There are over 2000 varieties of herbs and they have been used for many different purposes since the beginning of time. Herbs have been used for medicinal purposes, the dying of fabrics, skin care and as a seasoning in cooking. Today they are even used in landscaping to enhance a beautiful outdoor setting and as insect repellent. You may see herbs being displayed as an object of art in photographs or a beautiful painting on canvas or on fine china. Some Herbs even have legends of mystical powers. We will leave the discussion of the medicinal application of Herbs to someone better qualified to lead that discussion, and the legends of Herbs to all the Harry Potter fans to discern.
My Grandmother grew herbs in her garden and the thing I remember the most about them was the wonderful smell of all the different herbs. As we would walk through the garden she would take a leaf and break it open and say smell of this, we are going to use this in the dish we are making for lunch or dinner. Still today when I walk by the herb plants I always love the smell of the herbs and it takes me back to my youth and the loving times I spent with my Grandmother in her garden.
I have been blessed to live in many different parts of this great country. No matter where I have lived or how much space I have had I have always been growing something. Sometimes it was only a little herb plant in my kitchen window or a small container of herbs on my back porch. If you have a pot, an old tin can or a beautiful container you can grow herbs.
Here at the Country Cottage we have started a permanent Herb Garden in addition to many herb plantings in various places all over the property. I always like to have some Rosemary, Mothers Thyme, and Sweet Basil right outside my kitchen door, so I can just go a few steps and snip what I need to compliment the recipe I am preparing. I like to have a good Rosemary bush near the outdoor kitchen. We love to use a bunch of Rosemary as a basting brush to baste whatever we are grilling.
The soil for planting herbs should be prepared in the same way as for any other garden vegetable. Good fertile soil loose and well drained. Good sunlight with maybe a little shade. If you have containers of herbs in the house, on a patio or porch they should be in good sunlight and in well drained containers.
If you are planting in a garden area it is very important to make a plot plan. You don't have to have a degree to do this. Just get a piece of paper, pencil, ruler and your imagination. If you make the plan you will get better usage of the space that you have available and don't forget to record everything in your Garden Journal so you will have a record of what, where and when you planted.
Some of the annual plants I start with seed indoors. Some of them I buy as bedding plants. Some of the heirloom herbs I usually start with seeds, unless I am given a transplant from one of my gardening friends.
As we continue our tour next time we will be looking at the different Herbs that we have here at the Country Cottage and how we use them.
Until then; May God Continue to Bless You!
Peace and Joy