Having had my herb garden for over a year now, I can really say it’s something that EVERYBODY should have in their garden. It’s a great looking feature, and their are so many added benefits, like actually having certain herbs readily available for cooking, and having a feature that can get guests at your parties talking about (you’ll see what I mean below).
So, if you’re thinking of creating a herb garden, think about reading my series of articles on the topic, starting off with this one: “Herb Garden in 24 hours”
So, what are my favourite herbs in my garden?
The leaves of the basil bush are used in a LOT of Italian dishes (check out the recipes on this site for ideas). And, with the leaves being so fragrant, when you water this bush the smells coming from it are amazing.
But apart from the smells, the flowers are a beautiful purple, which the bees love. In a strange way, it seems to attract odd looking bees as well. I’ve seen a purple bee with black stripes.
There are quite a few recipes that use this herb, but it’s not in my top 5 for that reason. This plant is more of a conversation starter due to the amazing lemon smell in the actual leaves. When having parties, I make sure to capture the poor souls who’ve never seen my herb garden before and make them smell the herbs. And the lemon grass is almost always a surprise.
Thyme is another herb that is used a lot in cooking. My favourite food with thyme is sweet potato chips. These are oven-grilled, so they’re extremely healthy, and this herb adds a great flavour to them.
You get quite a variety of thyme plants, including a lemon-scented one, so if you want to add thyme to your garden, take your time and shop around. 😉
This herb is used a lot in lamb dishes, though I think it’s great to add to most meat recipes. And Jamie Oliver has a great recipe for roast potatoes with Rosemary salt. We use this herb a lot at home, so it was a great addition to the garden.
A little tip with Rosemary: if you pick some and let it dry for a couple of days, it gets a lot more fragrant…
I love spicy food, within reason. And growing your own chillies gives you the control over how much you use. You don’t have to feel like you paid for it so you have to use it. And, if you don’t want your food TOO spicy, you can just remove the seeds. My chili plant is another plant that is used a LOT at home.
The moral of the story here: if you’re growing a herb garden, try to plant herbs that you think you’ll use. It adds extra satisfaction knowing that it doesn’t just look pretty, but is actually useful.
It’s also an incentive to actually look after it, which can be necessary for those non-green-fingered people like myself. 🙂