If you want to add fresh herbs to your garden for cooking, these plants are integral to a proper culinary garden.
Easy enough to grow as long as you have plenty of sun and warmth! This plant hates the frost, so if you’re growing from seed make sure to sow after the last frost. Fresh basil is used extensively in Italian cooking such as pizza and pasta, meat dishes and salads. Pairs especially well with tomato.
Tip: make fresh pesto and use it as a sauce, spread, dressing and more! Delicious on grilled sandwiches.
Aromatic with lovely blooms from May to October, thyme comes in a few varieties. Due to its natural rocky and dry habitat, thyme grows well among rocks and stones. Plant it in a well-drained light soil in full sun. Thyme is difficult to grow from seed so if you don’t want to devote the time (!) to it, pick up a small beginner plant. An important ingredient in many soups, stews, meat dishes, fish dishes and vegetable dishes. Thyme is delicious with pork, duck, lamb or goose and essential to any bouquet garni!
Tip: try your hand at Cajun cooking, thyme is the primary ingredient in Caribbean jerk seasonings.
Gorgeous purple-blue flowers in spring and summer. Easy to grow with warmth and sunlight. Rosemary doesn’t abide cold weather and does well in containers so you can easily move it inside if it gets too chilly! With a fragrant scent and distinct lemon-pine flavour, rosemary pairs well with lamb and poultry. It is a nice addition to focaccia, pizza and tomato sauce.
Tip: Make flavoured olive oil or rosemary-infused butter
Hardy and drought-resistant, oregano can almost take care of itself. Best harvested when the flower buds are just beginning to form. It’s a good companion plant for vegetable gardens as it repels many insects and pests. The perfect herb for beginners! Oregano pairs well with almost any vegetable and is especially useful in Italian cuisine. Use it to flavour poultry and meats such as burgers.
Tip: Use oregano to make an alternative pesto!
Easy to grow in any kind of garden, Chives are content in any kind of soil though they need extra moisture in dry weather. They have a milder flavour than relative the onion and are often used in cooking. Typically, the shoot-like leaves are thinly chopped and added raw to soups, salads, cream cheese and cooked veggies.
Tip: Add Chives to a baked potato with sour cream, butter, cheese and bacon!
Also known as cilantro in some parts of the world, coriander is native to southern Europe but is nowadays found in Asia, India, and parts of the Americas as well. Grows equally well in pots and garden beds, as long as it’s in a sunny spot! Its seeds are an important ingredient in curry powders and spice mixtures, especially in Asian cuisines. Coriander is also used to flavour breads, cakes, pastries, milk puddings, fruit, sweets, cocoa, chocolate, liqueurs, meat and vegetable dishes.
Tip: For delicious tacos, shred chicken seasoned with cumin and chillies then top with diced onion and cilantro leaves in a corn tortilla!
Spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, ginger mint, etc. There are many varieties of mint available to grow in the garden and all can be wonderful additions to a culinary garden. Makes a pretty and fragrant border in the garden or grown in a large pot. Be careful as mint grows quickly and can take over a garden! Mint enjoys partial shade and damp, light soil. Make yummy sauces for fish, lamb and other meat dishes. Can also be made into teas, liquors, cordials and candies.
Tip: Add some mint to your next hot chocolate!
Sage is principally used to flavour meat, fish, stews and soups. Beneficial for digestion, it is often added to fatty or oily dishes such as pork, duck or eel. Use sage to make a tasty stuffing with onions for your next poultry dish! Sage is easy to grow and likes ordinary dryish soil with plenty of sun.
Tip: Use Sage with discretion when cooking or else it will overwhelm other flavours.
A favourite herb for centuries, parsley is rich in Vitamin C, iron, iodine, magnesium and other vitamins and minerals. Most often used as a garnish, parsley can do so much more in the cooking process itself. It is included in most herb mixtures and can be added to salads, soups, casseroles and fish dishes. Plant in full sun to partial shade and once established, parsley requires little maintenance.
Tip: Chew on some raw parsley to freshen your breath!
Thrives in a sunny border, herb or gravel garden. As an evergreen, drought-resistant shrub it is easy to grow and ideal for chalky or alkaline soil. It flowers during the summer and is best pruned in early autumn. Typically grown for its fragrance and not culinary uses, lavender is actually a good addition to many cakes, biscuits and other deserts.
Tip: Use lavender to flavour lemonade!