GROWING GREEN: Betony — a gem of a plant

Opinion Jul 05, 2017 by Helen MacPherson Hamilton Mountain News

I first came across betony in the Laking gardens at the Royal Botanical Gardens several years ago.

I was attracted by the compactness of the plant, the serrated, bright green foliage and the gorgeous purple flower spikes. I made a note, then and there, to search it out.

It wasn’t until a year later that I discovered it in a Quebec nursery. Needless to say, it came home with me and is thriving in its third summer in our garden.

Betony (stachys officinalis) is a hardy perennial herb. It can be found growing in dry grasslands, meadows and open woods in Europe, England, Wales, western Asia and North Africa.

In the home garden, it is one of the most versatile and drought-tolerant plants around. It grows equally well in an herb garden, rock garden, shade garden or perennial bed. Plants vary in size from nine inches to three feet depending on the variety and flower spikes bloom in various shades from white to purple in July and August.

You can grow it from seed or cuttings, or buy it as a nursery-grown plant as I did. Apparently it seeds itself around, but so far that hasn’t happened in my garden.

As it is with many an herb, betony has a long and storied history as a magical and medicinal plant dating back to Roman and ancient Egyptian times. In fact, it was often planted in graveyards to prevent the activities of ghosts and worn in an amulet as a charm against evil spirits.

Medicinally it was said to treat all manner of ills ranging from anxiety to liver problems.

As I haven’t had any ghosts or evil spirits roaming my garden of late, betony must be doing its job and is a definite keeper.

Growing Green is a regular feature prepared by the Mount Hamilton Horticultural Society (gardenontario.org/site.php/mhhs and also on Facebook). Helen MacPherson, the author of this report, is the club’s outreach director.

GROWING GREEN: Betony — a gem of a plant

One of the most versatile and drought-tolerant plants around

Opinion Jul 05, 2017 by Helen MacPherson Hamilton Mountain News

I first came across betony in the Laking gardens at the Royal Botanical Gardens several years ago.

I was attracted by the compactness of the plant, the serrated, bright green foliage and the gorgeous purple flower spikes. I made a note, then and there, to search it out.

It wasn’t until a year later that I discovered it in a Quebec nursery. Needless to say, it came home with me and is thriving in its third summer in our garden.

Betony (stachys officinalis) is a hardy perennial herb. It can be found growing in dry grasslands, meadows and open woods in Europe, England, Wales, western Asia and North Africa.

In the home garden, it is one of the most versatile and drought-tolerant plants around. It grows equally well in an herb garden, rock garden, shade garden or perennial bed. Plants vary in size from nine inches to three feet depending on the variety and flower spikes bloom in various shades from white to purple in July and August.

You can grow it from seed or cuttings, or buy it as a nursery-grown plant as I did. Apparently it seeds itself around, but so far that hasn’t happened in my garden.

As it is with many an herb, betony has a long and storied history as a magical and medicinal plant dating back to Roman and ancient Egyptian times. In fact, it was often planted in graveyards to prevent the activities of ghosts and worn in an amulet as a charm against evil spirits.

Medicinally it was said to treat all manner of ills ranging from anxiety to liver problems.

As I haven’t had any ghosts or evil spirits roaming my garden of late, betony must be doing its job and is a definite keeper.

Growing Green is a regular feature prepared by the Mount Hamilton Horticultural Society (gardenontario.org/site.php/mhhs and also on Facebook). Helen MacPherson, the author of this report, is the club’s outreach director.

GROWING GREEN: Betony — a gem of a plant

One of the most versatile and drought-tolerant plants around

Opinion Jul 05, 2017 by Helen MacPherson Hamilton Mountain News

I first came across betony in the Laking gardens at the Royal Botanical Gardens several years ago.

I was attracted by the compactness of the plant, the serrated, bright green foliage and the gorgeous purple flower spikes. I made a note, then and there, to search it out.

It wasn’t until a year later that I discovered it in a Quebec nursery. Needless to say, it came home with me and is thriving in its third summer in our garden.

Betony (stachys officinalis) is a hardy perennial herb. It can be found growing in dry grasslands, meadows and open woods in Europe, England, Wales, western Asia and North Africa.

In the home garden, it is one of the most versatile and drought-tolerant plants around. It grows equally well in an herb garden, rock garden, shade garden or perennial bed. Plants vary in size from nine inches to three feet depending on the variety and flower spikes bloom in various shades from white to purple in July and August.

You can grow it from seed or cuttings, or buy it as a nursery-grown plant as I did. Apparently it seeds itself around, but so far that hasn’t happened in my garden.

As it is with many an herb, betony has a long and storied history as a magical and medicinal plant dating back to Roman and ancient Egyptian times. In fact, it was often planted in graveyards to prevent the activities of ghosts and worn in an amulet as a charm against evil spirits.

Medicinally it was said to treat all manner of ills ranging from anxiety to liver problems.

As I haven’t had any ghosts or evil spirits roaming my garden of late, betony must be doing its job and is a definite keeper.

Growing Green is a regular feature prepared by the Mount Hamilton Horticultural Society (gardenontario.org/site.php/mhhs and also on Facebook). Helen MacPherson, the author of this report, is the club’s outreach director.