We should all grow some herbs, whether you’ve got enough room for a whole dedicated herb garden, a corner in an average sized garden or a little window-sill, you can manage a few and your life will be all the better for it.
I’m evangelical about this because growing your own herbs has so many benefits:
- they have interesting leaves, shapes and flowers, so you can use them pretty much as you would any ornamental shrub or plant,
- fresh herbs make such a difference to food, they’re so much brighter and tastier when freshly picked,
- growing your own is much cheaper than buying supermarket herbs,
- you can grow types that you’d never find in grocery shops, like the wonderful lemon verbena, or pineapple sage,
- find the right place and they’re easy to grow.
Thymes are such pretty plants and release their aromatic scent when you brush past them.
Most herbs originate from the area of the Mediterranean, so they appreciate warmth in the growing season. This garden fits the bill nicely, surrounded by walls on three sides it has a good sheltered position.
The Orangery is at one end of the space with an archway leading through to another part of the garden.
One of the walls is used to grow fruit trees in this rather smart criss-cross shape.
Growing fruit trees against a wall is a convenient method of growing them where you don’t have space for conventional shaped trees, and it looks very smart too. The proper name for this diamond pattern is Belgian Fence.
This is the entrance to the herb garden from the Orangery.
These are some of my must have herbs:
- Rosemary: a large evergreen shrub, essential for roast lamb, winter stews and adding snippets to savoury/cheese scones.
- Chives: perfect for a mild onion flavour in omlettes and salads, dies back in winter, but obligingly re-appears in Spring.
- Thyme: lemon thyme is great for adding to dressings and marinades.
- Fennel: I add the top 6 inches of the feathery leaves to buttery, cooked new potatoes.
- Mint: dies back in winter unless it’s kept in a heated greenhouse, very necessary for your own fresh mint tea, and of course mojhotos.
Herbs are some of the most rewarding and easiest plants to grow, have a go, and if you already grow them, why not expand your collection and experiment.
You can sign up for one of my classes if you want to know how to grow herbs successfully and get some ideas about using them . There’s more information here.
all images: Jill Anderson.
Link to Woolbeding House.