The Herb Bible

The Herb Bible - Book Cover
Stefan Buczacki
Octopus Publishing Group Ltd., London

This attractive book presents information on 130 herbs by horticultural expert Stefan Buczacki.  There is at-a-glance information on these herbs with advice on how to grow and their best uses - both culinary and ornamental.

In the first 33 pages, useful information on these aspects is given: Site and Soil suitable for herbs, Design and Styles of Herb Gardens, Plants and Planting, After-care and Propagation, Picking and Preserving herbs, Pest and Diseases Control. At the end, index is given in six pages.

However, this is a gardening book and not a cookbook or herbal medicinal book. It is written from the standpoint of a gardener who wants to grow a range of herbs to use in the kitchen but who also has an interest in those many others with medicinal roles. So, while general kitchen use have been indicated, recipes are not given. Details of the way that the herb plants are prepared for medicinal use are also not given.

To a botanist, the word herb is shorthand for the term herbaceous plant, which is one that differs from a tree or shrub in lacking any woody framework. Herbs are more demanding in respect of their soil and site requirements than many of the plants that we grow in our garden. Most of the herbs grow best in light, fairly free-draining, alkaline and not very rich soils and in full sun.

In the book, information about each herb is presented in two pages, facing each other, with two colour photos (one in each page) which help us to identify the herb and enjoy its natural beauty.