Basil, cloves, chives, dill, mint. We've seen these called for in many a recipe and on the supermarket shelves. But growing herbs is easier than you might think. There are many gardening ideas for an herb garden, and you do not even need a backyard to do it. Growing herbs is possible even for apartment dwellers who can plant an herb garden in containers, which is just one of the several gardening ideas for growing herbs and adding a little freshness and spice to your dinner table.
Even if you are not a cook, growing herbs is a wonderful gardening idea if only for the pleasant aromatic foliage and beautiful flowers that many herbs produce. Herbs can be used fresh as a garnish for salads, can perk up the flavor of bland vegetables or meats, and can be used in a variety of herb teas. Today many people interested in alternative healing have rediscovered the medicinal properties of many herbs and are growing herbs for their therapeutic values.
Some of the most commonly grown herbs in an herb garden are:
- Basil- Both green and dark opal basil are good gardening ideas in an herb garden. They are attractive plants. The dark opal variety has deep red foliage and exquisite pink flowers. Basil is a wonderful ingredient in any tomato sauce or other Italian delicacies.
- Borage- Also an attractive plant and adds a most exotic flavor to a tossed or mixed green salad.
- Chervil- This plant grows quickly and matures in only 6 weeks. It adds excellent flavor to eggs.
- Chives- Are an extraordinarily easy herb to grow. They are probably the most hardy of any growing herbs and survive drought and very cold locations. Chives are excellent in salads, egg dishes, mixed with soft cheeses and in sauces of any kind.
- Dill- Is also a great gardening idea for an herb garden. It is easily grown, will do well in containers or window boxes, and is great for picking and adding that distinctive dill flavor to meats, fish or just about any dish.
- Lavender-Is beautiful and aromatic both as is and when dried, out of the garden.
- Majoram- Adds a delicate flavor to lamb, fish, salads and soups.
- Mint- Who isn't familiar with mint? Whether for a julep, tea or mint jelly this is a favorite in herb gardens.
- Sage- A hardy perennial that adds zing to salad dressings, chicken, turkey, pork and any kind of sausages.
- Sesame- With its white leaves and pink flowers, sesame is another one of those beautiful and easy growing herbs whose seeds are great to flavor breads, crackers and cookies. Paste made from sesame is popular in many Middle Eastern and Oriental dishes.
- Thyme- Is a great herb for flavoring soups and poultry.
Growing herbs is one of those gardening ideas that not only provides one with the joy of gardening, but much like vegetable gardening an herb garden gives you the added pleasure of enjoying the fruits of your labors. The flavorings that herb gardens provide to our daily bread (and other foods) can truly add spice to your life. Ask anyone who has used fresh herbs in their cooking and they will tell you that store bought dried herbs can't compare. So for some fresh "parsley-sage-rosemary-and-thyme" you don't have to go to Scarborough Fair-you just have to plant your own herb garden.