Tuesday, 1 May 2012


There's been many posts about herbs on blogs just lately which have inspired me to give them a go myself. I don't really use herbs very much in cooking so I don't have that many in the garden, though many of them attract bees and butterflies and other beneficial insects as well as having attractive flowers and foliage, so they're useful in more ways than one. I visited my local nursery at the weekend who had quite a good range and I came away with Flat Leaf Parsley, Compact Marjoram, Spearmint, Painted Sage and Archers Gold Thyme. I forgot all about the rosemary in the garden which I wanted to replace as it's gone rather woody, but I can pick that up on my next visit. Perhaps now I'm growing them, it will also encourage me to use them more when I cook.

The tomato seedlings which I moved in to the house from the greenhouse have really picked up and seem to be growing well now, in fact, they're ready for potting on, a job I'll get round to this week. The back up seeds I sowed last week are also starting to germinate, so I'll probably end up with more plants than I need. There's always someone willing to take them off my hands though.

I popped down to the allotment at the weekend, not to do any work as it was like a bog down there with all the rain we've had, but I wanted to check on the onions, shallots and broad beans which I had planted out. I was relieved to see that they were all doing well, and had grown too since I left them there. All this rain is good for something then.


  1. Herbs are great plants. Two others I'd recommend are chives and garlic chives, both of which you can eat there flowers which have a nice mild oniony flavour and look really pretty in salads. I use both of them so much, in omlettes, egg mayo, pates, salads. Dill as well is brilliant. I grow mine from seed. It's very easy and again goes really well with eggs and fish. It's one of those herbs that doesn't last long when you buy it from the supermarket, so it's much better to grow it

  2. Good move taking the tomato plants indoors. Progress in our greenhouse is slow at best and some plants look like they might not survive.

  3. I agree that chives are a good herb to have,. We have a border of them along one side of our herb bed on the plot and the bees adore them.

  4. Well done with your herb purchases they all look very healthy. There are all sorts of jobs stacking up that can't be tackled because of the weather - it is so frustrating isn't it?

  5. Good for you!

    I don't use many if any herbs when cooking. However, I'm really interested in growing basil for making pesto and mint for sauce and jelly.

    Good luck with growing and using them. Will follow with interest!

    Martin :0)

  6. Rosemary didn't do much for your remembrace then :) You got a good selection though!

  7. I love my herbs, not just for cooking but also to brush past and get lovely smells drifting upwards. Once you start to use fresh herbs in your cooking, you'll be hooked! It's lovely to have fresh bouquet garni just outside the door!

  8. I have a little herb garden near my back door, and it always smells so nice as I walk past. Have you thought about taking cuttings from the new growth on your rosemary instead of buying a new one? I took some last year as mine was on its last legs and i now have 5 healthy little plants! I'd give you one if I lived nearer!

  9. I grow Borage. No I don't, it grows itself, everywhere! The bees love it, and so do I. I think its a herb!

  10. A great start to establishing a little herb garden Jo - edible, scented, enjoyed by the bees and usually easy to grow - what more could you ask for? :) Glad to hear that your tomatoes have now perked up.

  11. I know you will love your herb garden, Jo. I enjoy mine even though I don't use herbs in my cooking as much as I should. My chives are coming into flower and they are a bee magnet. P. x

  12. Herbs are great to have in the garden and I had a herb patch at home long before I had an allotment. The great thing about having them to hand is it gives you the chance to experiment with flavours so I think in time you may find you use them more in cooking. You bought a good selection...I don't have spearmint so will have to see about adding that to my collection too.

    Glad your tomatoes are now picking up...it would be terrible to not have any home grown ones!!

    Fingers crossed the weather picks up for us all soon and the ground dries out a bit!!

  13. Chives is one of the herbs that I already have, Wellywoman, and I do actually use that quite a bit in cooking. I bought it because the bees love it, but it turns out that I do too.

    I thought my brassicas were coming on well, Martyn, but it looks touch and go with them too at the moment. I'm sure we'll all be resowing some things this year.

    Chives is the one herb that we do use in cooking, Sue. That's when the bees will allow me to get near them.

    I've got loads of jobs which need doing, Elaine, if only the weather would cooperate. I'm sowing and potting on in my kitchen, at least thats one thing I can get on with.

    I've started some basil off from seed, Martin, they've germinated well so I hope they grow well too. I want to make some tomato sauces this year so the basil will go well with that.

    Afraid not, Mo. Even rosemary can't cure my bad memory. I'm pleased with the selection, I can see me adding to them too.

    It's all the blog posts I've been reading which has piqued my interest in herbs, Caro. I'm eager to add to my collection now.

    Thanks for that suggestion, Su, I think I may very well take some cuttings from my rosemary, I've nothing to lose.

    I agree, John, Borage doesn't take any growing, does it? I have it on my allotment, I sowed it once and now I'm never without it.

    I'm really excited about my little venture in to herbs, Anna. As you say, they have so much to offer.

    Now that I've started a little herb collection, I can't wait to add to it, Pam. I'm sure I'm going to enjoy growing them.

    I'm sure I will use them more in cooking now that I have them, Tanya. Yes, I'm relieved about the tomatoes, buying plants from the garden centre seems like cheating somehow.

  14. How lovely to find so many herb fans in one place - and what a fabulous collection of herbs. The other herb I can't live without is coriander... perhaps you already grow some as a salad leaf with your veggies.

  15. I use a lot of herbs in my cooking. Parsley in pretty much everything, mint in salads and teas, thymes in stocks and sauces etc etc. Other than the ones mentioned above I also grow tarragon and chervil which are lovely if you enjoy a slightly aniseedy type flavour. Definitely have a go at striking Rosemary - I've found it roots very happily whenever I've tried.

  16. Your herbs look fresh and healthy. Hope they do well for you. I enjoy coriander and basil. I use herbs quite often as a garnish to give a dish a bit of extra kick. Enjoy!

  17. I love herbs Jo, both for cooking and for attracting beneficial insects. I especially love lavender and rosemary for their fragrance and the thymes do really well planted in gravel in a sunny part of the garden. I have dill, fennel and tarragon in the flower borders and borage pops up everwhere! This year, when the weather improves (?!), I'd like to establish a little potted herb garden on the patio, displayed on shelves around the kitchen window, inspired by Nigel Slater's herb garden on his TV programme! I use mint a lot and parsely, coriander and basil.

    Once you start using herbs Jo you will never look back! Glad to hear your toms are doing well.


  18. Herbs are great plants, and I grow several for their foliage and flowers rather than culinary use.
    Your tomato seedlings are doing better than mine which need some sunshine I think.
    I've not been plotting all week but hoping to get there tomorrow to do some much needed weeding.
    Flighty xx

  19. I don't grow coriander, The Gardening Shoe, that's one that I must look in to. I've already added a few more to my list of wants.

    I do like an aniseed flavour, Liz, so I shall look in to the herbs you mention. I think my little herb patch will be growing in to a full blown herb garden if I'm not careful.

    I've got some basil growing from seed, Kelli. They're doing really well so far, they just need to grow a bit to catch the others up.

    I love lavender too, Jeanne. I have some in both front and back gardens. That's something else which I may have a go at taking cuttings from as I'd like to have some down at the allotment.

    Hope you managed to get to the allotment, Flighty, it seems ages since I did anything at the plot. My tomatoes are doing much better now that I've moved them indoors, I hope your's pick up a bit too.


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