Basil - Sacred/Holy

'Ocimum tenuiflorum, o.sanctum'

Fertilise

An annual basil reaching 50cm. Frost tender. Holy basil has a very rich history and is considered a sacred plant by the Hindus. It requires the same conditions as 'Sweet Basil'. The flowers are highly fragrant and hint of cloves and cinnamon. Add leaves sparingly to salads.

Medicinal uses: Holy Basil is said to have powerful antioxidant properties as well as being anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. It may help with certain conditions including stress, indigestion, inflammation and colds to name a few. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine, but the scientific evidence to back up the claims is scarce and mostly anecdotal. Holy Basil should not be consumed when pregnant, have bleeding disorders or about to have surgery.

Basil - Spicy Globe

'Ocimum 'spicy globe''

Fertilise

An annual basil reaching 30cm high. Frost tender. It forms a 30cm ball of foliage which can be quite a decorative plant suitable for a pot or in the herb garden. A versatile basil that can be used in a wide range of cuisines. 

Basil - Sweet

'Ocimum basilicum'

Fertilise

An annual growing 30-80cm tall. Ideal pot plant, but also happy in the herb garden. Prefers full sun to partial shade. Frost and cold sensitive. Fresh leaves can be used in salads, vegetable and meat dishes. Keep centres pinched to promote bushier plant and inhibit flowering. Well known for its addition to Italian dishes and pesto. Delicious clove and aniseed flavours.

Basil - Thai

'Ocimum basilicum ‘anise’'

Fertilise

An annual basil reaching 75cm high. Frost tender. It requires the same conditions as that of Sweet Basil. An attractive basil with purple stems and small leaves which have a spicy aniseed aroma with hints of mint.

Culinary uses: Used in Thai and Vietnamese dishes, it holds its flavour well when cooked.

Bay Tree

'Laurus nobilis'

Fertilise

Aromatic, slow-growing tree to 10-20 m high, but often grown in containers which will reduce height. Prefers full sun. Frost hardy to -7degrees C. Formal plant for containers, hedges, topiary standards.
Bay leaves are used as flavouring in soups, stews, sauces and in bouquet garni.

Bergamot Oswego Tea

'Monarda didyma'

Wet

bergamot20flower1Spreading herbaceous perennial to a height of 90cm. Beautiful butterfly attracting scarlet red flowers during summer. Use fresh or dried leaves and flowers in herbal tea. Taste similar to marjoram in flavour with hint of orange, producing an earl grey flavour.

Medicinal uses: Beneficial for minor digestive complaints and lowering fever.

Borage

'Borago officionalis'

Fertilise

Borage 41Self-seeding annual growing to a height of 1 metre. The bee attracting edible blue flowers can be picked all year round. Flowers and leaves can be added to soups and stews. Leaves have a flavour similar to cucumber.

Brahmi

'Bacopa monniera'

Wet

The Brahmi herb is a spreading perennial reaching 7.5cm high. This herb loves constantly moist conditions so it will happily grow in shallow water or boggy sites. Needs moderate fertilising.

Medicinal uses: There is some evidence that Brahmi will improve memory. Take 3 sprigs 10cm long twice a day. The sprigs may be added to a sandwich or made into tea and sweetened if required. Brahmi tea has a pleasant taste similar to Chinese green tea and it can be combined with this. 

Cat Grass

'Dactylis glomerata'

Fertilise

This grassy perennial grows in reasonably moist conditions in the full sun or partial shade. Can be grown in a pot or garden situation. Some cats and dogs enjoy chewing on grass, for what reason is not entirely known. This plant is said to assist cats to eliminate fur balls. The fresh new growth is the most appealing.

Catmint

'Nepeta faassenii'

Dry

Spreading frost hardy perennial to a height of 30cm. Excellent ground cover and cottage plant with lavender blue flowers spring to autumn. Prefers full sun to partial shade. Cats adore the leaf aroma. Prune back each year to keep plant bushy. Popular in cat toys and potpourri.

Catnip

'Nepeta cataria'

Dry

Perennial plant which grows to a height of 75cm. Frost hardy. Enjoys similar conditions to catmint. Cats adore the scent, some say more than catmint. Not all cats are affected by this plant.

Celeriac

'Apium graveolens var. rapaceum'

Wet

A frost tender perennial root vegetable related to celery which grows to a height of 90cm. Celeriac thrives in full sun to part shade position, in a rich, moist soil. Regularly remove old coarse stalks. It can be mashed, boiled, roasted and added to soups or stews. The leaves can also be used to flavour soups and stews, in stir fries or as a garnish.

Chamomile Flowering Lawn

'Chamaemelum nobile'

Wet

Mat-forming, evergreen perennial plant growing to a height of 15cm. Traditionally used as a ground cover for around garden paths and as a soft lawn with aromatic, apple scented leaves. An infusion is said to prevent damping off. Small white daisy flowers appear in summer.

Chamomile German

'Matricaria chamomilla'

Dry

Frost hardy annual growing to 60cms. Full sun to light shade. Apple flavoured, daisy like flowers give a prolific display through summer and autumn. Fresh or dried flowers can be used to make tea.

Medicinal uses: As a calming tea, and may also give some relief for mild digestive problems. Always consult with your medical practitioner before taking.

Chard Swiss and Ruby

'Beta vulgaris'

Fertilise

Both frost hardy perennial plants growing to a height of 75cm. Tolerant of warm weather if watered well. Likes a well composted soil with additional fertilising through the growing season.

Culinary uses: Young leaves can be added to garden salads where their crimson leaves add some interest. Older leaves can be used as a spinach substitute.

Chervil

'Anthriscus cerefolium'

Fertilise

Frost hardy annual growing to a height of 30cm. Prefers partial shade in a rich, moist soil. The leaves have a mild aniseed flavour, so is often used in desserts or drinks.

Culinary uses: Can also be added to soups, sauces, salads, fresh vegetables and salad dressings. When cooking, add last thing so as to retain its flavour.

Chicory Red Rib

'Cichorium intybus ‘red rib’'

Fertilise

An annual salad herb to 30cms. Frost and drought tolerant. Likes a moist well-drained soil in a sunny position. With red ribs and green foliage this is an eye-catching herb for the garden. Has a slightly bitter flavour although the small inner leaves are milder tasting. Great in salads.

Medicinal uses: It is a traditional digestive and liver tonic.

Chives

'Allium schoenoprasum'

Fertilise

A hardy, attractive clump forming perennial with edible purple flowers in summer. Best grown in full sun but will tolerate partial shade. Frost hardy. Pick when plant is about 15cm high during the warmer months. Clip the leaves close to the ground to keep crop growing. Chives are exceptionally easy to grow, great for beginners and they should last for years. They are easily grown from seed and perfect for pots.

Culinary uses: Great with potatoes, as a garnish for soups and salads and flavouring omelettes and sauces.

Chives Garlic 'Chinese Chives'

'Allium tuberosum'

Fertilise

A spreading clump-forming perennial which has flattish leaves to about 60cms, requiring sun to partial shade with some summer watering. In autumn starry white edible flowers are produced making it a nice edging plant. Can be cut back to the ground and divided every second year. Garlic chives are classic flavour partners to parsley, basil, tarragon and chervil, soups, salads, herb butter and herb bread. Used a lot in Asian cuisine.

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.