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Summary: Herbs make all the difference in your kitchen and your garden. Growing herbs couldn’t be easier and their many uses make them very popular. With so many mint plant varieties and sage herbs to name a few it is wise to do a little research on which summer herbs are the best choice for you.
There is nothing nicer than walking into a kitchen to be hit by the smell of an herb infused chicken meal, lavender cookies or a mint tea. It is no fluke that herbalists were kept busy for so many hundreds if not thousands of years as herbs, a term for a huge range of plants, has many uses and are very popular.
Herbs in the Garden
Growing herbs in the garden provides a wealth of benefits. First and foremost the combined scent of growing rosemary and thyme, lavender and sage amongst other herbs makes being in the garden all the more pleasant. It is of course the scent as much as the taste of herbs in cookery that makes their use so well regarded.
A little research is required first before planning to plant herbs in the garden. Firstly, location is of the upmost importance. Lavender for example, which is actually one of the mint plant varieties so is actually a herb prefers a dry soil, and thrives best in a rockery or similarly gravel-based soil. Other herbs preferring a more moist bed to grow in will be best place elsewhere. Overall though once you have decided what you want to plant and where they will go maintaining a herb garden is fairly simple.
Some herbs grow from seed and others, such as the sage plant herb grows best via propagation from a cutting from another plant. Having planted or re-sited your herbs you will need to do little more than keep pests away and keep them fed and watered as appropriate. This will leave you will a beautiful herb garden which is handy for the kitchen and other uses and which looks stunning (despite most herbs being green the plants often bloom, such as the sage plant which has lovely purple flowers during the flowering season).
All of the mentioned herbs, lavenders, mints, sages, thyme and not forgetting basil are all great summer choices for your herb garden.
Herbs in the Kitchen
Used properly herbs don’t take over a dish, they bring out the best flavours of the meat or other ingredients. A delicate hand is needed when using herbs for the first time as some are stronger in flavour than other. To add interest to a meal why not mix things up a bit? Fast growing rosemary and thyme for example work very well together, especially with either lamb (slow roasted) or pork.
Herbs may be chopped, boiled, mixed, made into a paste with a pestle and mortar or combined in a bag to make a fragrant bunch which is lovely if allowed to simmer in a stew or casserole and may be easily removed before serving.
There are so many ways that herbs may be used in the kitchen and having a good variety of fresh and flavoursome herbs outside of the kitchen door, ready for you to snip and use as required makes all the difference to how a meal tastes and smells.
*Top summer herb tip:
Towards the end of the summer when herbs start to droop pick them, and freeze them. Many people freeze mixed chopped herbs in ice cubes so that they may be popped straight from the freezer and into a dish as required.