Outdoor Remedies Pt. 1: Plants with Surprising Benefits

April 15, 2014

Outdoor Remedies Pt. 1: Plants with Surprising Benefits

Believe it or not, a simple rose contains a number of uses and benefits. As most of you know, roses make beautiful additions to any landscape providing an abundance of fragrant flowers. In particular, the rugosa type is very fragrant. The fruit of the rose, known as the rose hip, is a great source of Vitamins A & C. Experts believe it has more Vitamin C than an orange! Fresh or dried rose hips make an excellent tea.

· Serviceberry, also known as Juneberry, produces beautiful lacy white blooms in the spring and again in autumn. This American native plant also produces an abundance of purple-red berries in the late spring. Tasting a lot like blueberries, the fruit can be eaten raw or baked into pies or other desserts. Outside the oven, Serviceberry makes a beautiful addition to just about any landscape! It grows to a height of about 20’.

Need relief from those summer bugs? Lemon Balm is a great way to help deter pesky insects from your outdoor living space! Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and looks very similar, with soft, slightly “furry” leaves. Instead of a minty scent, it has a strong lemon-like aroma, similar to citronella. That’s what repels the bugs. You can also crush the leaves and rub them on your skin, especially around areas prone to bug bites. You can plant Lemon Balm outside near your front or back door, deck, or patio. As a warning, however, Lemon Balm is invasive and can take over your garden, so it’s best to keep it contained in a pot.

· Sage is a great addition to any patio or garden! This culinary herb can spice up a number of dishes, from pork to stuffing. The small green plant can also create texture and contrast to any annual planter mix. In some studies, Sage has been found to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Like Lemon Balm, Sage can also be used as a bug repellant! Placing a bundle of leaves on a fire or hot coals will release an aroma that can deter insects. Sage is an annual plant, so it must either be brought indoors before a hard frost or replanted every year.

We’ll have even more great ideas in our next blog! Stay tuned!

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