At this time of year our herb garden starts to wake up and surprise us each day with it's resilience and hardiness. Most of the herbs have slept over the winter and the garden has looked dull and a little drear.
I have been able to harvest some sage leaves, rosemary, the odd sprig of thyme, marjoram, winter savory and parsley for garnishes, stuffings, marinades and casseroles right through winter, but the plants are certainly not at their peak over the colder months.
But now they're starting to stir, little flowers are raising their heads, the bees are starting to show some interest and when I weed and trim the fragrance of the herbs is in the air. I love it!
For the second season I have managed to overwinter my French Tarragon in a pot. I just popped the pot under the shelter of the Kaffir lime in the middle of the herb garden and the tarragon has survived the cold and frost and just started to flourish again. If you have never used french tarrgon (don't plant the Russian variety, it's not yummy) then try it chopped finely in a cream sauce with mushrooms, chicken or steak - it is delicious.
The photo's show (on the left)
- Borage - which the bees love and the flowers look awesome in salads
- Winter Savory - perfect in anything you would use thyme, rosemary or oregano in, bees also love the flowers
- Lemon geranium - a beautiful fragrance and can be laid under a cake mix to add a delicious lemon zing
- Rosemary - so so many uses - google it!!
Photo 2 (top right)
- Thyme - a beautiful herb used in so many dishes and the bees ADORE it
- Sage - a strong smelling and tasting herb a must in stuffings and try it quickly deep fried to go with pork
- French Tarragon - up the top of the photo in a pot. As mentioned above divine with a cream sauce for mushrooms, chicken and steak
Photo 3 (bottom right)
- Lemon Balm - yummy chopped on salads and makes a great tea. Self seeds like crazy so beware it will pop up anywhere.
- Lemon Sorrel - this goes well chopped in salads and can be blitzed to make a dressing
- Chives - love these babies chopped on salads, vegetables, I use them as a tie for beans and carrots when I want them to look fancy! The flowers look great in the garden and are a good salad garnish too.
Ours is not a huge herb garden but an illustration of how you can get so much flavour ( and joy!) out of a small space.