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Herbs

HERBS

No garden should be without herbs - they are essential to producing good tasty meals, and many are also very ornamental. They can either be grown in a special herb bed, or scattered amongst ornamental borders, but placed so they can be easily harvested.
All varieties listed below are grown in 9cm pots, and need a sunny position to thrive. The leaves of all the herbs can either used fresh when the flavour is best, dried or frozen for winter use.
BAY (Laurus nobilis). Award of Garden MeritGo to Top of Page

Evergreen shrub or small tree with leathery aromatic mid-green leaves with yellow mid-rib and contrasting reddish-brown new stems. Small, yellow, waxy flowers appear in spring followed by green oval berries which turn black in autumn. Leaves may be used fresh or dried and can be added to stock, soup and stews and are used in bouquet garni.
Height up to 26ft (8ft), spread to 12ft (3.7m) but can be pruned to keep much smaller.

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CHIVES (Allium schoenoprasum). NewGo to Top of Page

This hardy perennial herb is ideal for edging herb gardens. Slender green stems up to 40cms tall produce attractive mauve flowers early to mid-summer. It has a mild onion flavour for use chopped in salads, soups and potato salad. Plant in a bright location in moist soil. Ideal for use in tubs and pots.Height 16ins (40cm)

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CURRY PLANT 'KORMA' (Helichrysum italicum 'Korma'). NewGo to Top of Page

This hardy evergreen perennial herb has narrow silver foliage with a spicy flavour and scent. Yellow clusters of flowers are produced in the summer and the attractive foliage also offers good winter colour. It prefers full sun, in well-drained soil but is also ideal for tubs and pots. Height 30ins (75cms)

This plant is registered for Plant Breeders' Rights. Propagation by unlicensed growers is prohibited.

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DILL (Anethum graveolens). NewGo to Top of Page

A biennial herb that will freely sent seed if allowed. Finely cut feathery leves can be used in salads and soups or as an alternative garnish to Parsley. The seeds can be used whole for picking or ground to flavour meat, fish, egg, cheese and vegetable dishes. Dill prefers a well-drained soil and its attractive foliage and yellow flowers can be a usefull addition to a mixed border. Height 24-36ins (60-90cms).

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Edging Plants for Herb Gardens. Go to Top of Page

Box, Cotton Lavender and Lavender make excellent edging plants for herb gardens.



FENNEL, BRONZE (Foeniculum vulgare Purpureum). Go to Top of Page

Graceful yet handsome plant with wonderful feathery bronze foliage which looks beautiful in a sunny border. Gives off a delightful aniseed fragrance in sunny weather. Pick leaves regularly for fish dishes, finely chopped for salads, or they can be used by flower arrangers. Spectacular yellow flowers followed by highly aromatic seeds. Good in a kitchen garden where they attract beneficial insects, but away from beans, tomatoes or kohl rabi.
Height 4-5ft (120-150cm), spread 3ft (90cm).

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FENNEL, GREEN (Foeniculum vulgare). Go to Top of Page

Graceful yet handsome plant with wonderful feathery mid-green foliage which looks beautiful in a sunny border. Gives off a delightful aniseed fragrance in sunny weather. Pick leaves regularly for fish dishes, finely chopped for salads, or they can be used by flower arrangers. Spectacular yellow flowers followed by highly aromatic seeds. Good in a kitchen garden where they attract beneficial insects, but away from beans, tomatoes or kohl rabi.
Height 5-6ft (150-180cm), spread 3ft (90cm).

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LEMON BALM (Melissa officinalis) (Sweet Balm). NewGo to Top of Page

Also known as Sweet Balm this hardy perennial herb is heavily scented and the dry leaves commonly used in pot pourri. It is also a popular herbal tea as well as being a good culinary herb with fish and salads. It will tolerate most soils types and is ideal for use in tubs and pots. The creamy white to pale purple flowers produced in the summer are atrractive to bees and butterflies. Cut back hard after flowering to promote fresh leaf growth. Height 24ins (60cms).

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MARJORAM, GOLDEN (Origanum vulgare Aureum). Award of Garden MeritGo to Top of Page

Very attractive easy to grow herb with aromatic, golden, slightly hairy leaves and heads of tiny purple-pink flowers in summer. New growth should be cut back to near the ground in winter leaving a mat of foliage. Use leaves fresh in many dishes, or they can be dried or frozen. Flowers can be dried as they open for flower arrangements. Good antiseptic and many medicinal uses.
Height and spread 18ins (45cm).

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MARJORAM, POT (Origanum onites). Go to Top of Page

Very attractive easy to grow herb with aromatic, soft green, slightly hairy leaves and heads of tiny purple-pink flowers in summer. Excellent flavoured leaves. New growth should be cut back to near the ground in winter leaving a mat of foliage. Use leaves fresh in many dishes, or they can be dried or frozen. Flowers can be dried as they open for flower arrangements. Good antiseptic and many medicinal uses.
Height and spread 18ins (45cm).

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MINT, APPLE (Mentha suaveolens). Go to Top of Page

Very vigorous plant with roundish, hairy leaves with a scent of combined mint and apples, so more subtle than some mints and good in cooking. The heavily aromatic leaves are good for mint sauce, jelly or julep and flavouring vegetables and many dishes.
Mint also has many medicinal uses. Keep varieties of mint apart as they readily hybridize. Also, as mint is a rapid spreader, it is best restricted in some way, for example, planted in a large pot sunk into the ground. For preserving, cut leaves before the purple flowers appear in summer.

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MINT, CURLY (Mint, Curly) (Mentha spicata crispa). NewGo to Top of Page

A hardy perennial herb with bright green curled leaves with excellent flavour for cooking. Long spikes of lilac flowers are produced in late summer which are attractive to bees and butterflies. Prefers rich, moist soil in a shaded position. It is also ideal for tubs and pots. Excellent for mint sauce but can also be used to flavour new potatoes and peas.
Keep varieties of mint apart as they readily hybridize. Also, as Mint is a rapid spreader, in the border it is best restricted in some way, for example, planted in a large pot sunk into the ground. For preserving, cut leaves before the purple flowers appear in summer.Height up to 1m (100cms)

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MINT, GARDEN MINT (Common Mint, Spearmint) (Mentha spicata). Go to Top of Page

The most widely grown mint with dark green pointed leaves with serrated edges. The heavily aromatic leaves are good for mint sauce, jelly or julep and flavouring vegetables and many dishes.
Mint also has many medicinal uses. Keep varieties of mint apart as they readily hybridize. Also, as mint is a rapid spreader, it is best restricted in some way, for example, planted in a large pot sunk into the ground. For preserving, cut leaves before the purple flowers appear in summer.

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MINT, MOROCCAN (Mentha spicata crispa Moroccan). Go to Top of Page

Very vigorous plant which is undoubtedly the best mint for making mint tea with its clean flavour but also a good culinary mint. The heavily aromatic leaves are good for mint sauce, jelly or julep and flavouring vegetables and many dishes.
Mint also has many medicinal uses. Keep varieties of mint apart as they readily hybridize. Also, as mint is a rapid spreader, it is best restricted in some way, for example, planted in a large pot sunk into the ground. For preserving, cut leaves before the purple flowers appear in summer.

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OREGANO, COMMON (Wild Marjoram) (Origanum vulgare). Go to Top of Page

Easy to grow herb. Dark green leaves with pink tinge underneath, slightly hairy and aromatic. Very decorative pink/mauve flowers in summer. Good with tomato dishes, other vegetables and milk based desserts. Cut back to near the ground before winter. Flowers are attractive to bees. Height and spread 18ins (45cm).

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OREGANO, HOT AND SPICY (Origanum Hot and Spicy). Go to Top of Page

Easy to grow herb. Dark green slightly hairy leaves turn pale green in summer. Dainty white flowers in summer. Hot spicy flavour. Good with tomato dishes, other vegetables and milk based desserts. Cut back to near the ground before winter. Flowers are attractive to bees. Height and spread 18ins (45cm).

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PARSLEY, CURLED (Petroselinum crispum). Go to Top of Page

Best known of all garnishing herbs. Aromatic, fresh-flavoured, brightish green leaves, with curled and toothed edges. Small cream-white flowers in flat heads in summer. Grow in rich, moist soil in sun or partial shade. Use stalks in stews or add chopped leaves, cooked or raw, at the end of food preparation to keep the flavour.
Height 12-16ins (30-40cm), spread 12ins (30cm).

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PARSLEY, FRENCH FLAT-LEAVED (Broad-Leafed Parsley) (Petroselinum crispum French). Go to Top of Page

Best known of all garnishing herbs. Flat, dark-green leaves are stronger in flavour to curled parsley. This variety overwinters better as the flat leaves shed the rain or snow. Small cream-white flowers in flat heads in summer. Grow in rich, moist soil in sun or partial shade. Use stalks in stews or add chopped leaves, cooked or raw, at the end of food preparation to keep the flavour.

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ROSEMARY. Go to Top of Page

Evergreen. Very aromatic narrow grey-green leaves with white undersides. Pale blue flowers smother the old wood in late spring, then intermittently until autumn. Makes an excellent informal low hedge in a sunny position. Very useful culinary herb. Not suitable for cold sites. See Hedging section for prices.



ROSEMARY, PROSTRATE (Rosmarinus officinalis Prostrata Group). Go to Top of Page

One of the earliest flowering with masses of light-blue flowers in early spring and summer, then often again in autumn. Arching, spreading branches, excellent for pots, trailing over walls or on sunny banks. Use in sprigs or finely chopped with lamb, oily fishes and stews.
Height 12ins (30cm), spread to 3ft (90cm).

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SAGE, COMMON (Garden Sage, Broad-Leafed Sage, Sawge) (Salvia officinalis). Go to Top of Page

Hardy evergreen with soft, textured green leaves which are highly aromatic. Attractive purple flowers in hot summers. The most widely grown, very popular variety.
Sage has good healing properties especially for problems in the mouth and throat, and is a very useful culinary herb if used with discretion. Works as a preservative as well.
Height 12ins (30cm), spread to 3ft (90cm).

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SAGE, PURPLE (Salvia officinalis Purpurascens). Award of Garden MeritGo to Top of Page

Hardy evergreen with soft, textured green leaves which are highly aromatic. Attractive purple flowers in hot summers. A most ornamental form with unusual dusty-purple foliage and mauve-blue flowers in summer. Very attractive if planted alongside silver-leafed plants.
Sage has good healing properties especially for problems in the mouth and throat, and is a very useful culinary herb if used with discretion. Works as a preservative as well.
Height and spread 28ins (70cm).

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SAVORY, WINTER (Mountain Savory) (Satureja montana). Go to Top of Page

Dark green, spicy, peppery, linear leaves are excellent in bean dishes, and can be substituted for coriander, basil or oregano when these are not available. Crushed they help to alleviate itching from bites and stings. Small, pinkish-white flowers in summer.
Height 12ins (30cm), spread 8ins (20cm).

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THYME, ARCHER'S GOLD (Thymus citriodorus) (Archers Gold). NewGo to Top of Page

This hardy evergreen perennial herb with bright green lemon scented golden foliage is an excellent culinary accompaniment with vegetables but also offers great winter colour in tubs, pots and rockeries. Small pink flowers appear in late spring to summer which are attractive to bees and butterflies.Height 9ins (23cm), spread 9ins (23cm).

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THYME, COMMON (Thymus vulgaris). Go to Top of Page

Most widely grown Thyme, with upright habit, thin green, aromatic leaves and mauve flowers in summer. A good garden plant with flowers attractive to bees and butterflies. Leaves are good in many varied forms of culinary dishes. A good antiseptic and anti-fungal herb.
Height 12ins (30cm), spread 8ins (20cm).

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THYME, SILVER POSIE (Thymus vulgaris Silver Posie). Go to Top of Page

Very pretty silver-green variegated leaves, tinged pink underneath. Pink flowers. A good garden plant with flowers attractive to bees and butterflies. Leaves are good in many varied forms of culinary dishes. A good antiseptic and anti-fungal herb.
Height and spread 12ins (30cm).

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