Fresh herbs in their own bed are a delight to have in any garden. Mediterranean herbs, in particular, need sunshine and free draining soil. The addition of a bench can be a wonderful way to pass the “thyme”, especially on a summer’s evening with the hum of bees and the scent of herbal oils in the air.
Even a small front garden can support several varieties.
The benefits of growing herbs are many – scent in the garden, perfect for pollinators, tasty and healthy addition to cooking as well as medicinal properties.
The herbs I can never be without are :
Rosemary – potatoes cooked in olive oil with rosemary and garlic; Spring lamb marinaded in lemon, oil, garlic and rosemary. Many health benefits are attributed to rosemary and its antioxidants; rosemary oil is good for the hair and as a natural air freshener. Place a sprig under your pillow to ward off nightmares . And then there are the lovely blue flowers..
Thyme – used in so many recipes as part of a bouquet garni or remove the leaves from the woody stem and use in marinades and stews. Very aromatic and with longlasting flowers attractive to pollinators.
Sage – a very attractive plant in the herb garden; there are purple, golden and variegated varieties. Keep harvesting to prevent it becoming woody. Very tasty addition to chicken and pork dishes.
Chives – a few snips added to salads gives a mild onion flavour; a blue cheese and chive sauce is tasty over steaks; chopped and added to mashed potatoes, yum! Chives make a lovely edging plant, upright slim green soldiers topped with a purple pom-pom hat in summer.
There are a host of herbs available and once you get hooked, you will find you want to keep adding to them or think about setting aside a dedicated area of the garden for growing them. Make sure it is sunny and with free draining soil and I’m sure it will become your favourite area of the garden to wander through.
(All photography mine)