Thyme to grow herbs!

Create your own culinary herb garden that looks almost too good to eat!

Try planting a selection of tasty herbs valued as much for their ornamental appeal as their flavour. From sage to thyme, rosemary to clipped bay and flowering chives, combine herbs valued for their ornamental beauty to produce long-lasting displays as well as regular pickings for the kitchen.

There are no hard and fast rules about creating herb gardens, but successful designs often define the space using brick pavers, dividing-up the area with small paths to provide easy access for picking. Go for an informal mix or choose a formal pattern or cartwheel design. As a centrepiece plant a large, shrubby herb such as rosemary or sage, a formally clipped bay tree, or a potted herb arrangement.

In small spaces herbs can be grown in pots, either planting them individually and grouping pots together into displays or creating bold combinations in larger containers. As many herbs have Mediterranean origins they relish a site in full sun where they can bake during summer. Soil must be free-draining too, as wet and waterlogged ground will lead to root damage, and for pots choose a free-draining loam-based compost.

An assortment of herb plants are available at garden centres now, so buy your favourites to create your own culinary herb gardens. Many herbs can be raised from seed too, so buy packets of coriander, basil, parsley, chives and many others.

FOUR HARDY HERBS FOR POTS OR BORDERS

  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

  • Mint varieties (Better in pots as can be quite invasive)

  • Chives – both regular onion flavoured and Garlic Chives.

  • Thyme (Thymus varieties) include AGM winners like golden thyme (Thymus ‘Aureus’), ‘Silver Queen’, ‘Pink Chintz’, lemon scented ‘Bertram Anderson’.

Content courtesy of the HTA.