Growing Herbs

Fresh Herbs at your finger tips.





Fruiting Vegs.



The Herb Thyme


Plant Fundamentals
Plant Care
Garden Design
Vegetable Garden
Gardening Gourmet
Page  6
Fresh Herbs in the Kitchen Garden.

Aromic  Herbs

Thyme to choose: This  native of the Mediterranean  scrubland is one of the most versatile herbs  in both  the garden and the kitchen.  Most thymes are hardy  perennials, but thrive in full sun in light, well-drained soil.
  • There are many different thymes  to choose from, boasting different leaf and flower colours  and aromas. Some  grow as woody small shrubs, such as the lemon-scented  thyme (Thymus x citriodorus 'Silver  Queen'), caraway-scented (T. herba - barona)  and common  thyme (T vulgaris).  Other thymes are spreading, mat-forming plants that flower at ground  level, such as T. serpyllum,  with small pinky-mauve flowers,  and T var. coccineus.
  • Use  upright varieties, such as T x citriodorus, as small edging  plants for formal borders or a herb garden. For a decorative effect, plant mat-forming varieties in cracks  in paving and paths, or to tumble over rockeries.
  • Give shrubby  thymes a light trim after flowering, to encourage  a bushy, compact  shape.
  • As well as pleasantly scenting  the garden, thyme can be used throughout the year in salads and in savoury cooked dishes.
Easy thyme cuttings:  Simply cut a sprig or two from the mature  plant, remove the lower leaves  from each stem, and plant so that two-thirds  of the stem is in the soil. Water well and the cutting should root in three to four weeks.
Hyssop,  an underrated herb:  Hyssop was highly prized by our ancestors  and is mentioned  in the Bible. In the 17th century  it was used to dress  wounds.  Today,  it tends  to be widely - and unjustly - ignored.  Its flowers  attract bees and butterflies  to the garden  and the bitter, minty taste  of its leaves is ideal for making  infusions  and flavouring dishes.
  • Hyssop is a hardy  herbaceous  perennial  native to the Mediterranean  mountains,  where it thrives in arid, stony soil. It is fully hardy  in this country  as long as it is kept  in full sun on well-drained soil. Its needs  are similar to those  of lavender, catmint and rosemary, and it grows well with them.
  • Grow hyssop  from seed sown in autumn  or from softwood cuttings  in summer and cut it back annually  to prevent it becoming too woody.
Rosemary  shapes  up:  Rosemary is an evergreen  shrub native to Mediterranean  scrubland.  It responds  well to shaping into pyramids,  cones, balls and spirals.  Trim  often and cut it back in spring, removing  any damaged  or dead branches.  Do not let the plants get leggy.
  • Rosemary grows  best in full sun,  in very well-drained  soil, producing  small flowers  in spring and summer.  It needs  shelter from harsh winds  and does not tolerate  winter wet at its roots. 'Miss Jessopp's Upright'  is an old favourite with pretty blue flowers  in late spring and autumn.  It is useful for hedging.
The herb Rosemary
The herb Lemon Verbena
Protect  your lemon  verbena:  Lemon verbena  needs  winter protection in cool temperate climates, so if you grow it in planters, bring it into a frost-free  greenhouse  in winter. 'Water well during the summer and cut back stems just as the plant begins to flower.  Before  you bring it indoors in autumn,  cut it back again. 'Water  it sparingly  in winter.
  • If you want to grow lemon verbena  outside, plant it against  a south or west-facing  wall or grow it from softwood  cuttings, taken each summer.
  • Lemon verbena  can be dried for use in pot pourri and as a flavouring in herbal teas.

Lemon Verbena.

Lemon verbena

            Lemon verbena originates from Chile and has long, narrow, pointed Leaves  which taste and smell strongly of lemon. These  are used  fresh or can be dried  to  flavour drinks - most  notably  tea puddings  and jams.  Lemon  verbena is tolerant  of most soil types; however, being half hardy it needs a sheltered position and good protection from  frost.  Lemon  verbena  is propagated  through softwood cuttings, which should be taken  in the spring.

Ideal for a Low Hedge.

     Ideal for a low Hedge

      Hyssop bears pretty purple  flowers and is a semi evergreen  sub shrub, ideal for growing as a low hedge. The leaves  have  a minty  flavour  with a bit of extra zest, and can be used fresh in salads or in soups  and casseroles. The  strong  flavour  works especially  well combined with rich game dishes. It needs a light soil and sheltered  site in full sun, and can be propagated from  division  or softwood  cuttings  taken in the spring, or else be grown  from seed.

Taking Rosemary Cuttings.
Planting  Rosemary Shoots
Watering rosemary shoots
ln Spring, cut young shoots  about l5-20 cm long. Remove  the lower leaves.
 Plant  the shoots in trays filled with  a multi-purpose compost  with added  grit.
Water  sparingly. After four  to six weeks  check if roots hove  developed.  Plant out in situ the following  spring.

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