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.

Onion

'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.

Culinary uses: Use in a wide range of dishes from stir fries, sauces, salad dressings, pasta and Asian dishes.

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.

Culinary uses: Use in sauces, soups and casseroles, as well as in vinegars and butters.

Oregano - Country Cream

'Origanum vulgare ‘country cream’'

Dry

A variegated perennial to 30cms preferring well-drained soils in sunny position. An ornamental addition to the herb garden.

Culinary uses: Goes well with Mediterranean dishes especially strong flavours like olive, tomato and wine. Great dried and sprinkled on pizza.

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.  It can be frozen for up to 6 months.

Culinary uses: Can be grown in a pot. Parsley can be used in salads, as a garnish and in cooking in general.

Parsley - Italian

'Petroselinum crispum var neopolitanum'

Fertilise

A biennial growing up to 90cms, suitable for a pot or in a rich, moist position in the garden. Will tolerate a sunny to partly shaded position. Frost hardy. Preferred parsley due to its sweeter, stronger flavour. A must have herb in the garden.

Pennyroyal

'Mentha pulegium'

Wet

A non-edible prostrate spreading perennial. Frost hardy. This plant can be used as a tough groundcover in constantly moist shady spots. Pennyroyal oil repels fleas and ants.

Pyrethrum

'Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium / tanacetum  cinerariifolium'

Dry

Non-edible. A frost hardy perennial growing to a height of 35cm. Prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position Attractive small daisy flowers from November to January. The flowers are a source of pyrethrum insecticide which can be used to kill aphids and many other garden pests.

Radicchio

'Cichorium intybus'

Fertilise

A frost hardy perennial leafy plant which reaches 30cm in height. Harvest year round leaf by leaf. The leaves are bitter flavoured and are mainly used in salads. They provide some colour contrast in salads as they have bronze colouring.

Rocket - Salad

'Eruca sativa'

Fertilise

An annual plant growing to a height of 40cm. Grows in full sun to partly shaded position in summer. Likes a fertile, well-drained soil enriched with rotted manure or compost. Start picking young leaves about five weeks after seedlings have emerged, sooner in summer when growth is faster. Young leaves give green salads an appealing piquancy or add them late to stir fries. Flowers and ripe seed pods are also edible.

Rosemary

'Rosmarinus officinalis'

Dry

A frost hardy perennial. There are several varieties of this woody shrub with thin needle-like leaves and pink, white, light or dark blue flowers. They range in habit from upright, dwarf and semi-prostrate, with heights varying from 50cms to 2ms. Rosemary prefers full sun and a reasonably dry position with well-drained soil to lessen the risk of root rot. It is a good plant to grow in seaside positions as it will tolerate salt and wind. Fresh, dried or frozen leaves are used in cooking, marinades and salad dressings. Leaves are used in vinegars, oils, teas and butters. Goes particularly well with lamb and goat. Fresh flowers are good in salads or as decorations for puddings and desserts. It is used in potpourris and herb wreaths. Rosemary is a symbol of remembrance.

Medicinal uses: High in antioxidants, vitamin E, aids digestion and relaxation.

Rue

'Ruta graveolens'

Dry

A non-edible rounded shrubby perennial which can reach about 60cms tall with beautiful silver blue foliage and contrasting yellow flowers in summer and autumn. Frost hardy. In cooler areas where summers are mild, full sun is essential however in warmer areas rue will tolerate some but not full shade. The foliage may cause skin rash on sensitive skin. An insect repellent for use on ornamental plants can be made from the leaves, or used in potpourri to put in cupboards and drawers. Rue has a herbal aroma which will drift through the garden on hot days and is said to be disliked by cats.

Sage - Common

'Salvia officinalis'

Dry

Sage is a small, frost hardy, woody perennial shrub growing to about 90cm. The long, oval, grey-green leaves, velvety in texture, have a slightly bitter, camphor-like taste, while the flowers are purple-blue in colour. Full sun and good drainage are essential for sage as it does not like wet feet. Goes well with other strong herbs such as garlic, rosemary and thyme. Fresh or dried leaves are used extensively as flavouring in stuffing, marinades in vinegars and herb butters.

Medicinal uses: Gargling sage tea is said to give some relief to sore throats.

Sage - Pineapple

'Salvia elegans'

Dry

Evergreen frost tender shrub with pineapple scented leaves growing to a height of 1.3m. Masses of red flowers from summer to winter. Planting in a raised bed is advisable as this plant doesn't like wet feet. A well-drained, sunny position in the garden is preferred. Pineapple sage has a fruity flavour which complements fruit salad and cold drinks. Fresh or dried leaves can be used to make a refreshing tea.

Santolina

'Santolina chamaecyparis'

Dry

Non-edible, perennial plant which grows to a height of 40cm. Frost hardy. It has highly reflective aromatic silver foliage which makes it a great contrast plant in the garden. Enjoys a sunny position in well-drained soil. Trim regularly to keep tidy. The leaves can be added to sachets to repel clothes moths.

Santolina - Green

'Santolina viridis'

Dry

Non-edible. A perennial low growing plant reaching a height of 40cm. Frost hardy. Stunning lemon yellow flower display in summer with very compact dense foliage. Has very small green leaves.

Savory

'Satureja sp'

Dry

There are several types of savory including Winter and Summer. The Winter Savory is perennial but the Summer type is an annual plant which will die off at the end of summer. They prefer to be grown in the full sun in well-drained alkaline soil. Frost hardy. The Winter Savory grows to a height of 25cm and the Summer Savory reaches 30cm. Fresh leaves can be picked at any time for immediate use or for drying. Both have a peppery flavour, but the winter savory is more pungent. 

Culinary uses: Use in casseroles, marinades and dressings. It is also used in herb vinegars and butters.

 

Sorrel

'rumex scutatus'

Wet

A short-lived perennial reaching a height of 60cm. Frost hardy. It prefers moist, warm climates but grows in cooler regions and tolerates some dryness. Prefers a sun or semi-shade position in well-composted soil.

Culinary uses: Use the fresh young leaves, which have a lemony flavour, in salads, soups or with fish.

Medicinal uses:The leaves do contain oxalic acid which is fine in small amounts, but avoid if you have a history of kidney stones.

Spinach - Perpetual

'Beta vulgaris'

Fertilise

A short-lived perennial leafy plant growing to a height of 45cm. Frost hardy. Young leaves can be used in salads, stir fries and as steamed greens. Do not overcook. Harvest regularly to keep your plant growing strongly. High in Iron.

Stevia

'Stevia rebaudiana'

Fertilise

A perennial with very sweet foliage which grows to a height of 45cm. Needs to be protected from heavy frosts, although does die back in autumn. The leaves are 30 times sweeter than sugar and have no calories. It can be used in hot or cold drinks or as a sugar substitute in sweet dishes. A syrup can also be made by simmering 2 teaspoons of the dried leaves in a litre of water for 10 minutes. Refrigerate and use as needed.

Tansy

'Tanacetum vulgare'

Dry

A non-edible spreading herbaceous perennial with grey-green, finely divided, ferny foliage and heads of yellow, button-like flowers in summer and autumn. It grows to a height of 1m. It spreads out by means of creeping roots and can become quite large over time. Frost hardy. It has a pleasant aroma for the garden. The flowers attract beneficial insects such as ladybirds, hoverflies and lacewings.

Tarragon - French

'Artemisia dracunculus'

Dry

The two best culinary varieties grown are French tarragon and Mexican tarragon. French tarragon is a perennial herb that spreads by rhizomes or underground stems, sending up erect stems to a height of 40-50cm or more. It dies down over winter and regenerates in spring. Tarragon needs to be replanted every few years as plants lose their vigour over time. The Mexican tarragon reaches 90cm in height and is said to be the best substitute for French tarragon. The flowers attract beneficial insects. Prefers full sun or partial shade.

Culinary uses: With its mild aniseed flavour it goes well with chicken, fish and egg dishes. It is one of the herbs used to flavour Béarnaise sauce.

Thyme - Common

'Thymus vulgaris'

Dry

Thyme is one of the most common of garden herbs, essential for all kitchens. Most thymes are low, creeping plants although Common thyme will grow up to 30cm high. Frost hardy. Best grown in warm dry climates in a full sun position. Light, well-drained soil which is not too acidic is the best type for thymes. Thyme is a classic component of the French bouquet garni.

Culinary uses: Both leaves and flowers can be eaten fresh in salads or used as garnishes or as a flavouring to honey, vinegars, stuffings, butters or teas. Great in casseroles, breads and on pizza. Thyme holds its flavour well so can be added early in the cooking.

Thyme - Creeping 'Doone Valley'

'Thymus serpyllum 'doone valley''

Dry

Edible but used mainly as a ground cover. A mat forming perennial which is frost hardy. It has pink flowers in summer. This ground cover plant is useful in thyme lawns, paths and steps.

Thyme - Creeping 'Magic Carpet'

'Thymus serpyllum 'magic carpet''

Dry

Edible but grown mainly as a ground cover. A mat forming frost hardy perennial. Pink flowers are prolific during summer. Used in Thyme lawns, paths, steps and ground covers.

Thyme - Creeping Crimson

'Thymus serpyllum coccineus'

DRY

Edible but grown mainly for its mat forming habit. A mat forming ground cover perennial thyme. It has crimson pink flowers in summer. Frost hardy. Used in thyme lawns, paths, steps and ground covers.

Thyme - Creeping Orange Peel

'Thymus nitidus'

Dry 

Edible but mainly used for groundcover in lawns, paths and steps. A groundcover perennial with mauve flowers in summer. It has an orange peel fragrance when leaves are crushed. Frost hardy.

Thyme - Creeping White

'Thymus serpyllum ‘albus’'

Dry

Edible but used mainly as a groundcover plant in lawns, paths and steps. This is a mat forming perennial with white flowers in summer.

Thyme - Creeping Wild

'Thymus serpyllum'

Dry

Edible but mainly used for groundcover in paths, lawns and steps. A mat forming perennial which has pink flowers in summer. Frost hardy.

Thyme - Golden

'Thymus serpyllum ‘aureus’'

Dry

Edible but mainly used in groundcover situations. A prostrate, mat forming thyme grown for its golden, aromatic foliage. During spring this hardy perennial herb bears masses of tiny, lavender flowers. Thrives in moist, well-drained soil in a sunny, open position but will tolerate most soils and conditions. Ideal for rockeries, herb gardens and containers, and makes a great groundcover or lawn substitute.

Thyme - Lemon

'Thymus x citriodorus'

Dry

Edible. A perennial low growing plant reaching 20cm high. Frost hardy. It has dark pink flowers in spring. It enhances meals by adding lemon and thyme flavours. Useful in dishes accompanying chicken, fish and vegetables.

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