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Home » Seeds and Plants » Garden Herbs

Garden Herbs

Herbs are not only a useful culinary and medicinal addition to your planting but they are also very attractive plants to grow for ornamental purposes too. There are herbs to compliment any type of gardening scheme. Most herbs grow very well in containers which can be very handy if you want a handful of chives or thyme or sage for your favourite recipe – just nip outside your back door and snip a few leaves – simple!

You can grow your herbs in a designated herb garden, in a vegetable garden or in the border among your flowering plants. Chamomile with pretty white daisy flowers, borage with flowers like little blue or white stars are choice plants for the flower border. Bronze Fennel has such an ornamental quality, tall plumes of bronze feathery foliage have a light and airy habit making it perfect for the middle of the border.

Just like all fruit and vegetables, herbs contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and have been used since time immemorial for their health giving and medicinal properties.

Herbs and their uses

Make your own herb tea
If you would like to use herbs for health purposes the easiest way is to make a herb tea. Gather a few leaves (five or six is usually enough for one cup) tear or bruise them a bit to release the flavour and pour hot water over the leaves, cover the cup with a saucer so the oils do not evaporate and allow to steep for about five minutes. Strain and serve as it is or sweetened with a little honey – very refreshing. A tea made from Chamomile flowers taken at night, is very relaxing and will help you have a restful nights’ sleep.

Sage purports to help calm the nerves, improve digestion and ease coughs.
Rosemary is said to aid circulation, help relieve cold symptoms, ease headaches and aching joints and soothe digestive upsets and flatulence!
Oregano has been used for thousands of years to aid indigestion, flatulence, coughs, colds and headaches and much more. Teas can be also used as a mouth wash.

A fun way to use Borage is to put individual flowers in an ice cube tray and freeze,
ready to pop into your Pimms (or any other summer drink). It will really get your friends talking! The young leaves have a mild cucumber flavour and are great added to salads, the flowers are edible too.

Use fresh Coriander leaves in soups and salads and the dried seeds in spicy dishes and curries.
Dill is perfect for any seafood dish. Used for its mild aniseed flavour it goes well with lamb and fish. A tea made from Dill can help you to sleep.
Thyme leaves can be used either fresh or dried to add superb flavour to lots of dishes,
and it blends especially well with garlic.

Parsley is not just a garnish! It is probably the most widely used culinary herb in the world. It has a wonderful flavour and can be used in all sorts of dishes.
Sage is traditionally used in stuffings. Add it to soups and stews, use fresh to make sage butter and add young leaves to olive oil.

Tie together some sage, thyme, parsley and oregano and make a bouquet garni, (herbs which are tied together and added to soups and stews).