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Many herbs are at their best in June with lush new leafy growth. I believe it is in the month before flowering that herbs have their best flavour and medicinal value. Anyway, they are certainly looking very healthy.

Last year I bought a valerian (Valeriana officinalis) and I suppose it is a bit disappointing looking, its early flowers are whitish but it becomes tall and straggly. However, the flowers smell so sweet. I have cut some for the house and they are lasting very well.

Valerian officinalis

I see from Jekka McVicar’s Complete Herb Book that she uses a decoction of the herb root as a relaxant for anxious cats and dogs and it is traditionally used as a sedative and nervine in herbal medicine.

Santolina ‘Lemon Fizz’ is a useful plant in the rock garden. Its vibrant lime green leaves really brighten up the border. In order to keep its colour it is important to cut out the darker green leaves as they show through.

Santolina ‘Lemon Fizz’

Its relative, the cotton lavender (Santolina chamaecyparissus) is looking very good. The bush shape is still neat and its buds are ready to break into bright yellow buttons, after which it will need drastic re-shaping.

The curry plant is also ready to flower and at its neatest. It is the one herb that you can smell as you go past even when it has not been touched.

Curry Plant (Helichrysum italicum

The thymes are rampaging over the rock garden ….

Creeping Red Thyme with Woolly Thyme and Pink Chintz Thyme

…and into the pond

Creeping White Thyme

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