We have spent time looking into the Herb garden now and again and we do so again today because there may be certain herbs already going to seed and others that are perennial.
Probably the most common of all in any garden or on a terrace must be Mint. Even the worst of gardeners surely cannot kill off Mint. It could well be looking very untidy now but a good cut right back will soon revive it with healthy new shoots appearing within days.
Mint grown in a pot or container on a terrace is just the job because it can’t grow any further. In the garden nothing seems to contain it unless planted within something like an old bucket or what used to be considered the best was an old fashioned stone sink, because its roots just run all over the place.
No matter where you have it, just freshen it up and it will romp ahead.
Basil is strictly an annual and once allowed to go to seed will turn woody and that will be the end of that. So, whilst the plant still has lots of fresh leaves just keep cutting off some just to sprinkle on Tomatoes or in a salad but its real success is in making pesto.
For pesto you will need quite a quantity of fresh green leaves, even the flowering tips before the seeds turn brown, you can be quite ruthless by cutting the growing stalk about half way and nip off any further leaves.
After a short while the Basil plant will take on a new lease of life. The pesto you can make and keep in a screw-topped jar in the fridge and I find this keeps for weeks until the Basil is mature enough to cut back again. Basil is easy to grow from seed but even easier is to purchase a little pot readily available in some supermarkets for under a euro.
Transfer these seedlings into a larger pot and there you have what I have been writing about to use in the kitchen for months on end. It loves the direct sunshine and needs plenty water. There are several varieties, small leaves, larger ones, mauve coloured ones, some are even considered a good deterrent for mosquitos, no matter what its a nice and easy herb to grow.
Another of my favourites has just got to be Sage, I just love Sage and onion stuffing and always add dried Sage to make sausage meat for sausage rolls so a constant supply is always useful. To begin with a Sage bush is really easy to grow, take a cutting in the autumn and there it will grow into a small shrub.
Small bunches of the leaves tied and hung up to dry for a few days will produce enough leaves to rub dawn and store in a jar of some sort ready for seasonings in the kitchen. This pretty shrub has silvery green leaves and a pretty pale mauve flower stalk, doesn’t demand the richest soil and withstands the dry weather should you forget to water it.
Fennel can be seen growing wild all over the place, very obvious now seen along the roadside with its tall yellowish seed heads, soon to die back but a plant in the garden can keep you going with snippets of stalk or some of the feathery greenery for certain fish dishes or above all for a Frito Mallorquin.
This has a bulbous root which makes it a perennial so cut back when it has died back and it will come back year after year just like the wild ones grow.
A Bay tree is another fragrant herb although not usually eaten as such, the leaves are often added to pasta dishes and all sorts of stews. Once a small tree is established it will be with you forever and will need to be cut back ruthlessly when it grows really tall.
It will grow well in a container and it can be be kept cut for decoration as a small standard tree on a doorstep but always there to nip off a leaf ot two for the kitchen. Left to its own devices in a garden it will self seed all over the pace so keep pulling them up if you don’t want a whole Bay hedge along your garden wall!
All of these ‘easy to grow’ herbs can enhance any corner of the garden and grow happily in pots if it is a terrace where you want to grow them in pots or containers.
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