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Fireplace Herbs

LavenderBundlesL As you cut back any herbs in your garden in preparation for winter, save the cuttings and branches from the most fragrant plants such as bay, mint, lavender, lemon verbena, rosemary and sage. Why? Because after they dry, you can bundle them into small packages and then use them as fragrant fire starters through winter.

You can also combine the dried herbs with evergreen sprigs such as balsam, cedar or pine for even more holiday fragrances.

As you cut back the herbs, tie the bundles with rubber bands for hanging. (The stems shrink while drying and the rubber bands will keep them from falling out.) When completely dry, remove the rubber bands and tie the bundles with cotton string or raffia for burning. (Don’t use pretty ribbon like the photograph unless you are giving these as gifts.) Use the bundles as kindling every time you want a fragrant fire.

With lavender, I dry the bundles and then remove the lavender blossoms for later crafting. (You just rub and the dried blossoms fall off.) What is left are just the stems which are still very fragrant.

I keep a basket of these stems near the fireplace (but not so close that they can go up in flames) and use them all the time. The fragrance is subtle, but nice!

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy®. For 9 years, Theresa was the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.