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16 October 2014
Gardener's Corner

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Summer 2007
John Cushnie On...

15 July 2007

Lavender with bee.There are catalogues full of herbs yet only a select few are harvested for use in the kitchen. When considering a herb garden give serious thought to how many herbs you need.

The truth is that the space required for growing your favourites will be small and perhaps a few large pots would do the job.

RosemaryShrubby herbs such as lavender, sage and rosemary will be perfectly happy growing amongst the shrubs in the border. They will be available for the occasional leaf or two and in the meantime will add flower and leaf colour to the general planting. An ornamental shaped bay tree will look good at the entrance or on the patio and will have hundreds more leaves than you could ever use for flavouring.

Thyme and penny royal will succeed best planted in the confined space of cracks between the patio paving slabs. They will soften the edges emitting their familiar aroma when walked on yet ready at any time for flavouring cooked dishes.

ParsleyOther useful herbs include parsley, marjoram, basil, tarragon and chives.
There are many others available in garden centres and nurseries but only buy and plant them if they will be used in cooking.

CompostPlanting in a small raised bed or a large container will allow you to provide the essential soil or compost. I prefer a soil based compost. It should be free draining with low levels of fertilizer. Make sure that the drainage holes are not blocked and the site is sheltered and in full sun.
A lot of fertilizer will encourage new, soft growth without flavour. Avoid nitrogen in the fertilizer as it will encourage soft growth that will be lacking in vigour.

If you want to be different plant a basket with edible plants. Thyme and parsley are attractive and a small plant of sage will prove useful around Christmas.

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