Chapter 1 : Introduction

Is it the influence of the Green Movement ?  Or is it the growing concern over the economy?  Or perhaps I's just the love of herbs have finally gotten hold of enough people to create the interest in herb gardening we see today.

Whatever reason brings you to desire -- or even consider -- growing your own herbs ... your health ... your culinary tastes ... just plain beauty. .. Congratulations!

You're about to enter a wonderfully enchanting view of life, where everyday when you wake up and walk on your deck, terrace or backyard, you'll be touched by visual beauty and fragrance vitality.

You'll now have the opportunity to create culinary masterpieces . . .improve your health and that of your family ... or just enrich your life.

The good news is that herbs are easy to grow.  If you provide them with the conditions that they like, most of them actually take the least amount of care in your garden.

And if you're a beginning gardener then herbs are must-grow items because of that fact alone.  Including herbs will give you the confidence you need to go on to more difficult plants.

If, on the other hand, you're an experienced gardener, then no doubt you'll appreciate these amazing plants for that very same reason.  Once you have established your garden, it takes little effort on your part to get it to look absolutely spectacular and keep it that way (But of course, I encourage you to take all the credit your guests would like to toss your way!)

Of course, it goes without saying that you can just add dabs of colors and textures to an otherwise dreary patch of your flower garden.  Many gardeners use herbs to separate flowers whose colors may clash or place them where no flower would succeed in growing.

If you've got a damp, shady spot in your garden where nothing else grows, try an herb.  As you delve deeper into this hobby, you'll learn how easy ... and common this can be.

Or perhaps you're just interest in planting a few herbs in a couple containers to start.  You may want to keep several herbs potted on your back porch.  Or you may want to grow only a very few of this culinary plants.

How to use this book wisely.

This book is designed to help you learn more about the wonderful plants you're about to adopt.  

Chapter 1 answers the question that's on everyone's mind (while maybe not everyone's ... but probably yours):  Why Herbs?  In this chapter we'll ask you questions about why you're drawn to herbal gardening.  Your answers reveal then not only the type of garden you'll probably end up planting, but the various kinds of herbs you'll probably include in it.

Chapter 2 digs a little deeper (pardon the pun) on the subject of herbs.  Once you've taken that step backwards and examined why you want to grow herbs, then you can intelligently decide which herbs you want to grow.

Now granted your first year of gardening might be a bit of a hit and miss.  In a way, if you're truly successful at gardening, it will be.  Once you start learning about herbs, you really won't want to stop.  By the end of your initial growing season, you'll have a list of a half dozen or more herbs, you want to include in your next venture.  And that's a good thing!

Part of this chapter is devoted to providing you with some of the most popular herbs -- both used in culinary practice as well as for healing purposes.  Of course, you soon discover that strict classification of these is nearly impossible.

Take basil for example.  Typically, people think of basil as a culinary delight, but the bonus for growing this plant is its ability to work wonders as an anti-inflammatory remedy.  If you decide to grow basil for its flavor, you may end up using it for your health as well!

And that brings us to Chapter 3.

You are taking charge of your herb garden, from the ground up.  Chapter 3, "Design A Garden" is devoted to helping you decide not only what type of garden you'd like to begin with, but how to bring the vision to life.  We explore your options and discuss what works best for your lifestyle and personal culinary and health needs.

Should you decide to cultivate an outdoor garden, I've got you covered in Chapter 4.  It's here I give you the lowdown on how to successfully raise herbs in your own yard.  Hints ., . . tips ... suggestions ... you'll find this chapter to be a great jumpstart to your hobby.

If you'd rather start out with an indoor garden (or as many do a combination of both) then you'll want to make sure you read Chapter 5.  The information contained in this chapter will ensure that your first indoor herbal expedition will be nothing less than successful.

And that brings us to Chapter 6 -- a general overview of the best methods to keeping your herbs healthy, happy, and strong.  If you've got any doubts at all about whether you can maintain herbs -- this chapter was written to reassure you that "Yes you can!"

Need to know just a little bit about specific herbs, then turn to Appendix I, where I've compiled a list of specific herbs the best methods to propagate them and what kind of environment they grow best in.

And finally, the last appendix provides you with a little more information on preparing health giving remedies, using the herbs from your garden.  Discover what a tincture and a poultice are -- and then, more importantly, learn how to make these and use them to help alleviate the minor symptoms of some of the most common health problems.

Enjoying an herb garden is one of life's luxuries. But maintaining it shouldn't be burdensome.  In fact, you'll find once you dig into this book how wonderfully relaxing -- and even therapeutic -- this marvelous hobby can be.

So don't waste another minute!  Start now deciding on what form your herb garden will take!

Happy Gardening!

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