Kids Go Gardening - fun with herbs!

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Good scents!

Gardeners have been growing herbs for thousands of years to flavour food. Also for herb tea, medicines, perfumes, colourful dyes and bug repellent. Try growing herbs from seed and check out all the different herbs in the garden centre. Herbs love the sun, and soil or potting mix that drains easily after rain.

FUN FACT: Of all the senses, smell is the most likely to make you remember something.

Make beautiful gifts using herbs from your garden.

Here are a few ideas:

Pick a bunch of fragrant herbs and edible flowers to make a special herb posy - called a ‘tussie mussie’.
Paint little pots and plant herbs in them. Don’t forget to add a special note about each herb and how to look after it.
Fill a jar with your own home made herb salt.

How to make herb salt

Drying herbs and preserving them in salt is a great way to save their flavours to use in your own cooking or as a gift for someone special. Strong herbs like rosemary and thyme are ideal.

1/2 cup coarse sea salt (not iodised)
2 cups fresh herbs, loosely packed
1 Tbsp lemon zest (optional)

  1. Pick and wash the herbs and leave them to drain.
  2. When they are dry to touch, chop the herbs on a board and pulse in a food processor, but not too much. You don’t want a mushy paste.
  3. Add the salt and lemon zest and pulse until everything is well mixed.
  4. Line an oven tray with baking paper and spread the salt out to dry. In a warm dry climate they will be air dry after a couple of days. Otherwise you can dry them in the oven set to the lowest heat. This will take 1-2 hours, but check to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  5. When dry (and cool) pour your herb salt into jars with air-tight lids. Store in a cool dark place.

Feel-good play dough

Messing about with play dough is fun, creative and good for the brain. Make your play dough extra special with beautiful scented herbs from your garden. Lavender helps us to feel calm and relaxed. Rosemary helps us to concentrate and think more clearly.

3 cups flour
1 cup cold water
1 tablespoon olive oil or sunflower oil
Chopped rosemary, thyme or lavender flowers.
Food colouring (optional)

  1. Mix all the ingredients together  with a large spoon.
  2. Tip it out onto a floured bench top and get stuck in with clean hands. Knead your dough until it is strong and silky. Add a little extra flour or water if needed.
  3. Now get creative. Shape your dough into shapes, plaits, letters, animal faces, numbers, or the letters of your name.

NOTE: Enjoy the lovely smell of your herby play dough as you roll it with your hands, but don't eat it!

TIP: Add herbs such as rosemary and thyme to your favourite pizza dough recipe for a beautiful scented play dough you can eat!

Super scented bouquet

A tussie mussie is a little bouquet of delicious smelling herbs. They’re fun to make as gifts or make your room smell nice. Choose your favourite herbs and add flowers and ribbons for colour.

  1. Start with a flower in your hand and arrange a layer of herbs all around it. Keep the tops of the herbs and flowers about level with each other. Don t worry if the stems are uneven at the bottom. These can be trimmed later.
  2. Tie the stems together with a rubber band or string. Add another layer of herbs, then tie again.
  3. Tie a bow with a ribbon and trim the stems.

TIP: Add a sprig of favourite smelling herbs to your lunch box for a lovely fresh smell when you open it!

INTERESTING! In old times before there were taps, people couldn t wash as much. One way to hide the bad smells was to pin a tussie mussie to your clothes!

Look for these products, tips and advice at an Go Gardening garden centre near you.



Fresh herbs, from left to right - thyme, mint, lavender, rosemary, variegated apple mint, flat-leaf parsley, sage.

Painted tins with planted herbs

Herb flavoured salt; use rosemary, sage and thyme.

Lavender and rosemary coloured and scented play dough

A 'tussie mussie' - a small bouquet or posy of scented herbs and flowers