Friday, June 26, 2009


So many gardeners who are successful flower gardeners seem reluctant to test their skills at growing herbs. I believe strongly that every garden needs a herb section, even if it is a few containers in a sunny courtyard.

Mediterranean herbs are some of the most rewarding plants you can grow. Their leaves flavour everything from meats, soups, and stews to pizza and spaghetti. And the plants add beauty to kitchen gardens — many are evergreen in temperate climates. Most tolerate drought and less than perfect soil (though they prefer excellent drainage).

My own herb garden contains some old favourites such as rosemary, parsley, sage and thyme, as well as newer introductions, such as conehead thyme (whose flavour is similar to winter savoury) and Italian oregano thyme (which true to its name is a thyme with oregano overtones).

Most herbs are tough, wild plants that have changed remarkably little despite centuries of cultivation. Almost all of them do best in sunny locations and fertile, well-drained soil, but some will survive in partial shade and poor soil.

Herbs can occupy their own part of the garden or they can be grown with other plants. Herb gardens are often arranged in intricate patterns to accentuate the contrasting colours and textures of their foliage.

To avoid confusion when sprouts come up, label each bed carefully. Better still, draw a precise map of your planting pattern. Plan the beds so that the taller plants do not cast shade on the low-growing ones.

I am currently working on plant profiles for a whole range of popular herbs that I will be adding to my website. In the meantime I will, this weekend, add a Herb Growing Basics feature to the site. Go to

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    Found you on Twitter. I very much enjoyed your blog and am going to bookmark your site. I am really looking forward to seeing your herb plant profiles and keeping up with your latest posts.