Thursday, 18 May 2017

Culinary herbs

Culinary herbs are easy to grow, don't require much space and are expensive to buy as ingredients, so it makes a lot of sense to grow your own if you like using them in your cooking. We use a lot of herbs, and my garden contains many of the more common varieties. Spring and early Summer are the best times for herbs too - lots of lovely fresh new growth.

Most of my herbs are in pots, which I find easier to manage and less prone to pest and animal damage, like this Greek Oregano:

Similarly, this Winter Savory (my favourite for serving with Broad Beans).

And I have lots of pots of Mint, along with Parsley probably our most commonly-used herb...

Most of it is Moroccan Mint, like this:

But I also have this Black Pepper Mint

And this Pineapple Mint:

Dotted around the garden wherever I have been able to find space are loads more herbs. This is Thyme:



Parsley (This is the Curly type, but I have the Flat-leaf type too)...

This is Rosemary, looking a bit the worse for wear. It hates the Winter, but now that the weather is warming up I suspect it will improve.

When growing herbs, it's important to know what type of site and soil conditions they like, because in the wrong conditions they won't thrive. For instance, Mint and Parsley both like moist soil and tolerate shade, whereas the Mediterranean herbs like Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano and Sage like full sun and well-drained soil. In fact many of them do best in really dry stony soil.

Basil is the only herb I grow indoors, because I find it very susceptible to slug- and weather-damage if it's planted outside. The soft fleshy leaves of Basil are easily damaged by hail or heavy rain. Besides, it's often too cold to grow Basil successfully in the UK's notoriously cool, gloomy Summers, so I keep mine in pots indoors on a windowsill. Having said that of course, if you have a greenhouse or coldframe available, then that may well be the best place to site your Basil.

By the way, there are loads of photos of herbs on the HERBS page of this blog - have a look at the tabs at the top of the page.


  1. I knew they were tender but the idea of basil being bruised by rain had never occurred to me - I've been wondering where to put mine but think I may just keep the kitchen plants in the cold frame! Still I will give some a try as a companion to the carrots at the allotment though (and hopefully additional carrot fly camouflage!)

  2. Have you ever grown Corsican mint?

    1. No I have not. That's the low-growing one with very small leaves, isn't it?


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