COMFREY (Symphytum official) – The Herb Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

I used to have a large Herb Garden which I planted at my Parent’s Home about 30 – 35 years ago.  There were culinary as well as medicinal herbs and some……planted merely for their flowers or attractive leaves.  I think I had close to 45+ different herbs at one time, with 5-6 varieties of Thyme.  The variegated leaves were quite pretty flowing over the brick retaining wall of my Mother’s vegetable bed.    My Mother used to keep it watered in the Summer months when I was away working.

When my Parents moved into a retirement village (and I changed jobs and lived closer to the city), my Mother potted up quite a few herbs to take with them.  Apart from Parsley and Chives which my Mother knew well, this was the start of their using herbs more in cooking and in summer salads.

My own potted herb garden on my apartment balcony really only got going a few years ago.

Long-time followers will know I lived a couple of streets away from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne for many years and would spend many afternoons walking around the 38 hectare site, but my favourite place in Summer was The Herb Garden.  This became a sort of sanctuary after I had to quit working due to chronic illness and pain in early 2010.

It wasn’t until I walked its paths through every season that I came to know what Comfrey flowers looked like as I’d never seen them before.

Comfrey can become very invasive so best to give it an enclosed space.  It’s leaves are great in the compost heap too.

By the way, if you’re visiting Melbourne in Spring (Sept/Oct/Nov) and love gardens, ensure you visit the Herb Garden in the RBG, as that is the time when it’s at its best, although Summer is a good time too.

In winter the Herbs mostly die back and are pruned heavily and the deep shade can be quite chilly.


9 thoughts on “COMFREY (Symphytum official) – The Herb Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

    1. They are certainly attractive in any garden. Shame the plant, like Mint, spreads so quickly and is very invasive. Comfrey’s worth having in the garden for the flowers alone.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know that, Pete. Maybe that’s why it makes a valuable contribution to a compost heap – encourages the worms and other insects (to break down the waste matter).

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I wanted to buy a comfrey salve not so long ago, Vicki, to apply to a spot on my foot that had been hurting for several months. It was basically impossible, and I would have had to order it online, which I opted against. I should grow some and make my own. Have you ever tried that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have never made Comfrey into a salve, but used to make several creams with essential oils, one of which was a real miracle-worker for a friend who had a stubborn rash on her hip. Knowing she was going through a difficult time with her husband, I included some essential oils that work on an emotional level as well as essential oils for the physical rash.

      Check with your local doctor as to whether the painful spot might be plantar fasciitis (depending on which part of your foot the painful spot is). I had that for 18 months in my left foot and it only healed when I was home for several weeks recovering from spinal surgery and resting it. Walking to/from work every day just kept making it worse.

      I use Arnica cream, a particular brand of Vitamin E cream mixed with some essential oils and Witch Hazel quite a lot for minor aches/pains/rashes etc. I am a big fan of Bach Flower remedies too, especially their Rescue Remedy. I’ve seen Rescue Remedy tincture (or Rescue Remedy cream) have amazing results for pain. But unfortunately none of my home remedies work for my severe nerve pain and L4/5 sciatica.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Vicki. The pain is not in the location typical for plantar fasciitis, but on the lateral aspect of my foot. It has been improving on its own, albeit very slowly. I, too, love arnica cream.
        I really wish something could be done for your pain!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I (finally) see my Neurosurgeon this coming Thursday, Tanja. He did my first 2 spinal surgeries and hopefully he’ll be able to assess if the current (exacerbation in) nerve pain can be dealt with by surgery.

      Liked by 1 person

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