Expanding the herb garden

For some time now, I’ve been wanting to make a proper plan for our much anticipated vege garden. Before I knew it, the seasons have raced away from me and that lovely warm weather has been calling me outside (well at least until it gets too hot).

First things first though … one thing that we really need for cooking, is ready access to fresh herbs. Our current herb garden, while lovely, is woefully inadequate – it consists of one beautiful basil shrub … oh, and a virtually indestructible aloe vera plant. We really want to make the move from herb gardening in-a-pot, to herb gardening in-the-backyard (in a raised garden bed to make the whole process much easier).

Based on what we eat (or what we should be eating), I’ve been working on exactly what we should include in our future herb garden … but I’d definitely welcome any further ideas. Here’s a look at the list of goodies I’ve come up with so far …

Some Usual Suspects:

  • Parsley – This is always a herb classic, if only as a garnish.
  • Thyme – I use this in quite a few recipes, I’ll just have to choose a variety.
  • Lemon Balm – I’ve grown this one before, and love the fragrance of its leaves.
  • Garlic Chives – These seem to be a better option to ordinary chives, which don’t last.
  • Basil – Because you can never have too much of a good thing.
  • Coriander – Sure, I’ll give this one another go (though I never have much luck with it).
  • Oregano – A much needed accompaniment to pizza.
  • Sage – Just because I like the name.
  • Mint – Guaranteed to grow well, even with my lazy approach to gardening.

Some Bigger Suspects:

  • Rocket – I love this for a bit of diversity in a salad.
  • Chilli – These are super fun and way too easy to grow.
  • Curry Bush – I’m determined to use these in a recipe one day.
  • Rosemary – I love this for it’s beautiful scented leaves and wonderful flavour.
  • Aloe Vera – Our concession to natural first aid (so soothing on burns).
  • Bay Tree – I’m still deciding whether to include this, as I killed our last one.

Some Flowery Suspects:

  • French Marigolds – I love these golden flowers, and they help ward off pests.
  • Nasturtium – Edible flowers that add colour, and attract helpful insects.

Do you have a herb garden yourself? Or are you wanting to start a proper one too?

8 Comments

  1. jan

    I have most of those, but I would add dill just for making pickles with a really fresh flavor.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi jan – Thanks! Dill is an excellent suggestion, and I don’t think it’s a herb I’ve ever tried to grow … making lovely fresh pickles sounds like something I MUST try to do.
      I honestly can’t wait to harvest my first herb crop … and I haven’t even got them planted yet … haha! 😉

  2. bobbi

    I do have a herb garden, but i am not a great cook, so I have just a few plants. Last summer I planted tomatoes that came out wonderfully an I had fresh tomatoes from my garden all asummer. Two weeks ago the plants gave up and died. i still have them in my garde, i just can’t remove them. Removeing the plants is like finally admitting that summer is over, and i don’t want to…

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Bobbi – In all honesty, I’m not that great of a cook … but I’m really wanting to be better (and cook with fresh ingredients more often), so I’m hoping the real herb garden will help inspire me get there. Growing your own tomatoes is so rewarding – a few seasons ago we grew some of our own too … the flavour from them is so wonderful compared with what’s available in the stores – how sad that your plants have died … I totally understand that wish to hang onto a season … I’m a cold weather lover, so I’m desperately trying to deny that heat and humidity will soon be coming my way.

  3. Mel

    I would *love* a proper herb garden, but I kill almost every plant I come near 🙁 The one exception to that rule is my own indestructible aloe vera!! I end up buying pots of fresh herbs from the supermarket and using them up as fast as I can….

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Mel – I’m pretty unlucky when it comes to growing things in the garden too … hopefully my plant-killing days are over?? Fingers crossed anyway.

      I can’t believe you have an indestructible aloe vera too … such an easy plant to grow, and so very useful.

      We normally buy pots of fresh herbs from the supermarket too … but here’s hoping my home herb garden comes to fruition, and I can herb ‘shop’ from home! 🙂

  4. Lynne

    Hi Tracey, That really is a coincidence to have the same book as me. My husband was curious as to where you lived. Is yours as old as ours? It’s Australia isn’t it?
    I like growing herbs. I would agree with dill, it looks so pretty. I’ve grown Borage before, but it reseeds itself all over the place and can also irritate the skin. I believe you can use the little blue flowers.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Lynne – Coincidences of life are always interesting to discover … especially when it’s a shared book title. You’re right, I’m based in Australia and I picked up the book at a thrift store sale. I’m actually cleaning out my bookshelves at the moment, so my copy of ‘The Open Road’ is on the ‘out’ list … you’re welcome to it if you’d like another copy for your collection. My edition was dated to 1922.

      Growing herbs is definitely a rewarding experience … Borage sounds interesting … if just for those little blue flowers! 🙂

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