Parsley and Italian parsley grows very easily and can be used in soups, stews or as a garnish on just about anything. Parsley is also a natural breath freshener.
Rosemary should be pruned after the flowers appear to keep the plant neat and in compact form. Use the sprigs you cut off for cooking, or make longer cuttings to use as deliciously fragrant skewers when preparing kebabs. Rosemary gives superb flavouring to lamb, chicken and fish.
Thyme should be pruned to keep the plant looking neat and attractive. It is delicious in sweet dishes, salad dressings and marinades, as well as stuffing for chicken.
Garlic chives have a delicate garlic flavour and can be used in salads, soups and sauces. Garlic chives are also used in Chinese cuisine.
Origanum is often used in Italian cuisine, but it is also excellent for adding flavour to all tomato dishes, lamb dishes and beef stews.
Mint and variegated mint will add beautiful colour to your herb garden. Use it to make cool, fresh mint sauces and mint jellies to serve with a leg of lamb. Mint is delicious with peas, potatoes and carrots, and is an attractive garnish for desserts and cocktails. Plant it near or under a tap for year-round watering. You will need to cut it back regularly because it grows vigorously.
Sweet basil is an annual herb that grows very rapidly. It’s a universal favourite in tomato-based salads, pasta sauces and stews. Process it together with pine nuts, olive oil, a little lemon juice and finely grated Parmesan to make your own fresh basil pesto.
Coriander (also called dhania) is another annual that grows very fast. Sow new seeds in a pot every few weeks for a regular supply. The fresh leaves make a wonderful addition to curries, and are commonly used as a garnish for a range of Oriental dishes.
Marjoram can be used to add a strong and spicy flavour to soups (especially potato soup) and stews, and is delicious in a stuffing for chicken. Mustard-red giant has a peppery flavour and the leaves are great in salads. It is also great for adding colour to your herb garden.
Bloody sorrel has distinctive red-veined leaves and its sour, tangy leaves are wonderful when used in soups, sauces and salads. Regularly remove the flowering tops to ensure the leaves stay tender.
Fennel is often used to flavour fish, and the seeds add a tasty flavour to breads, curries and sauces. The bulbs, served raw or cooked, make a tasty accompaniment to a meal.
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