Valerian

I just went to post this and woke to the fact that it’s the 4th of July. Literally the 4th and not just celebrating it on the weekend as so often happens. So as usual, I never do the expected and decided to just go ahead and post the one I prepared.

BUT: Wishing everyone a safe and fun filled Independence Day. To me June might be the month that heralds summer but the 4th of July makes summer begin for me.

ValerianI’m reading a book and in it there is a herb garden and these flowers that give off a scent that soothes. At first I was content to just read, but then curiosity got the best of me and I looked them up. My mother-in-law only used natural remedies. She hadn’t so much as taken an aspirin in over fifty years. She would have loved these.

So now I’m trying to assess if I want to plant some in the garden. In the past I’ve planted things that took over. What a mess as they can be worse than weeds. So having learned my lesson I’ll take the time to research Valerian before planting it. Hopefully one of Over The Backyard Fence readers will offer some insight.

A little about Valerian

It is a tall perennial so I’ll need to watch where I plant it. From what I read, it can develop an extensive root system. Oh O, maybe I won’t plant it. Now I’m asking myself will the aroma be worth it. Reading further I’ve learned that the white flowers develop into small downy seeds which are distributed by the wind. Oh O, maybe the neighbors won’t be so enamored with the scent when they have plants growing all over the place.

Cats responds to this plant much like catnip. Yikes. I’m not getting a good picture here. And then I read on and found that the Pied Piper of Hamelin who rid the town of rats and then charmed the children might have used pieces of valerian root by putting it in his pocket for the rats. Seems rats like cats,are attracted to the root odor.

Well it seemed like a good idea. On the flip side Valerian is used for medicinal purposes and is most commonly known as a sedative and used for insomnia and restlessness. Umm maybe we can lure the Sandman back.

So anyone have anything to add? I freely admit I don’t have a green thumb so gardening is new to me. But I’m finding it’s fun. I bought this house from a previous owner who did wonders in the garden. It blooms almost continuously from early spring into fall. Hopefully by the time I post August’s blog I’ll have the patio on and the yard will able to have its picture taken.

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9 responses to “Valerian

  1. I’ve heard of Valerian, but never researched it or tried it. It sounds like a fairly aggressive herb to plant. Honestly, I’m not good at deciding what to plant where. I don’t grow fresh herbs. I tend to buy flowers (annuals) and the same ones each year (pansies, bacopa, etc.). So I’ll be interested to see if anyone else has any insights.
    Happy Fourth of July to everyone stateside. And a belated Happy Canada Day to our northern neighbors.

  2. I used Valerian when I had sleep problems a few years ago and it seemed to help. But not sure I’d attempt to plant it, especially with the rat thing.

    Happy 4th of July!

  3. Valerie J. Patterson

    Like Tricia, I have taken Valerian. However, it did not really help me, though Tricia and several of my friends have had luck with it. As for planting it, perhaps not. The deep root system and the scattering seeds would make me say no. Sounds like it could strangle other plants and take over the garden.

    Happy Independence Day to everyone here in the USA!! Enjoy the holiday with family and friends!!

    • I’ve never taken Valerian. The story I was reading made it sound so fragrant and beautiful in their garden. They were on an island and herbs were used a lot by the islanders. I rethinking the planting.

  4. I’ve never had any dealings with Valerian but know it can be a bit of a thug. You could always try planting it in a large tub or pot and that why keep it in control.

    • After reading more I’ve decided it isn’t worth it when there are so many more benign plants out there. The landscapers just called and are coming out to assess the final stage of getting this patio and yard done. I’ll be so glad to have it all put back together. Our weather has been in the high 80’s and 90’s with no change in sight so having the irrigation system back working will in itself be a relief.

  5. I’ve got a pretty brown thumb so I have nothing to add that would help. I HAVE taken valerian root as a sleep aid in the past. I think they use it in valium, too. I could be mistaken but I think the “val” in valerian may be how they named valium. Even if it’s not, it’s a cool story… or fib. LOL Jillian

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