Old-Fashioned Herbs for Ornamental Gardens


Ruth Clausen will discuss old-fashioned herbs essential for the ornamental garden at the Jan. 11 meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Herb Society at Christ Church Parish Hall, Easton.

The Medieval definition of “herbs” includes any plants that were useful to mankind.  This goes far beyond those we call “herbs” today, those we use mainly in the kitchen or as medicinals.  This illustrated talk discusses plants we cherish today although we may not use them as our forebears once did. Stories and legends will be included along with cultural and design tips.

Ruth Rogers Clausen was trained in horticulture at Studley College in England, and received her MS in Botany from Kent State University, Ohio. Since 1976 she has freelanced as a teacher, lecturer and author in the U.S. and Canada. In 1989 she co-authored Perennials for American Gardens with the late Nicolas Ekstrom, which was awarded the Quill & Trowel award from the Garden Writers of America Association in 1990. She has written for The American Garden Guides: Perennial Gardening with The New York Botanical Garden published in 1994; Annual Gardening with Missouri Botanical Garden in 1995; Trees with Chicago Botanic Garden in 1996. And Dreamscaping was published by Hearst Books in 2001. Ruth has contributed articles to several of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Handbooks, and to horticultural trade and consumer magazines.  She consults on horticultural books and often serves as a judge at flower shows, including the Cincinnati Flower Show, the Capetown, South Africa Flower Show, and the Ellerslie New Zealand Flower Show.  She was Horticulture Editor for Country Living Gardener magazine for 7½ years. She also works as a sales representative for Womans work (womanswork.com), Radius Tools and Cobra Head.

Ruth serves on the Advisory Committee for the School of Professional Horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden; she is also a Member of the Corporation for The New York Botanical Garden.  She is a member of the Advisory Council for the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

The society usually meets the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at Christ Church Parish Hall, 111 S. Harrison Street, Easton.  .Meetings include a social period, an herbal potluck dinner, a short business meeting and a presentation on an herb-related topic.  The theme for January is herbs for the zodiac sign Capricorn (rosemary, tarragon, caraway and marjoram).

CBHS was formed in 2002 to share knowledge of herbs with the local community.  The group maintains the herb garden at Pickering Creek Audubon Center.

For more information, call (410) 310-8437 or visit www.ChesapeakeBayHerbSociety.org.

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