Yarb Tales - cutting greens
December 5, 2016

The Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center graces the park with colors, textures and sweet and pungent aromas. With their natural display, the herbs help us to interpret the history of the human use of plants.

In early December, with Halloween and Thanksgiving past, the cold mist sits low on the land, hydrating pine and cedar boughs with fine fog. With this weather, nature provides conditioned, seasonal material to celebrate the coming of winter weather. Cool, damp days are perfect for hiking around with bushel basket, pruners and loppers. With an eye towards conservation and balanced pruning, our landscapes can be improved by conducting a judicious harvest. Saturated hackberries, sugarberries, cedar berries and berry-laden holly branches and sumac will hold on to twigs long enough for wild birds to find these fleshy foods, moved by you, closer to the house. Greenbrier stretch-berries and beauty berries, perilla and long grass seed heads beg to be cut and bundled now to deck garden walls and home entryways.

All of these botanical materials can be bound with tie wire, then fastened together with a length of wire that ends with a twisted loop in the back for hanging; cover the wire with colorful ribbon, cord or natural raffia if desired. These natural swags can be used to adorn doors, lamp or fence posts, mailboxes or be placed anywhere outsides, where they will attract our fine-feathered friends. 
Once hung, this is botanical art that attracts lively bird decoration. Be sure to hang many of them within view of the kitchen and sitting room windows. If I don't see you in the future—I'll see you in the pasture!