Herbs

Basil  –  A sweet, fresh herb; commonly used in Italian cooking.  Best grown in a well-drained soil, in a sunny spot.  Can be grown in the garden or in pots and even indoors.  It is best used in cooking at the last minute to preserve it’s flavour.  It can be kept fresh in the fridge for a short time or dried and stored for up to 3 months.

Bay Tree – Evergreen tree which can reach more than 6 metres high. Slender shiny leaves and small greenish but yellow flowers. Use leaves fresh, but usually dried in casseroles, stews, soups (like potato and leek) and even pickled meats.

Bergamot – An attractive bush that grows about 60cm high with softly serrated leaves and spiky flowers that can be white, pink or a darker crimson. The leaves can be used to make a tea that contains a natural antiseptic called Thymol. It is used as a remedy for sore throats and chesty coughs. The flowers are also edible and can be used in salads.

Borage – This hairy leaved bush grows about 45cm high and has vivid blue star shaped flowers that can be used in salads and drinks. Also bee attracting. The leaves can be used in a cosmetic bath, and are rich in calcium, potassium and also contain saline mucilage for healing properties.

Caraway – A feathery leafed bush that grows around 45 cm high. Lovely clusters of white flowers. The seed aids digestion and flavours many breads, cheeses and meat dishes. The growth of the plant helps loosen up a heavy soil.

Chives – A sharp, tangy herb, most often used in flavouring fish, potatoes.  Best grown in a well-drained very rich soil, in a sunny position. It can also be grown in the garden as a natural insect repellent.

Chervil – Also known as French parsley, this soft and fast growing plant has anise flavoured leaves that complement parsley, chives and tarragon. You can use the leaves in almost any savoury dish, especially eggs. Considered a blood purifier.

Coriander – Also known as Chinese parsley, this extremely popular herb is best grown during cooler months, when it is less likely to bolt (go to seed). Leaves are used extensively in Asian cuisine and seeds and roots can also be used.