Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Adventure in Chinese Medicinal Herb Gardening

Last year I did a botanical watercolor based on some reference photos I took of the goji berry plant I have at home. I enjoyed doing this style of painting more than I expected.

In the future I wish to paint more Chinese medicinal herbs. To do so, I want to grow more herbs and observe them.

Earlier in the year when I was purchasing seeds for my vegetable & flower garden, I notice that the seed companies also carry a lot of herbs seeds used in traditional Chinese medicine. Some were even sold as flowers seeds. I decided to started some Chinese medicinal herbs from seeds this growing season.

Being a relatively new gardener, some instructions came with the packets are rather intimidating, such as "stratify in sphagnum moss for 3-4 months" or "grow in greenhouse for one year". Herbs that are harvested for their roots need at least 3-5 years before first harvest. Such as Dang Shen (Cordonopsis), Gan Cao (Licorice), Xi Yang Shen (Ginseng). That's a long way to go. I will keep posting updates on the progress of the plants. Wish me luck.