Posted 3rd May 2017
Gardeners are being encouraged to grow their own culinary herb garden this month as the Horticultural Trades Association's (HTA) chose them to be their May 'Plant of the Moment'
Planting a selection of herbs can add both ornamental appeal as well as flavour to your garden. From sage to thyme, rosemary to clipped bay and flowery chives, herbs can produce an ornamental beauty which offer long-lasting displays along with regular pickings for the kitchen. There are no set rules for the creation of a herb garden, but if successfully designed, they will often define the space using brick pavers, and dividing the area with small paths to give easy access for picking.
For instance, you can go for an informal mix or more formal pattern or something more akin to a cartwheel design. As the centrepiece you can plant a large, shrubbery herb such as rosemary or sage, a formally clipped bay tree, or a potted herb arrangement.
In small spaces you can grow herbs in pots, either by planting them individually and grouping them together into displays, or creating bold combinations in larger containers. Many herbs have Mediterranean origins, relishing a site in full sun from which they can bake during the summer. Soil will also need to be free-draining too, as wet and waterlogged ground will culminate in root damage, and for pots, free-draining loam-based compost should be chosen.
You should be able to peruse a wide assortment of herbs from garden centres, ensuring you can buy your favourites to create your own culinary herb gardens.
Four hardy herbs for pots or borders:
- Mint varieties
Top tips for successful herb gardens:
1. Regularly picking herbs such as basil will encourage side shoots to form, keeping the plants bushy and productive.
2. Picking and drying the leaves of herbs like thyme, sage, bay and others. They can be stored and used while cooking.
3. Coriander will have a habit of bolting or running to seed. However, you should enjoy their flowers as they'll encourage beneficial insects, like hoverflies, into your garden.
You can find out more by visiting www.hta.org.uk/plantofthemoment
Image courtesy of © Adam Pasco