Saturday , July 22 2017

Herbs

Herbs garden
Whether grown on their own as an ornamental feature, with other plants in a border or among the vegetable plot, herbs are an invaluable addition to any garden.
They have always been prized for their culinary, cosmetic or curative uses but as well as for their decorative role in the garden.
Few herbs have spectacular flowers or attractive foliage, so the main aspect they are grown for remain their scent.
Cookery enthusiasts consider five classic herbs essential for flavoring many dishes: bay, marjoram, parsley, sage and thyme and they are often combined together as a “bouquet garni”. They are all easy to grow and will form the nucleus of any herb collection.
In the following lines you will find a short description of the most common herbs grown for many years for their used for medicine, decoration and flowering. Many of them can be grown on a windowsill, in a container or in the garden where they are harvested and used fresh for aromatization of our daily dishes.

Angelica is a tall, majestic biennial plant that prefers a moist soil in semishade. The seeds, stems and flowers can all be used either fresh, cooked or preserved. This plant is equally at home in a herb or ornamental garden.
 

Basil is an annual plant, up to 35 cm high that needs good drainage. Leaves are used cooked or raw as a flavoring. Can be difficult to grow.
 

Bay is an evergreen shrub or small tree that needs a sunny, sheltered and moist site. Leaves used in cooking or as a decoration. Leaves can be dried and stored.
 

Borage is a self-sowing annual preferring a light, well-drained soil and full sun. Flowers and leaves can be used either fresh or preserved in cooked or salad dishes. This plant is valued for use as a flavoring in low-salt diets.
 

Chervil is an annual plant that prefers a well-drained soil and semishade. Leaves can be used fresh in cooked or salad dishes. Certain preparations can be used to ease swelling and bruising.
 

Chives is a perennial bulb that grows in sunny but moist position. Leaves eaten raw, cooked or as a garnish. Flowers can be used in salads. Leaves can be stored dry or in ice cubes.
 

Cilantro is grown as half-hardy annual, prefers a light, well-drained soil. The leaves and seeds can be used in a range of cooked and salad dishes. This plant can be grown to deter aphids and spider mites.
 

Dill is an annual plant preferring a light, well-drained soil and full sun. The seeds, stems and flowers can all be used either fresh, cooked or preserved. Often used for pickling this plant is also used to aid digestion.
 

Fennel is an herbaceous perennial that grows in full sun. Leaves used in salads, soups and with oily fish. Stems are used in salads. An attractive plant for a border, but self-seeds very easily.
 

Hyssop is a low-growing woody perennial that prefers full sun and good drainage. The leaves and flowers can be used in cooked or salad dishes. Planted around cabbages it can be used to ward off harmful butterflies.
 

Horseradish is a hardy perennial that prefers sun and moist soil. The root is used in sauces or grated into coleslaw for a fiery flavor. Flavoring oils are volatile, so root is not cooked.
 

Juniper is an evergreen woody perennial that prefers a well-drained soil. The ripe berries can be used as a flavoring. The berries are used to give gin its very distinctive flavor.
 

Lovage is a tall herbaceous perennial that prefers moist soil and semishade. The seeds, stems and flowers can all be used either fresh, cooked or preserved. Can be used in dried flower arrangements.
 

Marjoram / Oregano is a hardy perennial that prefers sunny, well-drained sites. The leaves are used in many Italian dishes, or with eggs and cheese. Leaves can be infused and used as an hair conditioner.
 

Parsley is a hardy biennial that prefers sunny, sheltered sites. Leaves can be used raw in salads or as a garnish. Leaves can be stored dried or in ice cubes.
 

Rosemary is an evergreen shrub that prefers sunny, well-drained sites. Its flowers are used in salads and the leaves in cooking lamb and pork. The stems make good skewers for kebabs and the leaves deter insects.
 

Sage is an evergreen shrub that prefers a sunny, well-drained site. Its leaves are used in cooking and also as a medicinal infusion. Its dried leaves can be scattered among clothes to discourage insects.
 

Sorrel is a hardy perennial that needs a moist site and good light. Leaves are eaten either raw in salads or cooked like spinach. Remove the flowers to ensure production of more leaves.
 

Spearmint is a low-growing herbaceous perennial that grows in a wide range of soil. The leaves and stems can be used in cooked or salad dishes. This plant has a reputation as an insect and rodent repellent.
 

Tarragon is a hardy perennial that prefers a sunny, sheltered site. Used in sauces and vinegars, also with soups, eggs and tomatoes. Divide and replant every three years to keep plant growing well.
 

Thyme is an evergreen sub-shrub that prefers a sunny well-drained site. Leaves used fresh or dried in cooking. Also used as a disinfectant or in a potpourri. Flowers are highly attractive to bees.
 

Winter Savory is a woody perennial that likes full sun and a deep soil. The leaves and flowers can be used in cooked or salad dishes. Often planted around vegetables because it repels insects.
 

Ginger

Ginger is a herbaceous perennial which grows annual stems over a meter tall, bearing narrow green leaves and yellow flowers. Its rhizome, ginger root or simply ginger, is widely used as a spice or a folk medicine. Originating in the tropical jungles in Southern Asia, ginger does not survive frost …

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Gardening with Herbs

As a gardener who uses herbs, you know that herbs are so versatile. Herbs have it all: interesting foliage, attractive flowers and heady scents. There are herbs that will suit any garden, whatever the style and size. Herbs are adaptable plants to a wide range of climates. Many of them require a sunny location, but some species will thrive in partial shade. Most herbs are leafy plants and they come in a wide palette of leaf shape and texture and in a wide array of hues, from gray to green and blue. Also many herbs offer colorful blooming displays.

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Herbs that attract wildlife

Leaves and flowers of many herbs that we grow in our gardens attract winged wildlife. The most important garden pollinators: bees, butterflies and hummingbirds will find herbs both delicious and alluring. A diverse herb collection will help them to find in your garden nectar, pollen and larvae food source. Also avoid using chemicals in your garden.

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Edible Flowers

An edible garden should be also nice, so we use flowers for that. But we could use flowers that are edible too. Also many edible plant are having edible flowers that we can use in the kitchen. Anyway, don’t imagine you can have a whole meal consisting of flowers. Many of them are used as garnish, to add color in salads or drinks, but there are some that can be cooked or used for making syrups or jelly. A list of most common edible flowers you will find below:

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Propagate Herbs in Water

If you like to use fresh herbs when cooking and you keep buying them maybe you should start thinking how to propagate them and stop buying so many. Many of the herbs that we currently use for cooking can be easily propagate in water.

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Spearmint

Spearmint is a herbaceous rhizomatous perennial that grow 30-100 cm tall. Being a perennial plant, it will return to your garden year after year. It has hairy stems and foliage and a wide-spreading fleshy underground rhizome. The leaves are 5-9 cm long and 1.5-3 cm broad, with a serrated margin. Spearmint produces flowers in slender spikes, each flower pink or white, 2.5-3 mm long and broad. Spearmint is probably the best loved of all of the herbal mints grown in the home garden due to its delightful scent and beautiful lavender colored flowers. Hybrids involving spearmint include: Peppermint, Ginger Mint, Large Apple Mint and few more.

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Growing Herbs from Seeds

You can grow your own herbs from seeds. It is easy to collect your own seeds from most herbs grown in your garden. You can sow the seeds in containers or directly in the open ground in drills if you need larger quantities. Herbs seeds may also be sown direct into the cracks between paving stones where it would be difficult to insert mature plants. If you are sowing herbs seeds indoors and then transplant the young plants out you need to prepare a fine seedbed for these seedlings. Spring is the best time to sow seeds but some annual herbs may also be sown in early autumn.

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Marjoram or Oregano

There is always confusion about the difference between oregano and marjoram. Marjoram is the common English name for the Origanum species, but Origanum vulgare or wild marjoram is widely known as oregano and Origanum onites, also known as pot marjoram is sometimes called Greek oregano. There is also Origanum majorana, known as sweet marjoram.

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Knot Gardens

A knot garden always makes a stunning feature as the pattern is very satisfying to the eye. The historic ideal consisted of four elements, each of a different pattern, but you can start with something simpler in the beginning. Start with a small area, about 3-4 square meters will be large enough to contain an interesting pattern.

Remember that this kind of design looks best if viewed from above so be careful when you choose the place for your knot garden. A best place and also an interesting feature will be in the center of a sunken garden. Make sure you choose a sunny position as well and a well-drained soil. To do the job effectively you need to choose evergreen plants with small leaves, dense growth and the ability to withstand close clippings.

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Herbs garden winter tasks

Winter is the season when there is nothing much to do outside during the cold months. You can stay inside and plan the garden for the next year and ordering seed catalogues. Also you can clean the equipment to have it ready for the springtime.

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