Ag Answers - In the Garden - 8/28

Published 08/28 2014 08:38AM

Updated 08/28 2014 08:49AM

Good Morning I'm Sandy Mason with the U of I Extension.
Maybe you're getting a little tired of taking care of your own garden.
The good news is there's lots of great public gardens to get some ideas for your garden or maybe you don't have a garden and just want to enjoy some plants.
We're out here at the C-U Herb Society's Herb Garden at Meadowbrook Park in Urbana with Maggie Roberts.
You've actually been part of the herb society for a long time?
More than twenty years. 
So I think one of the great things about this garden is that its a public garden -- it's here at Meadowbrook Park in Urbana.
One of the things is this is really more of a traditional design when people might think of herb gardens or those kinds of things. 
So how did this design come about?
Very much a traditional design, this garden was started in 1977 with a group of women who were interested in knowing more about herbs.
Back then there wasn't a lot of information and it was pretty hard to get herbs.
So they made a deal with the Urbana Park District so they could grow them, see there habits and then they had meeting every month to learn more about them.
That organization continues now as the C-U Herb Society.
We meet on the first Wednesday of every month, check our website.
It's very interesting learning about herbs.
I know you have lots of great information and speakers.
We do.
I think one of the things about herbs it's a really broad category.
People may think of herbs as just sort of edible
things you might eat but  you've got fragrance things -- you've got lavender here.
Well, the broad definition of herb is useful plant.
So it could have been used historically medicinally, or as a dye plant or as tea.
So we do have  a beautiful culinary border, with lots of edible herbs and that's what people usually think of, but herbs is much bigger than that.
I think you've got them sectioned differently some culinary and this is more medicinal, to give people an idea of what plants were used traditionally as medicinals.
Even purple cone flower -- people don't always think about that.
Well that actually is acanacia and even in this day people use acanacia as an immune enhancer and we have wild quinine -- a lot of these were used by Native Americans.
So the wild quinine would have been used as a poltis for burns or sometimes they were used for coughs and colds before we had drug stores, people had to know how to take care of illness with plants.
And the bumblebees are really enjoying this Purple Cone Flower.
The thing about herbs is they are great for butterflies and bumblebees.
All kinds of bees love herbs.
So this is wild quinine -- another plant that you were mentioning, which is another one of these. The great thing too, herbs really add all that diversity to a garden.
They're usually quite easy to care for.
They're usually pretty pest free, they don't have to have rich soil and often especially if they're native they don't need a lot of extra watering so they're pretty easy to care for. ]
So we like all those kind of good things.
Tuesday we're actually going to talk more about some of the herbs at the Meadowbrook herb garden. So again, where's the garden?
Here at Meadowbrook Park, behind the barn.
I call it the hidden gem.
Because you can't really tell from the walking path but actually a lot of people know it's here.
Whenever we're out here working we see people who include this their little walk.
I think it gives them some sense of peace and serenity to be among these beautiful plants.
It's a hidden gem I call it.
It's just on South Race St., Just South of Windsor and Race.
Don't let the construction on Windsor keep you away.
It might take you an extra few minutes.
Thank you Maggie.
So it's a great time to come out, I know it's a little warm but come out in the morning see what's going on at some of the public gardens.
I'm Sandy Mason with the U of I extension and I'm glad you joined me here in The Herb Garden

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.