroad without an introduction as for a Man to appear at Church without a Neckcloth or a Lady without a Hoop-petticoat, I should not have troubled you with this." 
— E. Smith, 

The Compleat Housewife, 1736. Nowadays everyone who writes a book, especially a small book, offers an apology for doing so. But this book is so unpretentious that an apology for writing it would be absurd. There is an immense wealth of literature, both learned and charming, on the subject of herbs, but there is no small practical handbook for those who are going to create an old-fashioned herb garden, and who want to know how to use these herbs as our great-grandmothers did. 

The fashion for " blue," " grey," " white " or Japanese gardens has died out; the rock garden still fascinates, but, unless made and maintained by skilful hands, it is apt to look ridiculous, so let us hope that the herb garden is to be restored to its former pride of place. 

Even those of us with the smallest suburban plots can make a delightful herb garden, and no matter how tiny it is a perpetual joy. Herbs ask so little and they give so much. All that the majority of our common herbs want is fairly poor soil (the poorer the better for the aromatic herbs) and plenty of sunlight. People who know nothing of herbs imagine that it might be a dull garden consisting of only foliage plants. But there is no blue more beautiful than that of borage, whilst valerian, mallows, marigold and the stately mullein (to mention only a few examples) make lovely splashes of colour. 

There need be no limit to the size of the garden, for, as one eminent herbalist tells us, there are on an average about seven hundred different remedies for most of the common ailments, but it is undoubtedly the moderate-sized garden which is the most attractive. This little book only deals with the few well-known English wild and garden herbs that everyone can grow and use. No mention is made of the purely medicinal uses of herbs, the receipts being merely for the excellent old herbal teas, the syrups and conserve, the herbal drinks and home-made wines, the candied flowers and- leaves, the sweet waters, washing-balls, pomanders, etc., which are great -grand-mothers were so skilful in preparing. I have included just a few recipes, which are, alas, of no use, in our sadly unimaginative age! One of these will be found under the heading " Thyme " : 

"To enable one to see the Fairies," and I can only trust it will not fall under the eye of any severely practical person, but as William Coles says of some of the things in his Art of Simpling: "if there be any that are not true yet they are pleasant." Note. — I should like to thank Miss Canziani and Miss Alice Smail for their kind help in copying the plans for me.


Preface vi
I. Of Herb Gardens i
II. Knots for the Housewife's Garden . . 20
III. Of Sundry Herbs 29
IV. Of Sallets 140
V. Herb Pottages 154
VI. Herb Puddings 160
VII. Herb Drinks and Home-made Wines . . .165
VIII. Additional Receipts 187
IX. Of the Picking and Drying of Herbs. .200
X. Of Sweet Scents 206
Authorities . . . . . .220
Index 225

the book details :
  • Author:  Eleanour Sinclair Rohde
  • Publication date:: 1921
  • Company: London; Boston : P.L. Warner, Publisher to the Medici Society

  • Download A garden of herbs - 14 MB

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