French Tarragon French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) is a frost-hardy perennial with narrow green leaves that have an anise flavour. It grows about 40cm high and wide, and needs to be replanted every few years as the plants lose their vigour over time. Tarragon will thrive in deeply dug, well composted soil in full sun and […]
Herbal Eye Candy Although herbs are mostly grown for practical reasons such as for culinary, medicinal and cosmetic uses, there are herbal plants with such attractive attributes that you don’t really have the heart to chow or chop them up! ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ lifts the spirit The purple cone flower (Echinacea purpurescens) has been used for […]
The Gourmet Herb Artichoke As a vegetable, globe artichokes (Cynara scolymus) are considered a gourmet delicacy. As a garden plant, the spiky silvery green foliage is striking and unusually beautiful. But as a herb or vegetable, would you guess that it is one of the most effective and far-reaching natural liver tonics that one can […]
Basil A-Z Sweet basil is the basil that everyone knows, with large, soft green leaves and sprays of white flowers. It grows up to 50cm high and is frost tender. Pinch off the flowers to keep the plant bushy, and use in cooking, salads, first aid and beauty. ‘Perennial Basil Pink’ or ‘White’ has small mottled […]
Sweet Basil Ocimum basilicum Sweet basil has a unique taste that is closely related to its spicy sweet fragrance. Of all the herbs discussed here it probably comes closest to the flavour of true anise. It is an annual that grows quickly and easily, and its luscious, bright green leaves and white flowers should be […]
Thyme is one of the top five herbs used in Caribbean cooking, being the mainstay of green seasoning. In addition to the normal thyme, Caribbean cooks use a broad-leaf thyme and Guyanese thyme, which is like oregano and strongly aromatic. Thyme is used in marinades to tenderise meat, which is then called ‘jerk meat’. Jerk […]
If your eagerness to grow your own herbs and vegetables is being stymied by the lack of an area that gets full sun then all is not lost. Read on for some inspiration and ideas.
Tuscan Blue Rosemary Formal gardens have been fashionable around the world since the times of early civilisations and still today they remain popular, especially with the resurgence of Tuscan and Victorian landscape styles. One of the key components of these formal designs is low, clipped hedges that edge the geometric patterns or shapes. These are […]
Rosemary There are many legends and stories about magic and romance that involve the herb rosemary, and claims are even made that regular use improves the memory. However, we are going to forego a discussion of its fascinating medicinal properties and delicious culinary qualities (and here our thoughts stray to roast leg of lamb), because […]
Herbs are an organic gardener’s best resource, especially when it comes to preparing the garden for summer. Quite a number of herbs are a valuable source of nutrition for the soil, helping to improve its quality, others act as insect repellents or as trap crops.