Herbs are easy to grow and will not only transform your garden, but your cooking too. Whilst attracting butterflies and bees to the garden, they can also add a touch of magic and turn a meal into a feast with plenty of health benefits. Growing your own herbs can be very cost effective, especially annuals such as Basil, Coriander and Dill. All of these can be sown fresh each spring, are easy to grow, quick to establish and produce abundant crops. We've put together our selection of top 5 easy to grow herbs.
Basil is a great ingredient used in pasta sauces, pizzas, salads and Thai curries, a great essential to have in the kitchen. There are plenty of varieties to try as opposed to what you tend to pick up in the supermarket, plus growing your own lasts much longer too. One of our top picks is Basil Sweet Genovese, the 'Classic Italian' are the best variety of basil for Italian pesto and tastes fantastic with fresh tomatoes (home grown of course), slices of mozzarella & a drizzle of virgin oil - a perfect side salad for a balmy summer's day BBQ.
From pizza to pasta sauces, Greek salads and Spanish stews, the classic flavour of Oregano is an essential ingredient in many dishes. Oregano is one of the key plants in herb gardens, it makes a good companion plant, helping to deter aphids. Not only does it taste great, Oregano also has medicinal benefits too. Simply add it to your tea to help soothe digestive problems or use as an antiseptic. The leaves are most commonly used dried but they can also be frozen too. We recommend taking some leaves and freezing in an ice cube tray for adding to soups and stews.
Parsley is one of the most popular and versatile herbs - it tastes great in Parsley sauce with gammon or fish and can be used in stews or as a decorative garnish on the side of plates or in soups. And is surprisingly rich in vitamin C, especially when eaten raw, think of it less as a garnish but more as a salad leaf in its own right. Also rich in folic acid, which is good for your heart. A favourite of ours is French, a flat-leaved variety with small leaves and a strong, sweet parsley flavour.
Pop a few sprigs of Rosemary in with your roast potatoes and meat, it goes especially well with lamb, or in casseroles, tomato sauces, baked fish or egg dishes. Take note when using fresh Rosemary in cooking because it's a pungent herb that can overpower delicate flavours. Plant in spring or autumn in a sunny, sheltered spot with free draining soil. If you have cold clay soil, dig in lots of bark, grit or leaf mould to help improve the drainage. Rosemary seeds can take a longer period to germinate, so be prepared to wait - however, we promise you the wait is so worth it!
Thyme is super easy to grow, looks attractive all year round and there are so many varieties to choose from. Our recommendation would be Thyme English Winter, it's great for stuffings, chicken dishes and stews and is easy to grow from seed and reaches a height & spread of 30cm. The flavour is at it's best from June to July and it does well with freezing & drying or infusing in oil. It's also a great companion plant and deters cabbage root-fly from cabbages, cauliflowers and brussels sprouts but the flowers also attract many beneficial insects to the garden.
Sow there you have it...5 great herbs that anyone can grow and enjoy. You can shop our full herb collection right here!