I’ve always wanted an herb garden and I really can’t explain why I didn’t grow one in Los Angeles. There’s something so luscious about grabbing a pair of scissors and cutting fresh herbs from the garden, and in my opinion, there are 7 must have herbs in your garden!
I planted peppers…lots of different kinds and Sugar Snap Peas (which are growing)…assortment of lettuces…cucumber…5 different kinds of tomatoes…corn (not so sure this is going to make it)…zucchini…heirloom carrots and I can’t remember what else because it hasn’t done much of anything yet.
But this is a post about the 7 Must Have Herbs for your garden. They’re easy to grow…smell divine…enhance your food…help cut back on salt and they taste good too!
Basil…Did you know basil symbolizes love and devotion? Me either. It’s no surprise that basil is the number one most used herb. It’s easy to grow as long as you have plenty of sun! Pinch flowers off as soon as you see them. Plant your basil near tomatoes and the flavor infuses the tomatoes – just a bit. It’s an annual and you’ll have to plant it each year. I grow lots of it so I can make fresh pesto and freeze it and enjoy it throughout the winter. This year I’m growing Sweet Basil and Purple Basil.
Thyme…I was intrigued by basil’s emotional meaning so I did a little research and thyme represents courage…maybe because it looks so fragile but is so hearty! This little herb loves full sun and not a ton of water (which is a challenge since I planted it near tomatoes that require a lot of water!) I use thyme in almost everything when I’m not using basil. It’s great in herb butters…add sprigs of thyme with garlic and lemon to chicken…delicious on fish. A little goes a long way. Also…bees LOVE thyme and we want happy bees!
Dill…I love dill mixed with yogurt and garlic and lemon…add some grated cucumber and you’ve got tzaki! (Be sure to get the water out of the cucumber.) It’s also delicious with fresh fish – especially poached salmon. It’s a hearty annual and looks beautiful with its feathery fronds in the garden.
Rosemary...ahhh hearty wonderful rosemary! It symbolizes remembrance. It, too, likes full sun and doesn’t require a lot of water. It’s a perennial but must be taken inside where temperatures fall below zero (which apparently is Tennessee!) Rosemary is wonderful with lamb or chicken and I often mince some rosemary…mix in some olive oil, salt and pepper and coat new potatoes and roast until the outside is crispy. Heaven!
Chives…another perennial that does well in part or full sun. Chives have a hint of onion flavor but are not overbearing. I love them in salads or mixed with cream cheese in an herb dip….and if you don’t add them to your baked potato…why not?
French Tarragon…you only want to grow French Tarragon because all other varieties pale in comparison when it comes to flavor. It’s a perennial but you have to protect it in the winter especially when the frost appears. Cover it with leaves or bring it inside if it’s in a pot. I use tarragon in my classic vinaigrette. It’s my secret ingredient in my chicken salad (well…not so secret anymore) and tarragon is simply delicious on chicken or cold poached salmon. You can’t make Bernaise sauce without French Tarragon. One more tip…try finely chopping it and mixing it with Dijon mustard. You can thank me later.
Mint…it’s for virtue and it’s a very virtuous plant. You might want to grown it in a pot because it can and will take over your yard! It smells wonderful and this year, I’m growing lemon mint. I cut it and put in small pots or vases and have it all over the house. I muddle it and add it to simple syrup for lemonade or an adult cocktail. It’s delicious served with fresh fruit and a little sorbet.
P.S. I’m also growing sage (because I love it with fall dishes and Italian parsley which I use every day.)
I’m super excited about learning the art of gardening. Please bear with me if I share too much.
What’s growing in your garden?
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