As I had mentioned before, a flower garden can be a form of organic pest control if you plant the right flowers. So what are the right kinds of flowers to plant? Angelica is the first flower I started in my garden. Initially, I chose this flower because I wanted some perennials that could grow in partial shade and attract beneficial insects, and these were on sale. It turns out that these were a great choice for me.
Angelica contains compounds called coumarins. Coumarins can be used to reduce swelling, especially in the lymph nodes and associated with arthritis. Angelica can be used for women to help relieve symptoms of PMS and hot flashes. You should not take angelica if you are pregnant! Angelica contains bergapten, which can be used to treat skin conditions and linalool and borneol which are antibacterial and antifungal. The boiled roots can be used to speed up healing. It also increases immunity and circulation, stimulates appetite, relaxes muscles and many other things.
When I bought my first few angelica plants, I did not know any of this. All I really knew about it was that it was good for attracting beneficial insects. It's tiny flowers make it easy for small bugs like parasitic wasps to get to the pollen. Parasitic wasps are good for your garden because they use big bugs like tomato horn worm to grow their babies. This is turn kills the tomato horn worm, organically protecting your garden from them. There are also many pollinators that will be attracted to your flower garden and angelica. I was happy to see that they bloomed in early spring which helps to get the pollinators to your garden right away. I now need to add some flowers that will bloom right after the angelica to keep the pollinators around.
Now that I know all I do about angelica, I will be able to take full advantage of the plants next year. I plan on saving seed (I'll talk about this later) and learning how to use all the parts of the angelica plant to their full potential. I can't believe I was so lucky to stumble across such a great plant!