Herb Society resumes in-person meetings, says May flowers are a sure thing

STATEN ISLAND, NY — Breaking news from the Borough of Parks’ botanical scene: the Staten Island Herbal Society will resume meetings as it would pre-pandemic starting Monday, April 25.

“While we have been grateful for the opportunity to hold our meetings through the Zoom platform, we are extremely happy to hold meetings in person once again — starting April 25, we will meet in person at the Biddle House, with a new meeting time of 4 pm,” Herb Society president Lucille Bauer announced this week.

In more flora footnotes, the March Monday night program comes in part via member Monica Ennis with a garden report on “Medicinal Herbs of the Prairie Indians.” The Herb of the Month presentation given by another member, Elizabeth Castro, will focus on Echinacea. As per the Herb Society, “Echinacea is most noted for shortening cold and flu symptoms and reducing the accompanying symptoms. It also helps boost the immune system.”

On Monday additionally, there will be a presentation by Gloria Floridia on the Medicine Wheel and how it has been used by generations of Native American tribes for health and healing. For a link to the Monday, March 28 and future meetings, email

Society member Cathy Zelonis has tended the Biddle House garden in a spring clean up. She organized work parties for the sake of public appreciation.

For more information reach out to


When is the right time to plant herbs?

Herbalist and South Shore resident Skye Suter assures that spring is on its way. She said, “Waiting for Mother’s Day to start planting is the typical guide for the gardener but I have a hard time waiting and usually get some plants in before that. If you have been starting little plants indoors or under glass you can start to harden them off in April before planting them off in April before planting them out.”

She added that the recent cold snap and 25-ish degree weather in late March doesn’t inspire a farmer to put a trowel in the ground. But Suter enthused, “I can’t wait for the real spring to arrive so I can enjoy my herb garden!”

In the meantime, she and the Herb Society tenders celebrate the Year of the Viola,

In upcoming Herb Society efforts, on Saturday, May 21, the group will be participating in BugFest at Blue Heron Park.

For more botanical education see the links below:

Staten Island Cultural Center & Botanical Garden — — Outdoor and Indoor Art and Plant Exhibitions, programs and events.

The Staten Island Museum — — Exhibitions like “Magicicada” inspired by the museum’s collection of cicadas.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden — for classes, workshops, spring garden exhibitions and other offerings in Brooklyn

New York Botanical Garden — — Education in craft and culinary areas plus other horticultural related subjects. NYBG offers many herbal related classes, too.

The Philadelphia Flower Show is June 11 through 19. The shows theme “In Full Bloom” was chosen to showcase how the beauty in nature restores. For tickets go to the-flower-show. For the most up-to date program offerings, go to

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