Category: Herbs - page 2

Herbs
Herbs have been grown for many thousands of years and used as remedies, preserving food, dyeing, as repellents, purifying the air and of course in cooking.
We have listed the Herb plants that we attempt to keep in stock but due to seasonal conditions, some may be temporarily unavailable. These lists are intended to be fairly comprehensive, however some other varieties are available on occasions and may not be listed below. Remember always seek advice from your medical professional before taking a plant for medicinal purposes.

PARSLEY CURLY – Petroselinum crispum var crispum

Fertilise

A biennial plant which grows to a height of 30cm. Frost hardy. Prefers a rich, moist soil in full to partial sun. To promote more leaf growth fertilize with a nitrogen rich liquid fertilizer. Parsley can be kept productive by frequent pruning and removal of flower stems. Can be grown in a pot. Parsley can be used in salads, as a garnish and in cooking in general. It can be frozen for up to 6 months.

OREGANO COMMON – Origanum vulgare

Dry

A spreading perennial which grows to a height of 45cm.Often referred to as common or wild oregano it is very closely related to marjoram. It has pink flowers in summer. Prefers full sun or partial shade. Frost hardy. Can be used as a tough ground cover. Widely used as a flavouring, especially in Mediterranean style cooking. Use in sauces, soups and casseroles, as well as in vinegars and butters.

ONION SPRING – Allium cepa

Fertilise

Spreading frost hardy perennial with slender stems reaching 45cm high. Sunny position with summer watering. Can be grown in pots. The slender green stems are similar to onions but with a milder flavour.
Use in a wide range of dishes from stir fries, sauces, salad dressings, pasta and Asian dishes.

NASTURTIUM ALASKA – Tropaeolum majus ‘Alaska’

Fertilise

A self-seeding annual with a non-trailing habit to 35cms. This variety has variegated leaves and a range of flower colours from yellow to red. Frost hardy. All parts of this herb are edible. Fresh flowers and leaves are used in salads, vinaigrettes, oils or the flowers alone can be used as a garnish. They have a warm peppery flavour similar to water cress.

MINT VIETNAMESE/LAKSA – Persicaria odorata

Wet

A perennial herb up to 30cms which prefers warm moist conditions. It is not related to Mint, but is in fact in an entirely different family. The leaf is commonly associated with Vietnamese food, especially salads, soups and cold rolls. Needs to be kept drier during the cooler months.

MINT SPEARMINT – Mentha spicata

Wet

Spreading perennial growing to a height of 60cm. Frost hardy. Used in dishes including lamb, vegetable, desserts. Garnish for desserts, salads and cocktails. Also used in herbal tea, this can also be added to chilled soda water for a refreshing summer drink.

MINT PEPPERMINT – Mentha x piperita

Wet

Spreading perennial growing to a height of 20cm. Frost hardy. Used to make one of the most popular herbal teas. Steep 1 or 2 sprigs in boiled water for 3-5 minutes. Great used in chocolate based desserts.

Medicinal uses: Said to aid digestion.

MINT MENTHOL – Mentha arvensis var. piperascens

Wet

Spreading perennial which grows to 60cm high. Frost hardy. Very strong aroma.

Medicinal uses: To clear nasal congestion make an infusion with the leaves, throw a towel over your head and inhale the warm vapours. The tea can be sipped for temporary relief of indigestion, flatulence and nausea.

MINT CORSICAN – Mentha requienii

Wet

Prostrate spreading perennial which grows to a height of 1.5cm. It is often used as a ground cover for moist, shady positions, pathways and steps. Frost hardy. It does not like to dry out. Corsican mint has a strong peppermint scent.

MINT COMMON – Mentha viridis

Wet

Height 45cm. Frost hardy. Frequent pruning of the stems forces lateral branching and healthier plants. This is the most commonly used mint and has an intensely sweet mint flavour. Young, fresh leaves can be picked at any time remembering that the younger the leaf the tastier it will be. Mint can be used a wide range of dishes from sauces, salads, drinks, vinegars or as a garnish to vegetables.

MINT BASIL – Mentha sp

Wet

A spreading perennial growing to a height of 45cm. Frost hardy. Vaguely similar in flavour to sweet basil so partners well with other strong flavoured herbs. Used in winter as a basil substitute. Can be added to soups, fish, vegetables, salad dressing, marinades and sauces.

MINT APPLE – Mentha suaveolens

Wet

A spreading perennial to 35cms. A superior flavoured mint with hairy leaves which makes it less desirable to use as a garnish. Can be used in sauces, desserts cocktails and teas. There is also a variegated variety which has a sweet fruity fragrance but is less vigorous.

MINT

Wet

Mints are a wonderful fragrant perennial herb to add to your garden. They mostly prefer sun to part shade in summer, and soil that is rich and moist. They can be quite invasive, so are best planted in pots, but must have plenty of water to survive the summer months. There is quite a large range available to grow.

MARJORAM SWEET – Origanum majorana

Dry

A perennial herb to 60cm. Prefers a sunny position especially in winter as it does not like the cold. Can be substituted for mild oregano in cooking. It is often used in bouquet garni. Sweeter and milder than its relative oregano, leaves can be used with meat, stews, Italian dishes, to name a few. Often used to flavour vinegars and oils. Dried, it makes a refreshing herbal tea.

LOVAGE – Levisticum officinalis

Fertilise

A very tall perennial herb that can reach 1m in height. Frost hardy. Lovage may die back over winter but will regenerate in spring. Prefers full sun or partial shade. Leaves, stems and seeds are substitutes for celery. The leaves and stems can be used in salads and the leaves and dried seeds can be used in soups, casseroles, sauces and pickling mixtures. Lovage is also used in teas, vinegars and butters.

LEMON VERBENA – Aloysia triphylla

Dry

A beautiful lemon scented shrub which can grow to about 2m in height. Frost hardy. Prefers a sheltered, sunny position as it does not like the cold. Can become a bit straggly, but prune well in spring to encourage bushy growth. Delicate white flowers in summer. Leaves can be used to flavour drinks and jellies, salad dressing or in stuffing for poultry.

Medicinal uses: Dried leaves can be used for herbal tea to help relieve fever, cold symptoms and indigestion. The leaves can also be used in potpourris and sachet fillings.

LEMON GRASS – Cymbopogon citratus

Fertilise

Clumping grass-like perennial reaching about 1m in height, preferring a sunny well-drained position with good summer watering. May die down in winter but should bounce back in spring after a good prune. Base of leaves is used extensively in Asian cooking.

Medicinal uses: The lemony flavour of the leaves is used in herbal teas to relieve stress, digestive problems and minor fevers.

LEMON BALM MELISSA – Melissa officinalis

Wet

A spreading lemon scented perennial growing to a height of 60cm. Frost and cold sensitive, the plant may die back in winter but should regenerate in spring. Prefers full sun or partial shade in rich, moist soil and loves to be cut back. Pick fresh leaves as required but best flavour is in spring. Fresh leaves and flowers are used in salads, cool summer drinks and the leaves are used in stuffings and sauces for poultry and fish.

Medicinal uses: Lemon balm herbal teas are pleasant flavoured and calming, and help improve digestion. The dried flowers and leaves can be added to potpourri and herb pillows.

KALE – Brassica oleracea acephala

Fertilise

A nutritious leafy green annual which will grow all year round but does exceptionally well through the colder months. In fact the leaves are sweeter after a frost. Prefers a well-drained soil in part to full sun. There are several different varieties of Kale such as Tuscan Black, Dwarf Blue Curled and Red Russian. Can be added to salads, juices, stir-fries, made into chips, or steamed. The youngest leaves are the sweetest so harvest regularly. High in antioxidants, iron, calcium, vitamins A, C and K. Great for digestion and intestinal cleansing. High in anti-inflammatory properties and some cholesterol lower benefits. A great plant for the herb garden.

HYSSOP – Hyssopus officinalis

Dry

A perennial plant which grows to a height of about 50cm. Frost hardy. Full sun preferred but will grow in partial shade. Hyssop is a decorative plant and very attractive to bees and butterflies. Leaves have a pungent pine flavour, therefore should be used sparingly in meat dishes, stuffing and in soups and casseroles. Flowers can add flavour and colour to salads.

Medicinal uses: Tea made from the leaves, dried stems and flowers is said to relieve the symptoms of colds, reduce inflammation and used as a general tonic for the digestive system.

HORSERADISH – Armoracia rusticana

Fertilise

Horseradish is often grown as an annual but it is really a perennial plant. Full sun preferred. The main harvest is in autumn although side roots can be snipped off in summer for immediate use. Horseradish sauce is made from the root of the plant. The heat and pungency are not apparent until the root is grated. The leaves, which are milder tasting, can be added to salads.

Medicinal uses: If small amounts are eaten regularly it is said to ward off colds as horseradish contains high amounts of vitamin C and many essential minerals.

GARLIC – Allium sativum

Fertilise

Perennial. Garlic grows from a bulb consisting of several segments which are strongly aromatic. Full sun essential. Frost hardy. Harvest garlic in autumn or summer if the leaves have yellowed. It can be planted amongst roses to deter aphids and other rose pests, or make into a spray to kill or repel pests. Dried bulbs can be strung together and hung for later use. It is an essential ingredient in many European and Asian dishes and is also used in herb butters and vinegars.

Medicinal uses: Useful for lowering both blood pressure and cholesterol, garlic is also said to have beneficial effects on the immune system. For colds and flu taking regular amounts of garlic should reduce susceptibility.

FEVERFEW – Tanacetum parthenium, syn. Chrysanthemum parthenium

Fertilise

A strong smelling short-lived perennial plant that grows in partial shade or full sun in cooler areas to almost a metre tall with dense foliage. It has finely cut leaves and clusters of small, white daisy-like flowers throughout the year. Frost hardy. The daisies attract beneficial insects.

Medicinal uses: One or two leaves can be eaten daily to help prevent migraines but this may cause mouth ulcers for some people. Tea from the dried upper parts of the plant may relieve indigestion and period pain.
Avoid if pregnant. Consult your health care professional before taking.