The Harrowsmith Illustrated Book of Herbs


175 pages
Contains Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-920656-45-5





Reviewed by Joan McGrath

Joan McGrath is a Toronto Board of Education library consultant.


The familiar Harrowsmith format enhances and lends authority to this most attractive guide to the cultivation and use of more than 150 traditional medicinal plants.

Author Patrick Lima maintains his own commercial herb garden, “Larkwhistle,” in the Bruce Peninsula, and most of the colorful photographs of gardens and individual plants feature his own plantations. He contends that as well as being productive and useful, the herb garden should be itself a thing of charm and beauty; a “living picture,” as Larkwhistle demonstrably is.

The book takes the reader through the planning stages to the garden in full production. It examines each of the featured herbs in detail with either a color photo in closeup or an exquisite artist’s rendition, with a compendium of traditional as well as present-day uses of the herb, including warnings against possible misuse. Some topics of particular interest are the various kitchen herbs, widely varied tea leaves, uncommon scents, and a list of handsome plants that will flourish in meagre sunlight. Also, there is a very detailed listing of sources for herbs and seed plants in Canada, the United States, and elsewhere.


Lima, Patrick, “The Harrowsmith Illustrated Book of Herbs,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 13, 2024,