I'm Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh growing herbs is a passion I've had for more than 20 years now. The Backyard Patch is my own herb business started in 1995. I specialize in fresh, amazing, organic blended herbs. Those for cooking, tea and bath -- and they are all home-grown and hand-blended. In the last 20 years I have gained a knowledge of herbs and their flavors that I share here.
I was going to do a Gardening / Herb Book of the
month, however I cannot read a book in a month.Between the teaching ,and the gardening, and the harvesting, and the
making of herb products, and the writing of blogs and newsletters, not only for
myself but for several organizations, I just cannot read a book in a month, so
I am going with a book a quarter and if I finish early then I will add in a few
I am starting this with a book I received in a contest
giveaway in the Spring.It is Grow What You Love: 12 Plant Families to Change your Life by Emily Murphy.I have always liked chatting with her on
twitter @passthepistil, through #gardenchat so when her book came out I was
thrilled to get involved in promoting it.She spoke at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show, as well has doing a
Q&A on #gardenchat. She also has a blog and if you follow her on twitter she links back to great articles regularly, or you can just check it out - https://passthepistil.com. Now that things
have calmed down, I pulled the book out and began to reread what I started in
the Spring before prepping for the Garden Walk became a “Thing” in my life.
I have been carrying this book around with me this
year.Popping it open to read when I am
bored or waiting for something.I even
had some fun entering a Chicago Flower and Garden Show swag giveaway with a
picture of me reading it in my newly created book nook in the garden.I enjoyed this book because of its easy-to-read
style, but also the useful information.There is nothing I dislike more than “nothing new here” or useless
details about herbs.This book, I am
happy to say, suffers from neither of those issues.
Grow What You Love is organized by topic rather than
plant.I like that, as when it is plant
organized I never seem to read the book, I just read the plants I want to learn
about and skip over the other plants even if there is information there I might
find useful. Those types do make good reference items however and I do refer
back to them.
Here is why I think you will love this book also:
She starts with the basics of how to get started in
gardening.If you have never gardened
before you will find her easy to understand information very helpful and if you
are a seasoned gardener her information on soil and composting is a must read.She is great at walking you through the steps
of something, like Hot Composting.The “Emily’s
Notes” found throughout the text are wonderful for directing you to better use the
resources in the book and know your plants better. Like the suggestion to add
Strawberries to your landscape planting because the foliage is lovely in the
fall.Who thinks of Strawberries in Fall?
One of the many "workshops" in the book.
The subtitle of the book is 12 plant families to
change your life.The plant directory gives
you family groups like tender herbs and winter greens that force you to explore
these topics and in the process find plants you might not have attempted to
grow before (Varieties to try).She even suggests individual
cultivars to try. That is what makes this book accomplish its title.Grow What You Love.She explores the why a plant is good to grow
along with the how of growing the plant.You can delve deeper into plants you know while contemplating
experimenting with those you don’t.
Varieties to try and a related recipe!
Her advice to know the rules of gardening so you can
break them is the best. And the Workshops in the book that will have you transplanting
and rooting plants like a pro, among other tasks, are so nicely laid out in
steps anyone can follow them and be successful.
No book on gardening that contains herbs would be
complete without a few recipes and this book does not disappoint.Not only is there how to make candied violets
and your own seed starting mix, you will learn to make a Savory Galette in easy
to follow steps.I had hoped to show you
my version of this recipe, but I forgot to take pictures because we consumed it
so quickly as it smelled awesome.
So sweet she even signed it for me!
The summer vegetable recipes, especially those using
squash are on my agenda for the next few weeks, so stay tuned for that.
I hope you take my advice and check out a copy of Grow What You Love by Emily Murphy (Firefly Books Ltd, 2018)