Lavender, Rosemary & Thyme | A Must for Every Garden

I am going to take you on a little garden tour and show you how to grow 3 of my most favorite plants: lavender, rosemary & thyme. These plants are a MUST for every garden.

In this post I am going to show you what these plants looks like, how to easily grown them and what you can do with them. So let’s get to it!

You can watch the Lavender, Rosemary & Thyme garden tour video at the end of the post.


There are a few names for English lavender including common lavender and its scientific name, Lavandula angustifolia. The classic English lavender is the toughest of the clan, and stays compact and tidy, with foliage to about 18 inches and flower stalks another 12 inches or more. This is the variety I prefer because it has long stems for crafting and drying.

Did you know that there are actually 47 species of lavender? English lavender is just one of them, and there are different varieties of English lavender. Don’t get overwhelmed, most nurseries will carry just the basic lavender plants, and English lavender will be one of them. Get one that has long stems!

How to grow lavender

Lavender plants will tolerate many growing conditions, but they thrive in warm, well-draining soil, and full sun. It’s possible to grow lavender from seed, but it will take a year or two of growing before they’re ready to plant in the garden. It’s so much easier just to purchase a plant already established in a pot.


  • Space the lavender varieties a foot apart to create a hedge, and three feet apart for an airier planting.
  • If you’re planting dwarf types, you can place them a little closer together since they’re naturally smaller plants.
  • Place them in a hole at the same level they were in their pot but make the hole twice as wide. Compact the soil and water them in well.
  • Keep the soil moist until they’re established, but after that, they don’t need a lot of water.

Pruning Lavender

Begin pruning the plants in their second year. After flowering, cut the spent flower stalks down and shape the plants. You will also want to prune the plants in the spring just after they begin showing the first flush of new leaves. Cut just above the new foliage. Also, take off any stems or branches that look brown and woody off.

Harvesting Lavender

The best time to harvest English lavender is when the buds have formed on the plant but the flowers have not yet opened and are still tight. If you wait until they fully bloom they won’t retain as much fragrance and the color will tend to fade. (There have been years when time gets away from me and I don’t cut them until they are bloomed. It’s not the end of the world, still cut and use the flowers).

Be sure to leave behind at least two sets of leaves on the green part of the stem. If you cut all the way back to the woody part of the stem, that stem will not regrow.

What can you do with Lavender?


  • Enjoy the beauty of them in your garden.
  • The lovely purple color and contrast green stem is a compliment to any garden.
  • Dry the flowers for crafts, floral arrangement, wreaths, gift wrapping, and aromatherapy.
  • Eye pillows, lavender wands, and lavender sachets are my favorite things to make with lavender. Stay tuned for these upcoming tutorials.



Oh how I love rosemary. Rosemary was probably one of the first herbs I was introduced to while visiting a lovely herb garden way back when I was a young mother. This garden had a quaint little gift shop nestled in among the plants. This is where my love for herbs started.

Rosemary is a perennial evergreen shrub with little blue flowers. It is an aromatic and distinctive herb with a sweet, resinous flavor. 


Rosemary can be grown from seed, but again the germination rates are generally quite low and seedlings are slow to grow. Therefore, I strongly recommended to start new rosemary plant from cuttings taken from established plants or just purchasing a more mature plant.

Cuttings grow quickly in good conditions and should be ready for outdoor planting in about 8 weeks.

  • Plant in full sun.
  • The planting site should have well-draining soil. Rosemary doesn’t like wet feet either.
  • Be sure to give your rosemary plants enough room to grow. Once established, rosemary can eventually grow to about 4 feet tall and spread about 4 feet as well. It does really well in warm climates.
  • Water rosemary plants evenly throughout the growing season, but be careful not to overwater.

Pruning & Caring for rosemary

Prune regularly so that plants won’t get lanky. In the spring, cut off any dead stems or struggling stems.

If you live in a colder climate, you may need to bring it inside for the winter. I always transplant one of my rosemary plants into a pot and bring it in during the winter. I love having the greenery and smell in my house. It’s like having a little Christmas tree in my house for months.

Although I have found a place in my garden that is protected and sheltered, most rosemary plants will freeze during the winter. My plants always died when they were located in other areas of the garden, but their current location is on the south side of the house and in a little nook where they get the heat off the house in the winter. They are thriving there.


Snip off stems to use fresh, or hang them in the kitchen for dried rosemary. I usually have a little spring hanging on my fridge for decoration.

It is so nice to be able to just walk outside and snip a little stalk when I need it for a recipe.

Rosemary can be dried and stored in an airtight container.

How to use rosemary

  • Chopped and used in cooking.
  • Crafts, gift wrapping
  • Made into a tea
  • Added to floral arrangements.
  • Aromatherapy



Thyme is one of those herbs that I grow in my garden mostly for medicinal reasons. Although it does have the cutest stems with tight leaves, and I do use it my cooking, I feel reassured I have it available for remedies.

Once again, there are many varieties of the plant. Thyme is a wonderful herb that has a pleasant aroma and a pungent flavor. It is used both ornamental in the garden and as a savory addition to many recipes. (Soups, grilled meats, and roasted vegetables).

How to grow thyme

Thyme is very easy to grow. It’s a low-growing hardy perennial, which has small, fragrant leaves and thin, woody stems. Thyme comes in over fifty varieties with different fragrances and flavors. Fresh or English thyme are used most often in cooking. I bought a yummy-smelling lemon thyme plant this year to add to my garden.

It is drought-friendly and very forgiving! (This is a plus in any garden). It is also pollinator-friendly, the bees love it!


  • Thyme thrives in full sun and loves heat. If you are growing in a pot indoors, plant near a sunny window.
  • Plant the thyme in well-drained soil. It doesn’t like to have wet feet!
  • It’s hard to grow thyme from seeds because of slow, uneven germination. It’s easier to buy the plants from a garden center or take some cuttings from a friend.

Pruning & Caring For thyme

  • Prune the plants back in the spring and summer to contain the growth.
  • If you have cold winters, remember to lightly mulch around the plants after the ground freezes.
  • Three to four-year-old plants need to be divided or replaced because older plants are woody and the leaves less flavorful.
  • You can propagate from your own cuttings, which is very easy to do. Just cut off a few stems, sit them in water until they form roots. Then you’re good to plant or give to a friend.

Harvesting Thyme

Harvest the plant just before the plant flowers by cutting off the top five to six inches of growth. Leave the tough, woody parts.

It’s best to harvest thyme in the morning after the dew has dried.

What to do with Thyme

  • Cooking

I have several recipes and salad dressing that I add fresh thyme to. I love being able to go out in the garden and clip a few sprigs of thyme when I need it. Just so you know fresh herbs at the grocery store are quite pricey. So you are saving a lot of money by having them accessible in your garden.

Fresh thyme should be stored refrigerated and wrapped lightly in plastic, and it should last one to two weeks.

You can also freeze thyme in an ice cube tray with water.

To dry thyme, hang the sprigs in a dark, well-ventilated, warm area. You can also just dry the leaves by placing them on a tray. Once dried, store them in an airtight container. Crush just before using. Under good conditions herbs, will retain maximum flavor for two years. 

  • Make Tea
  • Use as an herbal remedy in salves, teas, tinctures, and bath soaks.

One of my favorite uses for thyme is to use in a healing thyme bath. Works well for respiratory conditions and sore throats. You can get all the details HERE.


Now is the time of year to add some of these new plants to your garden. You are going to LOVE them, trust me!

Lavender, Rosemary & Thyme Tour

Play Video

Get your garden gloves on and enjoy your time in the garden.



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Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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Plantain – Healing Herb Growing Right Under Your Feet

plantain long leaf

There are two types of plantain. The plant with broad, oval leaves are called Plantago major and the narrow-leaved type P. lanceolata. You can identify this plant by the 5-9 parallel veins running the length of each leaf. (Most leaves have a central vein with smaller ones branching out from it.)

You can use either one for healing purposes, depending on what’s available, but most herbalists seem to prefer the broad leaf plantain with larger, but softer, edible leaves. I have both growing in my yard.

I have included a picture of this plant so you will know what to look for. If you don’t already have it growing in your yard somewhere, go out along the road or in the mountains and find some and replant them in your garden.

What are the benefits and uses of Plantain?

I use this herb all the time. During the summer while it is growing in my yard, I pick it, crush it and apply it to stings, and mosquito bites. I also dry it so I will have access to it during the winter months. It is one of the key ingredients in my healing salve, (which is very easy to make). You can find the tutorial here.



  • Antiseptic properties
  • Anti-inflammatory: Reduces pain caused by poison ivy and bite stings.
  • Extracts of the plant have antibacterial activity
  • Effective treatment to stop bleeding
  • Encourages the repair of damaged tissue, promotes healing without scars

Because of its drawing properties, it will pull small foreign objects like stingers or slivers out of the skin. It is quite incredible.


  • diuretic
  • expectorant, and decongestant
  • gastritis
  • peptic ulcers
  • diarrhea
  • dysentery
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • respiratory congestion
  • loss of voice and urinary tract bleeding

You can purchase plantain for internal use in fluid extract, tincture, decoction, infusion and dried powder form and the fresh and dried leaves can be consumed as a tea.

*Although plantain leaf is generally considered safe, it is always best to consult with your health-care practitioner before starting any new herbal product.

How to use plantain externally


You can make a poultice by bruising the plant, chopping finely or heating to make a thick paste.

You can make a poultice and apply it to wounds, skin inflammations, cuts, stings and swellings. It is the juice from the leaf that speeds up the healing process.

Pick a few leafs, crush it or chew it well and put it on the bite or wound. “Like magic” the pain, heat, and swelling — even allergic reactions — disappear, fast! You can dry plantain leaves and carry them in your first aid kit. Chew like you would fresh leaves and apply it.

I was with a youth group up in the mountains hiking when one of the boys went down into a ravine and came upon a bunch of bees, he was stung multiple times. Luckily, I knew what plantain looked like and had been taught what to do with it. Well, I looked down and there growing alongside the trail was PLANTAIN, all over the place.

My husband and I grabbed some plantain and we started mashing it between two rocks to make a poultice. The boy took his shirt off and we dabbed it all over him. He did not swell and did great. This was a teaching moment for the youth there. The plants that God created do have a purpose. I don’t think it was a coincidence that day for us to be right there where plantain was growing, and for someone there to know what to do with it.


A fomentation is similar to a poultice, however you use a concentrated tea of the herb instead of the plant itself. To apply a fomentation you soak a clean cotton cloth in the concentrated tea and apply it to the wound and wrap with cellophane.

how to use plantain internally


You can make an herbal tea by placing one teaspoon of dried herb to one cup water. Pour boiling water over the herb, cover tightly and steep for 20 minutes and strain. I love this single serve tea maker!  We use it all the time, in fact, we each have our own.

tea maker

This is a good resource for dried plantain. This is what I use for teas and to make salve.


Tinctures are herbal concentrate most often prepared in an alcohol, glycerin or vinegar base. You can make them, but it is much easier just to buy them.

I absolutely love, love, love this reference book on herbs. This author explains all the basic on herbs, herbal preparations and uses in a clear, easy to follow way.

If you would like more details of ALL the benefits of this plant, I will refer you to Dr. Christopher’s website that is chuck full of herbal information.

Are there any potential Side Effects of Plantain?

Plantain is considered a very safe herb to use, therefore you can use it both externally and internally.

Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant should avoid using plantain until research confirms that the herb is not harmful in any way.

So there you have it, an herbal remedy that is probably growing right under your feet. Go take a look around your yard or at the park and see if you can find any.

Alternative Remedy Handbook

For a quick, go-to reference of other tried and tested herbal remedies, I have compiled a booklet with lots of great resources and information. It’s kinda nice to know that you can alleviate everyday complaints without always turning to your medicine chest, or to your doctor. I have it for sale here on my site.

Let me know if you have any questions.

plantain pin
Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

Read More
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