Herbs

herbsHerbs 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.

Coriander

'Coriandrum sativum'

Fertilise

coriander plant seeds and powder1Fast-growing but short-lived annual growing to a height of 50cm. Prefers sunny position or partial shade. In summer plants tend to bolt to seed, but grow well throughout the rest of the year. White flowers attract beneficial insects. Frost hardy. Use roots, leaves and seeds, particularly in Middle East and Asian cooking.

Curry Plant

'Helichrysum italicum'

Dry

helichrysum italicum1A tough perennial plant which grows to a height of 60cm. Frost hardy. The silvery foliage and small yellow daisy flowers make an attractive addition to the herb or cottage garden.

Culinary uses: The flowers can be used in dried flower arrangements. Adds a curry flavour to pasta, omelettes, and salads.

Dill

'Anethum graveolens'

Fertilise

A hardy, annual plant which grows to a height of 90cm. Frost hardy. Similar in appearance to fennel. Prefers full sun or partial shade. Umbels of tiny yellow flowers produced in summer will attract beneficial predatory insects. Taste is not unlike parsley.

Culinary uses: Used in dishes with fish, dairy food and vegetables. The seeds can also be used for flavouring.

Dogbane

'Plectranthus neochilus'

Dry

Very hardy perennial to 50cm high by 1.5m wide. Lavender-like flowers from winter into spring. Tolerant of dry conditions. Dogbanes pungent odour is said to repel dogs. A pretty plant for the cottage garden.

Echinacea

'Echinacea purpurea'

Dry

Echinacea PowWowBerry13001This perennial plant grows to a height of 1.5 metres, is frost hardy and dry tolerant once established. Attractive purple/pink flowers with a raised 'cone' centre from summer into early autumn and are attractive to bees and butterflies. A very showy plant for the ornamental garden.

Medicinal uses: Its leaves, or an extract from the plant, are used for herbal remedies. This medicine is taken at the onset of colds, flu, bronchitis, and sinusitis. It is said to stimulate the immune system, has anti-viral and bacterial properties and promotes healing. Avoid during pregnancy.

Fennel - Sweet

'Foeniculum vulgare'

Fertilise

A fast growing, spreading perennial plant which can reach almost 2 metres in height. It can be an extremely invasive plant and has been declared a noxious weed in some areas. Frost hardy. Prefers full sun.

Culinary uses: Finely chopped leaves will add an aniseed flavour to many dishes including pasta, fish and potato. Also can be added to vinegars. The fleshy, white base is eaten raw or cooked.

Medicinal uses: All parts of fennel are said to be beneficial to the digestion, good for the eyes and a mild appetite suppressant. Tea made from the seeds is a mild laxative and chewing the seeds freshens the breath.

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.

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. 

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.

Culinary uses: It is an essential ingredient in many European and Asian dishes and is also used in herb butters and vinegars.

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.

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.

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.

Culinary use: 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.

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.

Culinary uses: 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.

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.

Culinary uses: 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 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.

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.

Culinary uses: 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.

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.

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.

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 - 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 - Chocolate

'Mentha x piperita var'

Wet

A spreading perennial growing to a height of 15cm. Frost hardy. Used in chocolate sauces as it has the flavour and aroma of an after dinner mint. Use sprigs as a garnish for deserts or cocktails. Can also be used in herbal tea.

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 - 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 - Eau De Cologne

'Mentha citrate'

Wet

Spreading perennial growing to a height of 45cm. Frost hardy. Its scent is similar to eau-de-cologne. This mint is rather pungent but can be used in pot pourris, baths and in floral arrangements.

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 - Moroccan Tea

'Mentha spicata'

Wet

Spreading perennial growing to a height of 30cm. Frost hardy. Combine mint leaves with green tea to make a refreshing drink. Add sweetener if needed.

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 - 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 - 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.

Mizuna

'Brassica juncea 'japonica''

Fertilise

An annual plant reaching 45cm high. Frost hardy. The fern like leaves have a sweet flavour similar to water cress with a hint of mustard. Harvest all year round to add to salads.

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.

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Please check for seasonality and availability by giving us a calling, e-mailing or visiting the Nursery.