Thyme for Herbs!

Create your own culinary herb garden that looks almost too good to eat!

Herbs grow well in pots, either planting them individually and grouping pots together or creating bold combinations in larger containers.

 

As many herbs have Mediterranean origins they relish a site in full sun where they can bake during summer. Soil must be free-draining too, as wet and waterlogged ground will lead to root damage.

Low-growing thyme is a herb garden favourite, perfect for making a herb carpet, softening the edges of gravel paths, or filling gaps between paving. With flavoursome foliage in greens, silvers and golds, plus colourful flowers too, they'll look good and provide pickings all year.

Whether adding to salads, cooking with new potatoes, or making herb teas, mint is a versatile herb with many uses. Their colours and flavours vary immensely from powerful peppermint to those with an underlying taste of apple and many more.  Just remember that mint is one herb that's always best kept contained to prevent it invading your borders, so grow it in a pot or large bottomless bucket.

Rosemary is a hardy shrub with aromatic leaves and long flowering season. It is a favourite with lamb and excellent for barbecues.  Rosemary combines well with garlic and olive oil making an irresistible taste to top a baked Camembert. 

6 Top Tips for Successful Herb Gardens

  1. Many herbs are Mediterranean tolerate drought well and relish hot dry conditions, nevertheless regular watering in hot summers keeps them at their best.

  2. Regular picking some herbs, like basil, encourages side shoots to form, keeping plants bushy and productive.

  3. Pick and dry the leaves of herbs like thyme, sage, bay and many others to store and use when cooking.

  4. The flowers of many herbs can be used to brighten summer salads. Use flowers from chives, basil, coriander and thyme, and flowers or petals from daylilies, pot marigolds, nasturtium, lavender and others.

  5. Many herbs such as Rosemary, Mint, Chives and Thyme are hardy so keep picking and using all year.

  6. Coriander has a habit of bolting or running to seed, but enjoy their flowers as they'll encourage beneficial insects, like hoverflies, into your garden. Let plants set seed, then collect and dry coriander seeds to grind and use when cooking spicy Indian dishes.