Posts Tagged ‘plectranthus’
I grow at least 31 different herbs, but I don’t have an “herb garden”. Herbs are usually very hardy plants, that also happen to be edible, medicinal or aromatic…maybe even all three. Most of them are beautiful, foliage and flowers. They blend well with other, more ornamental, plants. So I enjoy mixing them in throughout all of my flower beds. I do keep the culinary herbs a little closer though, like right off the deck, close to the kitchen. I’ve had an “herb garden” before, and it can be very handy to just run out and grab a handful of whatever you need. Now, though, I’ve scattered other perennials among them and they are still very handy.
Some herbs can get quite large and take up a lot of space, like the hyssop or the lemon balm, while others are small and compact, like the oregano and thyme, and just kind of creep along among other plants.
Sometimes it might seem like herbs are a little mysterious or maybe difficult to grow. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whether you plant seeds (which I do a lot) or plant seedlings, you will probably have great success. Some herbs are so easy to grow that you might wish you weren’t so successful. Any of the mints will spread like wildfire and need to either be grown only in containers or in restricted areas. I love mint, especially chocolate mint, but I’ve learned the hard way that it can easily become a weed that smells very good when you’re pulling great handfuls of it out of your flower beds.
If you have well drained soil, plenty of sun and a little moisture, you can grow just about any herb you’d like. Most of them don’t even need especially fertile soil. Mulching helps keep the weeds down and will eventually break down to enrich the soil. If you can control the weeds early on, then soon the mature, spreading plants will choke them out naturally. Most herbs are perennial, meaning they’ll come back year after year.
Many of the culinary herbs do well with pinching back, or pruning, so using them is a plus. Never remove more than 1/3 of the plant at a time though. As you pinch them back, they will become fuller and more attractive.
Cooking with herbs is a lot of fun. Be experimental and try different combinations. Have you ever had potato salad made with fresh thyme, oregano and chives? Delicious.
I grow a lot of aromatic herbs too (See post: The Aromatic Garden http://wp.me/p1OXDF-8d) just because I love them. See also Ezine Article: http://ezinearticles.com/?8-Great-Plants-For-an-Aromatic-Garden&id=6582569
Some of my favorite culinary herbs are:
- Tarragon – slight licorice flavor – used for cooking, vinegars and teas
- Salad Burnet – cucumber flavor – used in salads
- Chives – mild onion flavor – used in cooking and as garnish
- Oregano – used in cooking
- Sage – used in cooking
- Basil – used in cooking and condiments
- Thyme – used in cooking
- Marjoram – used in cooking
- Parsley – used in cooking and as garnish
- Lemon Thyme – used in cooking
Some of my favorite aromatic herbs are:
- Scented Pelargoniums – Lemon/Rose, Rose, Coconut, Green Apple, Lemon/Lime
- Agastache Anise Hyssop – hard to describe, heavenly scent
- Lavender – everybody knows what Lavender smells like…right?
- Mint – also used for culinary by some – Chocolate Mint, Spearmint, Peppermint, Pineapple Mint, etc.
- Plectranthus – hard to describe smell that I love (kind of like antique wood)
- Artemesia – nice, clean smell
- Helichrysum – fresh, straw-like smell
This winter, when you’re planning your garden for next spring, think about incorporating some herbs in with the perennials or even with the vegetables. A whole new world will be opened to you.
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