“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” ~Marcus Tullius Cicero.
I love growing herbs. Not only for cooking with (and I shall confess that I generally use very few herbs in this way, mainly parsley, basil, chives, rosemary and thyme) but for the lovely smells when you crush the leaves between your fingers, the pretty flowers that attract pollinators and also a big plus in my garden the S&S leave them alone! So let’s raise a cheer for herbs…
Here are six newcomers since last year’s post.
- Tanacetum parthenium ‘Aureum’, Golden Feverfew. A hardy herbaceous perennial, Ht. up to 1.2m, spread 45cm. Clusters of small white, daisy flowers. Golden leaves, lobed and divided with lightly serrated edges.
- Thymes – I have Lemon thyme (Thymus ‘Culinary Lemon’), Caraway scented thyme (Thymus herba-barona), and Common/Garden thyme (Thymus vulgaris) all of which have pretty pink flowers and Thymus serpyllum ‘Snowdrift’ which has white flowers.
- ‘Cha Cha Chives‘ is a clump-forming perennial with thin cylindrical grey-green foliage in spring that becomes bright green by mid-summer. The interesting thing about the flowers is that they grow tiny little chive flowers from the frilly green heads. Greens and flowers are entirely edible and have mild onion flavour. I think they look very similar to the wild ‘Babington’s Leek‘ which is a native to British seashores, though they of course grow a lot taller.
- Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) in yellow, orange and a dark red. These are easy to grow, vigorous annuals with large disc-shaped leaves that smell like capers and bright flowers from mid-summer onwards. They’re a magnet for bees and can be used to lure small and large white butterflies away from brassica crops. The flowers and leaves can be eaten in salads and the immature seeds pickled and used like capers.
- Lemon Bergamot / Beebalm (Monarda citriodora) Beautiful lilac flowers surrounded by mauve bracts with a pink tinge. Lemon scented, bright green, toothed, slightly hairy green leaves. Native to North America where it is used medicinally. Culinary: the flower petals and leaves are edible.
- Hyssop White (Hyssopus officinalis) is a hardy evergreen plant and grows to about 60 cm high. It is ideal for a low hedge and has attractive white flowers similar to Salvia nemerosa. It can be added to salads or soups and has a bitter minty flavour.
An extra is the header image (left) which is of a white borage. All the borage plants that grow here are self-seeded from a few of the common sky blue ones sown three years ago. Why this one is white I have no idea, as the blue flower is genetically dominant over the white flower, but it is a very pretty addition.
I still haven’t quite got around to creating the style of herb bed that I want. I tend to just plonk things in, but I would like to be more methodical and design one to look nice too. I also need to be more careful with my plant choices – last year I planted a Bronze Fennel, which was lovely when it was small, but it grew and grew and this year it practically took over half the bed, so sadly it had to be pulled out. Golden Marjoram isn’t quite such a thug, but she loves to sprawl! One of life’s lessons as a gardener.
As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world
See here for the participant’s guide.