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Herbedacious

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Richard Cadey Richard Cadey | 09:30 UK time, Friday, 1 July 2011

"Herbedacious"! To readers of a certain age this word will conjure up memories of the Herb Garden. This was a BBC children's television programme from the late 1960's which subversively attempted to teach the children of the nation the names of the herbs through the means of animated animals such as Parsley the Lion, Dill the Dog and Sage the Owl. No doubt endorsed by Richard Briers and Felicity Kendall, I, for one, loved it. And this week's Monday morning Garden item on MacAulay & Co certainly was herbedacious.

Now, why are herbs a useful addition to a veg grower's patch? Well, put simply, they make our food taste better. I mean who can imagine chicken without tarragon, fish without dill, bolognese without oregano, or Simon and Garfunkel without parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme?

For the most part they are easy enough to grow in tubs, containers or directly into the veg patch. A word of warning though, mint should definitely be confined to tubs, as it can apparently give the Triffids a run for their money when it comes to vegetal world domination! My gardening svengali Craig Holland was on hand as usual, though he generally likes to dispense his words of green-fingered wisdom a comfortable distance from my actual garden, and this week was no exception as he was based in a studio in Tunbridge Wells.

Basil is one of my favourites and delicious with anything containing tomatoes, but of course terrible at running a hotel in Torquay. I was looking forward to growing this herb more than any other. It has such a wonderful smell. Alas Craig pointed out that it suffers from something called "damping". Obviously, this is a condition that everyone living in Scotland can empathise with, especially this summer, but it does make growing basil a bit of a tricky business. It is possible to grow it, but the process seems so long and drawn out that I decided to continue buying my supplies of this particular herb from the supermarket. Until, that is, a damp-proof version becomes available.

Richard Cadey in his herb garden

So there you have it, grow yourself some herbs, only the ones that won't get you into trouble with the local constabulary of course, because it is easy to do and they turn good food into great tasting meals!

p.s. One week on from the setting of the slug beer trap and so far there are no captives to report. Either they've gone away on their holidays or they prefer the more expensive brands of beer. 'Til next week, bye for now.

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