Anyone can grow herbs no matter what limitations of your property – pot to paddock or incorporated into ornamental gardens.
Herbs fall into 3 groups of growing:
Annuals: such as; Dill, Basil, Coriander, Summer savory.
Bi-annuals: grow 2 years before flowering and then usually die, such as Angelica, Foxgloves & Clarey Sage.
Perennials are the majority of other herbs that last many years before dying. Some perennials die down in winter and re-emerge as the ground warms in spring, such as Chives, Tarragon & Comfrey.
Herbs are enjoying a resurgence probably due to our multi-cultural society and changes in our eating habits
Herbs with interesting properties:
Chamomile – ‘Chamaemelum nobile’ has the unique name Physicians Plant because when planted near ailing plants, it helps to revive them.
Comfrey – ‘Symphytum officinale’ This invasive plant may be considered a weed by many, but the nutrients it contains in the leaves are naturally high in protein, potash and potassium, which makes a wonderful mulch or liquid feed. Medicinally, it’s potential for healing external wounds, bruising and broken bones is unchallenged, hence it’s common names knit-bone & boneset. Also used as a compost accelerant.
Balm of Gilead ‘Cedronella canariensis’ The leaves when rubbed directly onto skin are a mosquito repellent.
Borage – ‘Borago officinalis’ One of the best plants to have in the garden to attract bees. Another compost accelerant. Leaves of borage taste good added to salads, soups, cream cheese & yoghurt. Use the flowers in salads or frozen in ice cubes to be used in drinks.
Feverfew – ‘Tanacetum parthenium’ Used for the relief of headaches, if you eat 3-5 leaves every day it may reduce migraines. It is very bitter so add into juices, salads, sandwiches to make it more palatable. Side effect associated with taking feverfew is ulceration of the mouth so DO NOT TAKE MORE THAN 3-5 leaves.
Hyssop – Hyssopus officinalis Plant in/or near the vegetable plot as it lures away white butterfly planted near fruit trees/vines attracts bees.
Lavender – ‘Lavendula angustifolia’ This is one of my personal favourites it falls into all 3 groups “Culinary, Medicinal, Scent”. The flower and oil are used to make medicine. Commonly used for anxiety, stress and insomnia. Useful for repelling mosquitoes and gnats in the garden, plant in pots and place near doorways and windows. Used dried as a moth repellant in wardrobes and for scenting clothes. A lavender hedge is reputed to deter kangaroos. The amount of lavender recipes you can find with a google search is mouth watering.
Peppermint – ‘Mentha x piperita’ Place a few leaves to deter mice.
Rue – Ruta graveolens Planted in a pot or garden near an entrance door flies will be attracted to it and not enter the house.
In the world of herbs there are thousands, I have only skimmed over some of the more common herbs, which I hope you all find informative.
Enjoy your garden, until next time.