Sunday, 5 January 2014

my herb garden


One of my favourite parts of growing fresh food is my herb garden. If gardening's an addiction, herb growing might just be the gateway drug. It's so easy to plonk a few into pots and when they do well with little effort, it's easy to become hooked. I just love to use herbs in my cooking. I like food with lots of flavour and find herbs are one of the healthiest and easiest ways to do that. But they're pricey little things! I'm always shocked when I go into the supermarket how much a tiny bunch of will cost. They're normally around $3 or so for a few little stems and they don't keep very long either. That's why growing your own is so great. Most of my herbs have been grown from seed, although I've bought a few seedlings here and there, and they really are one of the easiest things to grow. Actually they're so easy I have them growing everywhere! I have anywhere up to 6 little raised beds dedicated to herbs and I also grow them in potplants and all around my flower gardens as well. I think some of them are just as pretty as many ornamental flowering plants you can buy.

I confess I'm a bit of nerd when it comes to numbers and things and when planting my garden I like to work out what kind of value I can get from each of my little raised beds. What's amazing is the herb beds are easily the most valuable in the whole garden. Before I had my veggie garden I had loads of pots all around the place filled with different herbs. They grow really well in pots too.

I've got a mountain of sweet basil at the moment and will be making a huge lot of pesto for the freezer in the next few days. This year I've also got an excess of Thai basil which I like in my stirfries.


For those wondering what I use all these herbs for, I thought I'd put together a little list of some of the ones I have growing in my garden at the moment and a few things I do with them.

Sweet basil- pesto, pasta sauces, salads
Thai basil- stir fries, salads
Coriander- salads, stir fries, curries, pesto
Chives, Garlic chives, Spring onions- these go in everything from salads, bakes, soups, stews
Parsley- salads, bakes, stews, soups
Rosemary- roasts, bakes
Oregano, golden oregano- roasts, sauces, meat rubs, gravy
Marjoram- roasts, sauces, meat rubs, gravy
Thyme, lemon thyme, variegated thyme, pizza thyme- roasts, sauces, meat rubs, gravy, pizza sauce
Tarragon- stews, sauces
Bay leaves- stews, gravy, pickles, sauces
Curry leaves- curries, stir fries
Sage- sauces, meat rubs, gravy
Mint- salads, sauces, drinks

Do you use herbs in your cooking? Do you grow them in your garden?

7 comments:

  1. Hey thanks for your comment on my blog, looks like we have plenty in common! I have a similar herb addiction. Cheers, liz

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    Replies
    1. Yes plenty in common! Herbs are awesome aren't they!

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  2. Replies
    1. ha, it looks like you have your own to admire now!

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  3. I am a herb addict and really enjoyed this glimpse into your herb beds! I'm actually doing a NZ Herb Certificate at the moment and loving it. I have two raised beds dedicated to herbs but I too have started to value how they look and have started planting them in flower beds too.

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    Replies
    1. Herbs are great aren't they? I'm always putting new ones in I love them so much. Some of them are so pretty (and useful! :)

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  4. I love having a herb garden as well! They are easy to grow, and can be a convenient fresh source. Among my favorites are the chives, rosemary, parsley, and garlic, since they're quite easy to maintain. But lately, I was thinking about expanding my bed for other plants. Thoughts?

    Debby Grinde

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