Tuesday, August 3, 2010
The Getty’s kitchen garden exhibits the best of a cloister garden or a pre-refrigeration household. Herbs were used as flavoring for cooking, medicines, preservatives for food storage and aromatics. The variety of herbs in the garden include:
Peppermint ~ Mentha varieties brew splendid teas, cook into candies, cakes and other dishes. This herb grows well in the sunny beach location.
Lavender ~ Lavendula officinalis from the Latin “lavare” means to wash. Using lavender in the wash or placed in clothing during storage not only kept the moths away but gave the fabric a pleasant aroma. Lavender serves as a multi-use herb, good for food, drink, aroma, cleaning, medicine and crafts. It grows in abundance in the Malibu climate.
Chamomile ~ Matricaria chamomilla has a mild sedative action but is primarily known as a disgestive. Mother Rabbit gives Chamomile tea to Peter after he overindulges in Mr. MacGregor’s garden.
Sage ~ Salvia officinalis means to save or preserve in Latin. Sage originates from the Mediterranean and is added regularly in meat dishes.
Thyme ~ Thymus vulgaris, another Mediterrenean plant fills the Getty's boxes with flowers and brings the bees to the garden. This filler plant grows in the spaces and crevices of most herb gardens.
Basil ~ Ocimum basilicum, a popular herb in Italy, comes from India. The savory herb compliments tomato dishes and Pesto.