Saturday, December 4, 2010

Outdoor Herb Helpers

Let's face it! When many of us drive by that perfectly groomed lawn with streamlined shrubs and elegantly trimmed turf like grass we tend to give an over welcomed stare. Now imagine that same lawn with elegantly flapping butterflies, colorful hummingbirds hovering about, and less of those bothersome insect invaders. Imagine achieving all this by simply planting some of natures miracles - herbs. Herbs have been grown and enjoyed for hundreds of years by mankind. They bring color and beauty to your yard and garden and also serve as tasty spices, creative teas, medicinal extracts, and more. The following tips reveal some additional little known benefits of various herbs. A herb by definition is any "non woody" plant. This applies to any plant with a stem such as dandelions, echinacea, saw palmetto, tarragon, etc etc. We also include several barks and roots of "non herb" trees on our list of valuable herbs such as birch, white willow, and yucca. The list goes on and on.

Who wouldn't love to have a fleet of butterflies and beautiful hummingbirds frequent your palace and browse about your delightful foliage? The hummingbird is a swift flying bird found throughout the United States and South America. There are about twelve different species found in the Eastern United States. The most common seen on the east coast is the ruby-throated hummingbird. This is our favorite bird to watch here outside our little herb store in Daytona Beach - Florida Herb House. What makes this bird a marvel to watch more than any other flying feathered friend is its uncanny ability to hover in flight unlike any other bird. It accomplishes this through the use of its thin blade like wings which can flap over 4000 times per minute. It uses this hovering ability to gather nectar from flowers without having to land on them. It is truly amazing to watch this little guy in action. The secret to attracting hummingbirds is the types of flowers you offer. Hummingbirds have weak spots for certain flowers just as humans have a weak spot for chocolate donuts and ice cream. The secret lies in the flowers of these five herb plants - bergamot, catnip, fennel, passion flower, and sage. The flowers of these herbs are the chocolate donut equivalant to us for butterflies and hummingbirds alike. Plant one of more of these herbs in partial shade, water as neccessary and keep your eyes open for your new vistors.

What other secret qualities do some herb plants offer you ask? Well did you know that there is also a list of herbal plants that act as natural insect repellant? Yes whether it is ants, beetles, flies, or mosquitoes that are being bothersome there is a herb to help. The herbs peppermint, spearmint, and tansy naturally deter ants. Ants dislike the aroma that these plants give off and if they make the mistake of chomping into one of their leaves they will be quickly disappointed. Folks that wish to rid of various types of common beetles can try growing rosemary or wormwood. The constituents of these herbs are not on a beetle's menu. Next is our favorite herb basil. Not only does this fine plant put the finishing touches on your favorite dish but it helps keep the air free from flies. We all know how flies can pose a problem during an outside cookout or quiet dinner meal so keep a few pots rich with basil on hand for those occasions. Just having them nearby will keep flies at bay. The last herb that we use as a natural insect repellant is pennyroyal. Pennyroyal does a fine job letting mosquitoes know who is boss. Try it at your next party. If you live within a few hundred feet of the ocean than many of the above mentioned herbs will simply not be able to survive the added dose of salt spray from the sea. If you still wish to enjoy the benefits and fun of growing herbs in these high salt conditions then there is a golden list of herbs for you. The following herbs thrive well near the ocean and can grow in sand with little or no problems; aloe, bay, lemon balm, juniper, roses, rosemary, sage. Whatever your botanical desires may be we wish all you days and nights be healthy and happy and herb fulfilling. For more information on herbs and spices you can contact Stephen Sharp from Florida Herb House or visit them online at or

Stephen Sharp
Florida Herb House
1648 Taylor Road, # 363
Port Orange, FL 32128

(888) 476-9414