All things grow better with love


Sally Mulligan, who lives in the South of Johannesburg in Walkerville, is a well-known herbalist within the community and is married to Kevin.

They have two children, Geraldine and Andrew, and five grandchildren, Kieran, Shannyn, Ethan Callum, David and Jonathan.

Since Sally was a young girl she has shown an interest in gardening and would potter for hours in the family garden.

“Sixteen years ago we began our little nursery and that is when I really became interested in growing herbs.

“Although I grow lots, I do have my favourite herbs and lemon verbena is one. It’s fantastic to make a tea from the leaves and this is good for digestive and nervous upsets. I also dry the leaves and put them in my cupboards at home to repel fish moths.

“Origanum and marjoram are superb digestive herbs and they are excellent for colds, flu, nausea and exhaustion. Rosemary has an anti-inflammatory action and is good for energy
and as a stimulant.

Two of Sally’s favourite recipes using herbs

Rosemary hair rinse – Two cups rosemary sprigs to two litres of water. Simmer the rosemary in water for 20 minutes. Strain when cool. Use as a final hair rinse after shampooing. Massage well into the scalp.

“My granddaughter regularly uses this and her hair is lustrous,” said Sally.

Lemon verbena massage oil – One cup almond oil, one cup lemon verbena leaves, one tablespoon cloves. Simmer all ingredients in a double boiler for 30 minutes, stirring continuously, and press down the leaves. Cool, strain and put into a sterilised jar.

“Lemon verbena is also lovely as an iced tea,” Sally added.

“I also use many herbs in my cooking as they add flavour and goodness. One of our favourite dishes is spaghetti bolognaise, in which we use origanum, basil, thyme and a little mint. Kevin reckons it’s the best he’s ever tasted, but that could also have something to do with him being my husband,” laughed Sally.

Where you can buy Sally’s herbs

“We sell our herbs at markets within the community and we are always at Niche Community Market at the Walkerville Agricultural Showgrounds every Saturday from 9am until 2pm. We also sell at the Emmarentia Hospice market on the last and first Sundays of every month at the Checkers car park on Barry Hertzog Avenue.”

Enjoying life

When Sally isn’t busy growing and selling her herbs, she loves to be with her family and friends. “Even though growing herbs and looking after our nursery takes time, I still look after my twin grandsons, who are now two years old. I enjoy every day I can spend with them in the outdoors, planting and having fun in the potting soil and compost. They are definitely taking after me with their gardening skills and like nothing more than getting their hands dirty and watering the garden. I have high hopes they will grow up to take after their grandmother and enjoy the garden and herb growing, but let’s see,” said Sally.