Herbs can be
Herbs have a range of culinary and medicinal purposes. They also increase biodiversity and provide a distinctive garden style. Even a small selection of your favourite herbs can prove extremely useful.
What to grow
There’s a great selection of herbs, both common and unusual, from companies such as Kings Seeds, Asian Seeds and Running Brook Seeds.
How to plant
- The majority of herbs are easy to grow, so long as you plant them in full sun with good drainage.
- In shadier parts of the garden, try Vietnamese mint (Persicaria odorata), soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) and burnet (Sanguisorba minor).
- Grow mint in a container (e.g. a pot or partially buried container in the ground) as it sends out extremely vigorous runners that will spread throughout the garden.
How to grow
- Add organic matter such as compost or green crops to the soil regularly and especially prior to planting or when dividing. See Healthy soils for details.
- Maintain the health of clumping herbs such as thyme and oregano through division in autumn/winter.
- Cut back herbs when dormant in winter.
- Some herbs are best when renewed every few years from cuttings, such as rosemary.
Annualherbs are raised from regular sowing of seed, such as parsley, coriander, marigolds etc.
Top image: French lavender (Lavandula dentata)