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02/07/2014 at 12:16

I might have already asked this - as you know I have an issue with my memory and so often forget things. Predominately I've forgotten where I put the list of herbs I want to put in my herb garden area (it must be with that winning lottery ticket).

What herbs do you consider essential in your herb garden? Both for using in the kitchen but also for adding colour and exciting the senses when you're enjoying the garden.

So far I have waiting to go in:

  • Thyme (never flowered before - they're so beautiful!)
  • Rosemary (by the kitchen door but I'll also put some in the garden)
  • Mint (in a pot where its staying!)
  • Water mint in the pond (again in a pot that I can lift to trim the roots)
  • Bronze fennel (not sure what you do with this - it was saved from future MIL garden and has been sat in a pot ever since)
  • Sage (grown from seed and still quite tiny)
  • Chives (inc garlic chive)
  • Oregano (found some seeds and planted them - now to work out what I can do with the plants!)

I want:

  • Chamomile

What would you add to the collection if you could for year long interest?

02/07/2014 at 12:26

Sage for stuffing.

Chives

Lots of mint... spearmint for mojitos and pimms. Applemint for mint sauce.

02/07/2014 at 12:42

Basil, although you need the outdoor seeds if you are growing outdoors, and coriander.  I grow stacks, and then whizz in the liquidiser in either water or olive oil and freeze into cubes in an ice tray.  Bit of a phaff, but soooo worth it for Mediterranean and Thai and Indian dishes - you'll thank yourself next time you're cooking.  Of course, you have to re-sow every year, but the coriander leaves are good in salads, and when they go to seed, collect those to grind for spice or plant next year.  Parsley too come to think  of it!!

02/07/2014 at 13:18

Thanks for the suggestions. I've basil in a pot at home but its looking a little sorry for itself so might be replaced with a shop brought one (I've had great success planting a shop brought one before).

Coriander and parsley - good idea! I wouldn't have thought of those but parsley often is mentioned in recipes (and instantly ignored as I don't have any!)

I hadn't thought of different types of mint (I've three but have no idea what they are - other than one being water mint. One is big and bushy and generally growing like mad the other one quite small leafed and much more delicate in danger of being swamped by the larger). That's an excellent idea (not a mojitos drinker but the family are!)

 

02/07/2014 at 13:27

.I'm surprised Marjoram isn't on your list... I wouldn't be without that one... evergreen and pretty flowers about to open soon..makes a nice little plant for a container...and my favourite herb to add for cooking I think, along with Greek Oregano... Lemon Thyme is another..although I find that difficult to keep going..

02/07/2014 at 13:35

Clarington..........Fennel is good with fish and also just a tiny bit chopped finely will add a zing to your salads.  Parsley is a must for me as it is so versatile fresh or cooked.

I'd second all the other suggestions plus lavender too ( you can use it in several dishes ).  Dill is useful too.

There are a million and one plants that you could include.....shrub, perennial and annual...........the world is your slug as they say.

02/07/2014 at 13:38

Is Marjoram similar to Oregano? I'm afraid my knowledge of plants is a very limited but when I google search Marjoram Oregano appears? I will have to investigate further on this. Thank you for sharing your ideas - I must find out what kind of Oregano the one I have now is! (I've not harvested any yet to taste - I'm afraid after all the growing plants from seeds I get a little upset about having to cut them!)

Ooh Lemon Thyme that's an idea.

 

Just in case it helps the herb garden will be going in a sheltered area partly shaded by the apple tree. This picture shows the garden in January:

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/51357.jpg?width=1024&height=350&mode=max

 We'll have two greenhouses (yay!) side by side in the area where there's currently one (in black) so the herb area (in purple) will be very protected from winds coming off the open play field behind us. I'll be able to nip over the hideous patio straight from the kitchen door to harvest when we're cooking

02/07/2014 at 13:43

Oooh didn't see you there Phillippa! I will have lavender growing all the up the footpath (in the area marked yellow) so there will be plenty of that fortunately (I love the smell of lavender).

I'll try the fennel out next time I cook a fish dish. We're meant to be having a full fish on the BBQ on Sunday to maybe now is my chance!

02/07/2014 at 14:01

Clarington......I do hope you aren't going to BBQ one of those posh Orange fish which you added to your photo......I thought they were extremely attractive (if not somewhat rather big for the size of pond )

Hope the weather is good on Sunday for you

02/07/2014 at 14:12

I'm scared if I get too close to the pond they'll drag me in!

Fortunately my (now 7) real gold fish in the pond are a little more suited to the scale (if insistent on eating every plant in the pond as if I don't feed them twice a day with luxurious pellets!)

02/07/2014 at 14:24

..this is where Latin names come in handy... I've just checked my plant labels and you are quite right that Marjoram is a kind of Oregano, but I always call it Marjoram...  I have Oreganum vulgare 'Compactum' variety, which is a small growing type, that is usually sold as..guess what...'Marjoram compact' on the label..lol !

... the Greek Oregano is Oreganum vulgare 'hirtum'... and is quite a different plant for me..different flavour too.. and not so easy to maintain but worth it I think...I rarely cook anything savoury without adding a little...

..of the two.. Greek Oregano has the slightly stronger flavour..and burns a little on the tongue..when eaten straight off the plant...the foliage is also a lighter colour..

..do try it if you can...

02/07/2014 at 14:28
Hi! What about bay? I know its a shrub/tree thingy, but its used loads
Ive also got lemon balm, i think that might be for keeping bugs away, ive got a terrible memory too!
Borage is a pretty and easy to grow herb, i believe its used in pimms, i wouldnt know, ill save you some seeds if you want
02/07/2014 at 14:38

I thought wild marjoram was oregano and sweet marjoram was something else... I know I got confused/ disappointed when I ended up buying sweet not wild.

Love your pic Clari- it made me smile . Pity we don't live nearby as I'm ousting my herb patch...

02/07/2014 at 14:55

Lemon verbena - it's even more lemony than lemons!
2-3 leaves bruised with hot water makes a lovely tea and I use it in place of lemongrass (which didn't survive last winter...) and for anything that needs a good hit of lemon - it's very strong.
Lemon balm is good but not as lemony. I also find lemon balm self-seeds all over the place. As a treat now and then I cut down a big bunch of lemon balm, push it into an old stocking (not one of mine I hasten to add!), drop it in the bath and turn the water on - lovely, and it aromatherapises the whole house!

If you do grow lemon verbena, it appears completely dad until about May then grows quickly once it gets underway. I chop all the stems back to 6" in spring to keep it under control.

And as said above oregano - lovely smell on a warm summer eve - it pop's up in just about every paving crack it can find and the smell always reminds me of Greece.
I have oregano and marjoram - they're quite similar, but I find marjoram too floral smelling for most cooking.

02/07/2014 at 15:30

Is this the one you're referring too Pete?

http://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/aloysia-citriodora/326.html

02/07/2014 at 16:00

I have just bought a lemon verbena.  Really lemony.  A lovely looking herb too.  I have read that they need protection in the winter though so I planted it in a pot so it can be moved into the greenhouse.

02/07/2014 at 16:09

Lindy......depending where you are, a good mulch for the winter may suffice.  Either way, I'd also take cuttings to be on safe side......lovely little shrub and well worth the effort

02/07/2014 at 16:37

Oh Lindylou your German Shep is beautiful!

Thanks for the warning about winter protection. I need to keep this in mind I think when I plan the lay out so that I don't end up with a bare patch all winter! (I know the chives will need something interesting next to them so it wont be bare around that area).

Winters here seem very varied: last year we had it very mild in fact I think we only got two proper frosts but the year before we had a good thick layer of snow several times to ensure that we could impress the neighbours with our snowman building skills.

02/07/2014 at 16:50

You must have Parsley!  Both curly for salads and flat leaf for cooking.  Did you forget?  Maybe you should also smell that Rosemary more often. Great for memory enhancement apparently, and it is so lovely, to brush your hand up a branch and smell it as you wander off down the garden, mmmmmh.

02/07/2014 at 16:51

Is this the one you're referring too Pete?

http://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/aloysia-citriodora/326.html

 

That's the one!

 

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