The Buzz

Pack Your Picnic: Memorial Day/Summer Symphony Herbal Picnic Recipes

Memorial Day brings thoughts of gratitude for the many men and women who fight and have fought, many giving their lives in the process, to keep our country safe from outside harm. This very safety allows Americans a simple luxury: picnicking. Traditionally, Memorial Day is the day when, unofficially, summer arrives. School is over and freedom prevails.

The Garden, along with the Memphis Herb Society, just hosted the 2016 Herbal Celebration. Herb Society members provided tasty herbal wraps, cookies, and cakes for the public to purchase. There were rave reviews over the Rosemary Chicken Salad. I contacted Herb Society Vice President Grace Copeland, and she provided the recipe for your enjoyment.


-3 c. cooked boneless chicken, cut into small cubes
-½ c. mayonnaise
-1/3 c. chopped onion
-1 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
-½ c. chopped smoked almonds
-½ c. dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
-Salt and pepper

In a small bowl, mix together the cooked chicken, mayonnaise, onion, and rosemary.

Add the chopped nuts and dried cranberries.

Season to taste with salt and freshly-ground black pepper.


Submitted by Evelyn Mosley
Celebration of Herbs   p. 52 ($15)
The Memphis Herb Society

This recipe is from one of the cookbooks produced by members of the Memphis Herb Society, which is still available for purchase. There are many, many yummy recipes and herbal tips to be found in the pages of these books. Grace says “Tell folks to come to the next meeting on June 23 to pick up a copy, hear our speaker Jim Crowder talk about soil preparation, and JOIN.  6:30 p.m. refreshments/7:00 p.m. program.”

If you can’t come then, but are interested, check for additional meeting dates.

Back to picnicking...this chicken salad was served as a wrap at the Herbal Celebration, but it could also be served on top of a bed of tender mixed greens, on  crispy wheat crackers, along with a chunk of artisanal bread, or just by itself!

For a refreshing drink, crush a few handfuls of your favorite culinary herbs (Mexican Mint Marigold, Basils, Lemon Verbena, Mints, Anise Hyssop, etc.), place in the bottom of an insulated drink Thermos, top with ice, then fill the remaining room with water. Include a cooling side addition that can do double duty as dessert: cut up ripe cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, peaches, strawberries, kiwi, starfruit (should I go on, or do you get the idea?), drizzle with local honey, then add a sprinkling of finely chopped herbs: I prefer Tagetes lucida (Mexican Mint Marigold), but mint or basil or any other culinary herb you like best would be nice, too.

Not enough dessert for you? Make some cookies from one of the Herb Society cookbooks and toss into the picnic basket with the chicken salad, herb water, and herbed fruit, grab a blanket to sit on, a nice wine for the finish, and a good friend or two; and you are guaranteed some good gustatory times! This is memory maker stuff!

Hey, this would be a good complement to the Summer Symphony on Saturday, May 28! This should be a sold out event so buy your tickets online. I hope to see you there and see your twist on my Memorial Day/Summer Symphony Herbal Picnic.

By Sherri McCalla, Herb Garden Curator

Posted by sherri mccalla at 7:00 AM


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