"Park's Success With Herbs," by Gertrude B. Foster and Rosemary F. Louden (George W. Park Seed Co., Greenwood, S.C. 29647; well illustrated in full color; 192 pages; $9.95, order direct by mail).
This book covers just about everything one would want to know about herbs, how to start them from seed, where and when to plant them, how to grow, cure and store them, and how to use them in cooking. All are illustrated in full natural color.
Gertrude Foster and her daughter, Rosemary F. Louden, the authors, are both recognized in America and abroad as experts in the matter of herbs. Foster has had over 40 years experience growing and cooking and writing about them.
Louden is much in demand as a designer of herb gardens and lecturer on cooking with them.
"Some of the reasons for having herbs in the garden extend beyond the culinary or medicinal use made of them," the authors write. "Their scents actually help other plants. Insect damage is less where a crop is interplanted with herbs of varied fragrance. They confuse the egg-laying moths whose caterpillars hatch to lay waste to cabbages and other members of the Brassicas.
"Summer savory, coriander and other annual herbs are protective of vegetables in which they are interplanted. After a number of years of growing in the same location, it is possible that certain aromatic plants will be discovered by garden insects. This is especially true if plants are not in the best of vigor. But most often they are protected by their own essential oils.
"In the kitchen people tend to put herbs near, on or over the stove. That is wasteful of their precious flavors and colors. Even worse is setting herbs in glass jars in bright light. Store the ones used most often in a cool place such as a cabinet on a shelf away from the stove. Keep the main supply, from which you refill the pretty jars with names of herbs on them, in cold storage. Large growers of herbs for commercial use store the dried leaves under refrigeration.
"One of the best reasons for herbs in the kitchen is to supply flavor in place of salt in low-sodium or low-fat diets. Lemon juice is suggested as a replacement for salt, on fish, meat and in salads. There are lemon flavored herbs which can be grown easily in the garden. Lemon balm and Lemon basil are started from seed and harvested all summer. Lemon geranium and Lemon verbena are good pot plants. Lemon thyme is a hardy perennial. There are other lemon herbs for tea and citrus taste in food.Lemon grass will grow in a container indoors."
"How to Photograph Flowers, Plant & Landscapes," by Derek Fell (H.P. Books, PO Box 5367, Tucson, Ariz. 85703; well illustrated in full color; 160 pages; $7.95 in the United States, $9.95 in Canada, paperback.)
Fell, a well-known professional garden photographer and writer, tells you how with easy-to-follow instructions and more than 300 color pictures. He provides lists of most photogenic flowers, flowering trees, wild flowers and indoor plants, the best ways to capture them on film, where to find them and the best time of the year to shoot them.