Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blue Heron and Oregano or Borage

Above is a pottery piece from 2008; Blue Heron Wall Tile, buff stoneware, waxy white glaze, cobalt oxide stain, cone 10 reduction. The stain turned a lovely lavender color. This tile resides in central California in the home of one of my very first pottery collectors.

Gary went to the flea market today for the first time this season and traded for this plant in a one gallon size. Thanks Gary. This plant was known to me as Cuban oregano. But Plectranthus amboinicus is native to Africa and is also commonly called country borage in those locals.This herb is so fragrant and beautiful I don't want to harvest even one leaf from it. And no need, all I have to do is gently rub the leaf between my thumb and forefinger and I'm instantly transported to another world, one of heavenly scents. Growing herbs for their beauty and fragrance is rewarding even if they are never consumed.

The leaves are thick and slightly fleshy and it's wonderful aroma is a cross between oregano and thyme. This plant is a variegated and is particularly appealing as an ornamental specimen. As we can, we're slowly adding to our herb garden. In other news I mixed up some copper carbonate and RIO with some frit for tests on my greenware ornaments. By the way caper jars are a perfect size for storing small amounts of stain mixes. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. I just discovered Cuban Oregano this past weekend when I was plant shopping. It's such a treat to touch & enjoy it's fragrance.
    Beautiful platter.

  2. Hi Lori, thanks, I am so glad Gary got this plant for me, I do love it complex fragrance as well.

  3. I had never heard of it before, now I am curious. I would love to have an extensive herb garden. You must be able to grow them outdoors year round!

  4. Yes this plant smell wonderful.


  5. Linda, if you were to cook with the Cuban Oregano, what types of dishes would you use it for?

  6. Lemon balm is one of my favourites and I have it near the back door so I can brush past it coming in. And in sundry spots in the garden as well. Our sense of smell is so closely tied with memories. Cinnamon always speaks of home to me...

  7. Hi Michele, thanks, yes they'll grow outdoors, but sometimes he soil is too wet for them. I have them in our raised beds. If I had thought I would have mounded up some soil and made a whole bed for an herb garden. Maybe this year I will. You should have seen my herb garden in California, you would have loved it. If you want to order herbs, Mountain Valley Herbs ships direct to your door.

    Hi Elna, thanks, yes it is a great fragrance.

    Hi Julia, thanks, I think anything would be enhanced by this herb, turkey, chicken, fish, even in a salad. I'll have to look it up to see how others have used it.

    Hi Elephant's Child, thanks, oh I love lemon balm too and lemon verbena is another favorite. I can remember the smell of fenugreek from somewhere in my childhood but not sure where.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment