Twenty one adults and five children attended our two herb workshops run in partnership with English Heritage as part of the Marble Hill Revived project. We began with a tour of the Kitchen Garden, including some history about the park and about the orchards and market gardens that used to be prevalent in this part of Middlesex. Then we identified the herbs in the garden and others prepared by volunteers, did a quiz, made bouquets garnis and brewed fresh herbal tea. There were lots of experiences to discuss about identifying, growing and using herbs. One participant told us about her job inspecting imported plant material for pests and disease. We advise against importing plants, especially in view of potential threats like xylella. People shared advice about growing, cooking and well-being and we all found new things to learn. Special thanks to volunteers Evie for samples of her wonderful herbs, to Ruth for encyclopedia of herbs and to Shelagh for conducting the garden tour; also to Dave, park ranger from English Heritage, and to Maureen Coyle, project manager.

Some fun facts from the herb workshop:

10,000 caraway seeds are needed to make up an ounce

Catnip is grown as a treat for cats and to tempt them away from other plants

Seven hundred years ago mint was used in early versions of toothpaste and is still used in some toothpastes today.

Carrot flies destroy carrots but they hate chives. We plant chives amongst our carrots at the Kitchen Garden to put the flies off.

Some kinds of dandelions are a source of high quality natural latex. Scientists are trying to get enough latex from dandelions to make it worth growing them to make tyres!

Rosemary has been a symbol of memory and remembrance for a long time. People use rosemary as a wedding decoration.