Have you ever thought how versatile herbs are?
They will attract wildlife such as bees and butterflies to your garden, and also will grow in sunny or shady positions. Designing a border with herbs is’nt difficult. There is such a range of choice that includes many herbs with attractive foliage, colours and lovely flowers.
Bronze Fennel and Angelica will give height, surrounded by chives (allium tuberosum),
parsley, the beautifully scented lemon verbena ( aloysia citridoro) , delicious added to Pimms!, thyme, purple spinach and violas.
Many herb flowers offer texture and flavour, as well as colour, to salads or as a garnish. Chives, nasturtiums, rocket, Rosemary and thyme all have edible flowers. Also try lavender, borage and sage flowers. Viola flowers make a tasty and colourful addition to any salad.
Herbs are ideal container plants and most are incredibly easy to grow. Always make sure you pick your container herbs regularly during the growing season. Don’t pick stems from the base of the plant as this only encourages tall, leggy plants. Instead, pick off the tips of each stem, just above a pair of leaves. Two new shoots will grow from each stem, creating a bushier plant.
Feed container herbs with a liquid feed while they are growing to encourage strong, healthy plants.
Ideal herbs for container growing are mint, which needs its own container. Keep it watered, picking regularly. Chives, brilliant in salads, snipped over soups or added as a garnish. An easy herb to grow but don’t allow it to dry out. Coriander, planted in spring, will quickly flower and go to seed. Avoid this by keeping fed, watered and in a shady spot, cutting the leaves regularly. Basil thrives in a warm, sunny position, grown in well-drained soil, and watered in the mornings.
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We at village gardens have a knowledge of all of your local edible plants here in South Africa. We can happily plant up your garden with edibles of all varieties from Mediterranean herbs and local indigenous edibles. We are surrounded by such stunning hardy indigenous plants, let’s get back to nature and have our own garden of local goodness.