Herbs are an important part of any garden and play an vital role in companion planting. Herbs are amazing. They help improve the growth and flavor of vegetables, loosen soil, deters bugs, enhances essential oil production, keeps animals from the garden, and attracts pollinators to your garden. You will also enjoy the luxury of being able to go out and make selections from your herbs to enhance your meals, use for medicinal purposes, and add them to homemade soaps. The list goes on and on. This year I have selected the following herbs for my garden:
- Basil - Fine Verde: (Ocimim basilicum) Very small, fine leaves on compact bushes; great for containers. Perfect rich, spicy basil flavor that Italians love.
- Cilantro: (Coriandrum sativum) Popular in Mexican cuisine, this herb is a must for all salsa and chili recipes, delicious and flavorful.
- Lavender: (Lavandula vera) Famous for fragrance, the lavender-colored blossoms are used in potpourris, soaps, etc. A great old-time cottage garden plant.
- Oregano - Vulgare: (Origanum vulgare) This is a beautiful and delicious Italian flavoring herb. Also medicinal. Great for Italian and Greek cooking.
- Stevia: (Stevia rebaudiana) A hard-to-find herb that is grown for the famous Stevia leaves which, when dried, are used to sweeten drinks and desserts. Much sweeter than sugar; stevia powder is reported to be 300 times sweeter! Not winter-hardy, except in zones 8-10. From Brazil and Paraguay.
- Sweet Mace or Mexican Mint Marigold: Enjoy this late-blooming marigold in teas, drinks; a great flavoring for many dishes. This old Hispanic heirloom is hard to find nowadays, but is still a great garden plant that is easy to grow and quite flavorful.
- Bee Balm:Monarda citriodora) An annual, lemon-flavored variety. Superb tea plant; striking pink-purple flowers, beautiful and tasty.
- Chives: Allium schoenoprasum) Wonderful, mild onion flavor. These long, thin chives are excellent in many meals; great raw or cooked. Lavender flowers.
- Parsley: (Petroselinum crispum) A very large Italian strain of parsley with great flavor. Perfect for sauces.
- Sage: Sage leaves are a popular poultry and meat seasoning. They can be used both fresh and dried. Sage also makes a nice tea. The leaves and branches are often featured in crafts, like wreaths.
There are many more herbs to choose from. However, because I am a city girl gardener I am limited on my selections. Tell me what you have selected for your garden this year.
City Girl Gardener