Fragrant Herbs from the Garden Program at ISU Horticulture Center

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Join the University of Illinois Extension McLean County Master Gardeners for the third herb class of the summer at their Herb Garden located in Illinois State University Horticulture Center on Raab Road in Normal. On August 17 at 10 a.m., a program entitled "What to do with your fragrant herbs" will be presented to all who want to learn how to do more with their herbs.

Enjoying the aroma of fresh garden herbs can last well into the winter months with little preparation. Master Gardeners will demonstrate how to make herbal wreaths and homemade potpourri. McLean County Master Gardener Kathie Otto says, "Fragrant herbs are wonderful to grow in the garden." She says she loves working on this McLean County Master Gardener project because she learns so much from the other Master Gardeners. She is excited to do demonstrations on lavender, rosemary, sage and thyme. Her favorite is the floral scent of lavender.

She says the most unusual fragrant herb they use in the garden is bee balm. Bee balm, a member of the mint family, smells of oregano with a hint of mint when crushed. Bee balm leaves can be seeped into tea, added to spaghetti, can be added to a hot bath and improves the taste and growth of your tomato plants. Not to mention, it is a valued native wildflower that lures many bees and butterflies.

To register, visit or call the McLean County Extension Office at 309-663-8306. Join the Master Gardeners in learning how to preserve the fragrant herbs from your garden to enjoy all year long.