I love herbs. I do not claim to be an herbalist, but herbs in general and particularly the medicinal use of them fascinates me. I fully admit that I'm no chef, but the use of fresh herbs over dried can make all the difference in the world. When we were living in our apartment, I had a nice little collection of potted herbs growing on our little screened in porch (I don't call it a lanai because it was soooo tiny!). For some reason, however, despite my efforts I haven't had the same luck growing since we moved into our house two years ago.
Despite my apparent black thumb, I did not give up. I wasn't having much luck until my mom got this pot of plants for me when she came to visit in May. There's a few flowers in there with lovely purple buds that's not showing it's face right now in addition to the lovely purple ferns and that very cool spiky plant (have no idea the appropriate names for any of these). Anyway, I managed to keep it alive long enough to feel encouraged to start growing herbs again. After a period of having a black thumb, this was encouraging indeed.
Recently, I bought a couple of basil plants as well as a rosemary, parsley, and oregano (the oregano didn't make it). This time, I tried something new: instead of keeping them on our south west facing lanai where they got tons of sun all day, I kept the pots near our easterly facing front door (basically morning full sun). I don't know what did it (not baking in the sun all day, changing the watering schedule, or sheer luck) but they started doing really well. Encouraged by this turn of events, I picked up another rosemary & parsley; some thyme, oregano, & lemon balm; and an aloe plant. Everything has been re-potted, fed, and seems to be doing well. I even had iced tea with some lovely fresh lemon balm already.
I got no fewer than five mosquito bites while I was tending to my herbs last night, though. No fear, I have apple cider vinegar in the kitchen and that took the itch away pretty much immediately. Today, the bites are practically gone. The vinegar smell dissipates shortly after application, but if you'd rather smell pretty you can also mix one teaspoon each of lavender oil and vegetable oil. Apply the mixture to your bite. The lavender will reduce swelling and take away the itching. I haven't tried this one, but it sounds like it would work. I love home remedies!