MG Herbs Pic 1.jpg

Photo contributed

Vermilion County Master Gardeners Kasi Mitchell and Tim Killough look over a display of plants and herbs used by Native Americans.

With all this rain, plants in Illinois are thriving. If you have an herb garden, chances are you could use some ideas on how to preserve the abundance Mother Nature has provided this summer. The issue many people have is how to make the most of their herbs. What does one do with french tarragon, lemon thyme or those five kinds of basil you couldn’t resist buying at the garden center?

The Vermilion County Master Gardeners have an upcoming program that will offer unique ideas on how to use a wide variety of herbs. Master Gardeners have been partners with the Vermilion County Conservation District for many years and the Kennekuk Herb Garden has become a historical and educational garden for park visitors to enjoy.

The Kennekuk County Park Herb Garden was certified by the Illinois Herb Association in 2015 and has over 100 labeled herbs. Along with traditional herbs like basil, mint and sage there are more unusual plants like Indian Paint Brush, Prairie Turnip and Costmary which can be found in historic themed beds labeled ‘Plants and Herbs used by Native Americans’ and ‘Plants and Herbs of the Bible’. This year, there are three new areas featuring ‘Herbs and Plants used for Culinary Purposes’.

On July 16, Susan Biggs Warner and the Master Gardeners will give tours and answer questions about the wide variety of herbs that can be found in the garden. Attendees can taste dishes made with fresh herbs, add new recipes to their summer menu and have an opportunity to make and take home a traditional Victorian ‘Tussie Mussie’ a small, round bouquets made up of herbs and flowers that holds symbolic meaning. The program will take place at the Kennekuk Herb Garden at 6 pm 22296-A Henning Road Danville. Follow signs in the park to the Bunker Hill area.

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Vermilion County office 217-442-8615. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your access needs.