Spring into Herbs

Perhaps you’ve experienced that fantastic feeling of satisfaction while growing and using your own herbs. I love walking out into the garden to pick fragrant rosemary for my favourite dish of roasted potatoes, rosemary, garlic and sprinkled salt.

Whether planting from seeds or cuttings, getting your herb garden set up can be as elaborate or simple as you choose. It could be as easy as putting together a small cluster of pots with varied heights to add interest. Whether your garden is large or small, many people like to use pots and containers where good drainage is ensured and moving them is possible. At home in our “Ramesa” garden I like to use rock edges and feel that the natural look is aesthetically pleasing.

For the budget wise gardener, planting seeds is a great way to grow a wide range of plants. Sown just below the surface of your preferred seed raising mix, gently water and label with the date and name of your plants sown. Enjoyment is sure to follow as you watch them emerge in approximately seven to fourteen days. For cuttings, prepare your pots filled with the potting medium of your choice (I like to use coco-pith). Select new but not too soft growth and cut the stem just below a leaf node. Strip the bottom 2/3rds of leaves from the cutting and plant deeply enough for standing, then slightly press the potting medium to support the stem. Many people like to use a rooting hormone or dip their cuttings in honey before planting. Perhaps experiment and see what best suits you. Within a few weeks, both your seeds and cuttings will have started to generate a root system.

For a good harvest, choose a site that receives full sun at least six hours a day. It’s ideal to provide some wind protection such as a wall, fence, or hedge of wormwood, rosemary or lavender. Herbs can be planted in groups, randomly spaced or in containers such as pots of basil nestled between the tomatoes. My Mum always grows her herb garden within reach of the kitchen. I have memories of her with scissors in hand snipping chives to add to our mashed potato. By continually trimming and harvesting herbs you will promote more growth while keeping your plants compact; then excess can be happily shared among family and friends.

By using common herbs of rosemary, basil, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, mint, parsley, sage, tarragon and thyme as wonderful way to add flavour to meals and drinks. I feel that some of the more unusual herbs of brahmi, lebanese cress, rainbow parsley, gotu kola, sheep sorrel, lemon verbena and mother of herbs gives that next level of flavour.

 “Happy Gardening” everyone, kind regards Romaine.

Images:-

  • Brahmi – also known as the memory herb
  • Wormwood plants make an ideal windbreak.
  • Dill – the umbel flowers attract beneficial insects.
  • The “Ramesa” herb garden with alyssum to attract the bees.
  • Basil, coriander and dill
  • Hand-woven basket made by Romaine filled with herbs and fruit from the garden.
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