Thursday 16 May 2013


Late Spring / Early Summer is the best time of all for herbs. After the austerity of Winter they relish the warming weather and reward us with a bountiful flush of fresh new leaves. Jane and I both love using herbs in our cooking so we make the most of this bounty.

The Rosemary is flowering at present:

The type of Rosemary I have doesn't seem to produce many flowers. Some of the bushes are several years old, but they have never been exuberant with their flowers.

At least this one seems to understand that I planted it where it is mainly to help screen the unsightly compost-bin a little!

This is Lemon Balm - Melissa. We don't use it as a herb, but I like it because it produces masses of little white flowers that the bees absolutely love.

The Chives are very nearly flowering. At present they have loads of buds enclosed in their papery husks, waiting to burst open.

The Mint that I divided and re-potted in March has come back strongly. I have four big pots of it, like this:

I even managed to produce a decent quantity of Parsley. So much so that Jane described it as a glut! Trying to flatter me, I think... On her "Onions and Paper" blog she recently wrote about using some of it in a Tabbouleh, and then she made more of it into Parsley Sauce for with some Gammon we had last weekend.

One of my favourite herbs is Oregano, seen below. I just wish I had some home-grown tomatoes to serve it with!

This is Marjoram, a close relative of Oregano. It has leaves that are more rounded than the Oregano.

Just recently we have been using a lot of Sage. For instance, the other day I did some roasted Butternut Squash drizzled with olive oil and a liberal scattering of chopped Sage leaves. It's also good in a risotto that Jane sometimes makes, which has in it not only Butternut Squash and Sage, but also some chilli. Just now, the Sage in my garden is looking particularly lush.  

The new leaves are much greener than the old ones, which are more of a silver-grey colour.

As well as the plain green variety of Sage, I also have a couple of plants of this really striking green-and-yellow variety:

Probably the most versatile of all herbs though, is this - Thyme:

That one in the previous photo is "Common" Thyme, whereas this one next is the Broad-leaved version:

I've just realised how many photos there are in this post, so I'd better stop. You've probably got the message by now- we like herbs!


  1. They all look very healthy Mark, you have certainly cared for them well.

  2. Growing herbs was my 'gateway drug' into the world of gardening. Herbs are my absolute favorite plants to grow. After I get all of my other gardening plants finished for this season, my next project will be to create a large herb garden at the front of my house with a plan of grown many varieties of each of my favorites as well as trying some new herbs. Great photo's Mark. BTW, Lemon Balm is wonderful at repelling mosquito's and other nasty bugs :)Cheers, Jenni

  3. Your herbs look great, Mark. I love growing herbs, too, my favorite being Basil, which I use lots and lots. Rosemary is my second favorite. Often I grab handfuls when looking over the garden and tear them into bits ( the Basil and Rosemary) and scatter over other plants because they seem to deter pests!

  4. I love my herbs too. I'm curious though. I grow marjoram as an annual as it won't survive the winter here. So mine are small and just started. Yours looks like your oregano so it must have lived over the winter. Do you grow it as a perennial there?

    1. Hi Daphne; Yes, I do grow the Marjoram as a perennial. It dies down completely in the Winter, but comes up again in the Spring. This type is very common on upland hillsides in this part of the world. In fact I think mine was originally imported from a hill somewhere! There are many many types of "Marjoram", and I think I know the type you refer to, which is sometimes called "Sweet Marjoram" and grows as an annual.

  5. All that was needed was a scratch and sniff button on my screen Mark,
    I can almost smell all of those wonderful healthy looking herbs! ;D

  6. Beautiful herbs! I like this yellow and green sage! It looks great!

  7. I love your herbs, they are so lush and rich. I, personally, am a mint addicted, i think i must have over 10 varieties, but i like all the herbs, they are a wonderful addition to any garden, even if you don't really use them in the kitchen :)

  8. Until I took a photo of a rosemary flower I had never appreciated the markings on the petals. The honeyguides probably glow in the bees eyes - pity we can't see ultra violet. We've been tidying our plot herb beds - the mint has just about disappeared under weeds so serious remedial action is being taken!

  9. Fascinating! I've never seen rosemary Everything looks very happy.

  10. David, you've never seen Rosemary?? I can't believe that! I would have thought you would use it frequently.

  11. Your herbs look great Mark! I'm just starting a herb garden, and letting loose some plants which have been in pots for several years. They seem quite happy about this- especially the thymes and bronze fennel.


  12. they are all looking very healthy Mark - herbs are a needs must in any garden.


Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment! Please note that Comment Moderation is enabled for older posts.