How’s Your Herbiary?
Written by: Sumati Shah
Herbs are a tiny harvest job available at almost any time. The more I have as permanent residents in my garden, the better. (I pronounce the “H” – Ha! Herbs!)
They’re perennially available when I need them. I’ve been known to shovel my way to the parsley patch and pull some not quite frozen leaves off in the very earliest days of spring (sometimes even for Christmas supper!) and with regular harvesting, they seldom need seasonal cleanup – hooray!
Here’s a shortlist of some herbs that fill the ‘plant once, enjoy, repeat’ recipe:
- Lemon Thyme ~ Thymus x citriodorus : yellow variegated often reverts to it’s green original): A low spreader flowing like a green wave in the garden alongside my shed. semi woody sub shrub by name, refreshing herbal tonic by reputation, easily tamed.
- Parsley ~ Petrosolinum crispum : I like a flat leaf type that lends itself more easily to cooking without a crispy margin hitting my tongue. Not truly a perennial but a biennal that will overwinter up to zone 6, and in the second year will bolt (after a harvest) and give you seeds to start again!
- Oregano ~ Origanum vulgare: Look for the Greek Oregano – it’s the real deal. Yes it can get a little over the top and barge in on neighbouring areas, but no biggie – that’s the biggest part of your next year’s harvest! This one is a favourite of the pollinators so I always leave some to flower – chop as desired for the space you’re in – you can’t go wrong!
- Sage ~ Salvia officinalis: Another woody subshrub! Sage is a garden stalwart. As big and beefy as her flavour. She makes a lovely big central focus, or a corner anchor point – if you have to, you can push her to the background, but whatever you do, keep her on the sunny side. This plant is medicinal, culinary, magical and beautiful. Big floral display, beautiful scent and sturdy – soft, subtle, and strong – like a lot of gardeners I know xo
So there it is – Quattro Stagioni of a herb garden starter! Ask away about what to’s and what if’s and maybe even think up a recipe and see if you have all the herbal ingredients growing….or listen to some Simon & Garfunkel…they’re the best music to listen to when you’re prepping a turkey 🙂