Herbs Up-Close

I photographed my Herbs today – something that I don’t do very often. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because Herbs really don’t require much input and so I don’t visit them very often unless picking them. But they really are interesting when you look at them up-close. This Parsley is so zingy! It’s almost day-glo.

In some cases we’re happy to let Herbs flower and when they do they add colour and vibrancy to what can be a very green garden at this time of year. My Chives are about to pop open, something which always turns a few heads.

My sowings of Coriander are doing well too. I’ve decided to go for Coriander edging to the Herb bed. We’re eating a lot more curries these days and we go through Coriander at a pace so it’s well worth growing for us.

I grow two Sage bushes. This gorgeous purple variety and…

…this variegated one.

My Mint is spilling over the stone tough that confines it. I cut a bunch of it for the Royal Wedding and threw it in a jug of Pimms. It really does look amazing with the floating Strawberries.

I planted some creeping Thyme this year. It looks amazing and softens the edges of the pathway brilliantly. Even though I don’t grow many Herbs, the ones that I do are in use all year round and I wouldn’t be without them.

Does anyone have any suggestions for new Herbs I should grow? I should mention I also grow Basil, Lemon Balm, Rosemary, Dill and Fennel.

29 Comments on “Herbs Up-Close

  1. We tried vietnamese corriander, they look great and the taste was pretty good. We lost them over the winter though so maybe try in a pot then greenhouse / cold frame over winter. This year we are growing Chervil and it goes great in salads and pasta recipes, we are also investing in a cold frame to over winter some of our young herbs! Others which i couldn’t live without parsley or bay (also good for curries)

    Like the blog :o)

  2. I had some success with some Thai basil a few years ago – really added a different taste to even the simplest curries.

    For a main staple I couldn’t live with oregano – add it to anything with a tomato base. Mine flowers each year which is pretty but more importantly a real hit with the bees and lacewings.

  3. Today I potted up some lemon verbena (as lovely as lemon balm is, it spreads too much for my taste and the flavor of lemon verbena is to die for) and pineapple sage. Two of my absolute favorites–the smells are so wonderful! I decided to grow them in pots this year because they say that they are a “tender” perennial. Well, I find them just too tender, and so I would like to bring them indoors this fall.

    I also really like lemon thyme and am starting a whole bunch of Golden Jubilee Hyssop–not really sure what it smells like but I really like the way they look.

    Marjoram is a must have, I find it a bit more floral of a flavor than oregano.

  4. I would love to know what variety or parsley you are growing. I don’t think I have seen one like that. Very pretty.

  5. It seems that you grow everything that I grow too! I have been wanting to try oregano, but I hate giving up garden space to something I don’t use all the time. I seriously considered adding taragon this year because so many recipes use it but I do not like licorice and taragon just tastes too much like it. I am trying dill for the first time this year. How do you keep a steady supply of coriander? Do you use a slow bolt variety or have many sowings a season for it? I find that ours bolts too quickly.

  6. I’d recommend Lovage. For one thing its perennial and so you only have to plant once. Its also quite architectural and will get nice cow parsley like flowerheads about 5 ft tall. It also makes good soup and is one of the first things to poke thru the cold soil in spring and these shoots can be braised and eaten like celery. Generally fairly no nonsense and not invasive and grows well.

  7. When I really started kitchen gardening 5 years ago I started off with a huge collection of herbs and quite some space for it. Over the years I found out that although it is nice to be “complete” most herbs are never used by me or my fellow gardeners. So gradually I skipped species (some of them I keep finding by the way as they did their propagation too well). And I put more and more in pots in view of this wretched character of many. If you have space I would consider a laurel bush. It is quite expensive and sadly the last two -10 C winters were too hard for mine, so maybe you could either put them in a pot, dig it out in winter or cover it..
    And I love my borago officinalis – of which I acutally only use the blue flowers in a salad but it makes it spectacular…

  8. The others I’m growing are chervil, oregano, marjoram and summer savoury. I think all herbs are great and have their uses so you can’t go wrong which ever ones you choose to grow.

  9. I’m a big fan of lovage, tarragon and sorrel. This year I’ve started growing claytonia (winter purslane) too, which is great. Well, it’s more of a salad leaf than a herb I suppose. But easy to grow, self-seeding, succulent and tasty!

  10. I planted some Marjoram and some Oregano last year in some old tyres used as planters and for one reason or another they became overwhelmed by weeds and grass and had to be pulled out for replanting.

    I didn’t get round to replanting them though and I thought they had all perished – but no! This year I’ve ‘discovered’ them again under mounds of grass and other weeds and seem to be flourishing nicely.

    The these tough cookies are the terminators of the herb world.

    PS I planted a few small Sage plants in similar tyre planters around the allotment which looked great and bushy when they rapidly filled them and smelled gorgeous every time I brushed past them.

  11. I use thyme, oregano, parsley, coriander and basil regularly – so they live on the balcony for kitchen use and I also have herbs in the veg patch for occasional use (and for everyone else to pick at!) and for colour, bee attracting flowers, the gorgeous smells, etc. I love to give all the leaves a quick squeeze and sniff as I go by! I have chives, sage, fennel, dill, parsley, rosemary and coriander growing in a raised bed with creeping thyme and golden oregano along by the path. The oregano is a gorgeous bright yellowy-green! – and, of course, they’re great to photograph!

  12. I have more herbs than I can possibly use but grow them for their looks as well as flavour. I have a pot herb garden plus an old sink full. I also grow them round the edges of the veg. beds. Recently I have taken cuttings from my sage and every one has taken. I grow three kinds of sage ordinary, purple and variegated. I use them to fill up any space that becomes available.

  13. Have you tried sorrel? I try to grow it but the chickens seem to get to it first. Hopefully this year they wont get the chance. It has a very sharp lemon taste, it makes your mouth pucker. It’s wonderful in a salad as an intense lemon hit and also with new potatoes.

  14. Beautiful photos of your herbs. I have lots of herbs too and would suggest ginger mint and golden marjoram.

  15. Beautiful photos of your herbs. I have lots of herbs too and would suggest ginger mint and golden marjoram.

  16. I’m growing black peppermint for the first time this year and love it, it’s so different from ordinary mint. I grew oregano for the first time last year and have found that from never using it in the kitchen I now add it to almost everything. Lemon thyme is lovely too, the scent from the crushed leaves is really wonderful.
    Kay x

  17. Lovage and summer savory! Lovage is very good on chicken and fish. Summer savory goes well with beans, lentils, and all italian tomato sauces.

  18. I bought some Pineapple mint last year – lovely variegated leaves and not as invasive as other mints.

    I use it regularly in a carbonara recipe and also had it in Pimms for our Royal Wedding party!

  19. Greeat pics! We picked up a Mint Basil plants at a market a few weeks ago. I’d never heard of it before, but yup, it really does smell and taste of both mint and basil… It’ll be great in salads etc! :)

  20. I am growing loads of herbs this year – far more than I’ll ever use but I just love growing them! Some of the more unusual ones I am growing are Lemon Basil (even the first two cotyledons smell lemony!) and one called Spicy Globe (which is supposed to grow in a perfect sphere); Lemon Grass (Tender perennial); Buckler Leaved Sorrel – you only need a tiny bit to zing up a salad. I have also taken cuttings of Tarragon as it’s quite tricky to get through the winter and this year I am doing cuttings of Teurcrium lucidrys – Hedge Germander. I was lucky enough to visit Highgrove last year and Prince Charles grows it as an edging plant in his herb/potager. It is a hardy evergreen shrub with pink flowers from mid-summer to early Autumn. Very pretty. Finally I wouldn’t be without Winter Savory which keeps on going when other herbs have died down for winter.

  21. Herbs are very attractive.
    I particularly love the oregano which I grew from seed – marinated chicken pieces in olive oil and lemon juice with oregano make a great barbecue skewer.
    I’m growing summer savory for the first time this year; and borage, so that I can freeze the beautiful blue flowers in ice cubes and throw them into jugs of Pimms in the summer to really make them sing!

  22. Great photos. We have planty of herbs in the garden – most of them doing very well. I was particularly please that the oregano came back this year. Problem is I keep forgetting and buying fresh herbs from the supermarket.

  23. Chives are golden – ‘easy onions’ that you can add to sandwiches and the flowers make egg mayonnaise look positively fancy :)

  24. I can really recommend sorrel, I grew it for the first time last year, it’s very easy to grow, doesn’t take much space, and it has a lovely sharp lemon tang. I also use a lot of oregano and tarragon, which are also well behaved and hardy perennials.

  25. Lovely photos. Aren’t herbs wonderful, they look so nice, many smell lovely and they taste great, too

  26. I didn’t know that Sage came in such a lovely color …I’ve never seen any here in the States..Yours looks lovely…

  27. I am a huge fan of herbs and always have room for one more.Mostly grow in pots and get mine from a great lady at my local market. Last year I got a hot and spicy oregano thats great and still going strong and my favorite is a perennial basil..African basil, it grows throughout the winter on a warm windowsill, the smell gives you a lift on a grey cold day.

  28. If you can hold of some Thai basil, it’s amazing. It has a hint of normal basil but with a little exoticness thrown in, it makes curries and stews taste like heaven.