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New herb bed

(24 Posts)
kittylester Sun 05-May-13 08:24:21

I am now ready to plant up my new herb bed (approx 7' x 2'6"). What would you put in it? I have mint, rosemary and bay in pots. The bed is outside the back door and gets sun for most of the day.

JessM Sun 05-May-13 08:42:38

Whatever you do, keep the mint in a pot. Otherwise it will take over the whole bed in a year or two!
And whatever you do, grow lots of parsley. Cheapest way to get plants is to buy a pot in the supermarket herb dept, separate plants, water frequently.
Or growing from seed which takes a while... Parsley needs fresh planting every year.

Bez Sun 05-May-13 08:46:58

In my large herb tub I have basil, tarragon, flat and curly parsley, sorrel and a new sage plant. Mint alone in a large pot and rosemary in a flower bed. Last year I bought a dehydrator and found it good to dry any excess as I went along.

Bez Sun 05-May-13 08:48:09

Forgot to say I am now thinking of adding oregano, marjoram and coriander but will need to invest in another large tub.

Sook Sun 05-May-13 08:54:33

I find it nigh impossible to grow basil it just wilts and dies on me. There is a saying That 'parsley thrives where the apron rules' grin we always seem to have a good supply of it.

How about some lavender or old fashioned marigolds? They look very pretty and will add some colour, nasturtiums are edible too although they do attract blackfly.

Aka Sun 05-May-13 09:38:13

Thyme is easy to grow and useful. Pretty little flowers too. Likewise chives.

Galen Sun 05-May-13 09:42:27

I grow thyme parsley sage rosemary bay tarragon chives basil mint Vietnamese coriander lemon balm fennel nasturtiums roses lavender and weeds!
Oh, and wild garlic (in a pot)

Galen Sun 05-May-13 09:43:16

Also, lemons, limes, oranges,olives,and grapes

Maniac Sun 05-May-13 10:38:25

Sook Buy a pot of basil in supermarket.Cut off 2 or 3 healthy stems and put into water in a small vase.Within 1-2 weeks they will have developed a healthy root system and can then be planted into a new pot .Keep this cycle going and you can have fresh healthy basil all year.

gracesmum Sun 05-May-13 11:03:30

Sage is good and easy to grow, fennel (green or bronze) likewise and they are bith useful. You can't have enough parsley or thyme in my view and need at least a couple of chive plants. There are some unusual sages - pineapple sage was one I tried last year and though not hardy, was fun to use. Lemon balm will take over your garden in the same way as mint - I am still finding "pockets" of it yards away from where I transplanted a clump form MIL's garden in 2000 and DUG UP again when the garden was completely rethought 3 years ago. The gardener just laughed when I said where the lemon balm had come from and that I had chosen to plant it!

kittylester Sun 05-May-13 17:57:15

Thank you all for your suggestions.

I have so much wild garlic Galen that I could sell the darned stuff and, as for lemon balm GM, I can easily beat you in terms of longevity of the pesky stuff. When we moved here 20 years ago there was a large clump of it which we dug up immediately - last week I pulled yet more of it out.

I also love chinese lanterns so stupidly bought three pots and dotted them around the garden. They are currently staging a takeover bid.angry

And, if anyone has any trouble sleeping, I can let you have valerian by the ton - free!!

JessM Mon 06-May-13 03:11:57

wild garlic and lemon balm also have aspirations of grandeur and will take over the minute back turned. Garlic self seeds and LB like mint, puts suckers underground.

Bags Mon 06-May-13 07:18:01

Parsley doesn't need fresh planting every year if you let some of the plants run to seed. I have done this successfully in every garden I've had and I had a parsley corner on my allotment that provided fresh parsley for nine months of the year. It seeded itself and regrew.

Friends of mine reckoned you had to buy new parlsey seed, soak it overnight before sowing, etc, etc. Every year. I did that once.

In my current garden, I bought fresh parsley in a pot from the supermarket and planted it in the ground. This year it is re-growing for the third year running.

Bags Mon 06-May-13 07:20:27

Most of us are far too tidy in our approach to gardening. If you let plants get on with life and don't interfere too much, they usually do in my experience, so long as they are in decent soil that suits them in the first place.

Butty Mon 06-May-13 07:36:26

Mum used to say 'let nature do the planting' and 'don't be too tidy' - and she was a wonderful gardener.

Sook Mon 06-May-13 07:45:48

Maniac thanks for the tip. smile

MiceElf Mon 06-May-13 07:51:04

Try lovage. It's a perennial with an amazing taste. It has attractive dark green leaves and grows to about two feet high. Majoram grows easily and it's nice to plant a range of thymes at the border.

Sweet Cicely is lovely on puddings and you could grow green and bronze fennel too. The bronze is beautiful for looks, but don't grow dill and fennel together as they cross fertilise and you get a useless plant.

Basil is always best crown in a conservatory or at least a cloche as it loves the sun and is a slug and snail magnet.

Oh, and borage is good too - for all those summer drinks.

Bez Mon 06-May-13 08:02:50

Do you think we could have something like a - uses for herbs- thread so we could put down what we use the various herbs for? I love fresh basil on a tomato salad or when roasting peppers and sorrel is good for salmon etc etc but the lovage and a couple of others I would love some ideas for using.

MiceElf Mon 06-May-13 08:12:02

What a good idea.

My mother used to make Omlette au curé with young sorrel and dandelion leaves in early spring. It was said in France that it was the only thing they could afford.

Lovage is a wonderful herb. It's slightly reminiscent of celery, but only slightly, I think tastes are impossible to describe. I use a few chopped leaves in a green salad, also to flavour a plain Omlette, and lovage soup is wonderful. You would need to experiment with amounts as the flavour is strong and adjust to your taste.

A salad of bulb fennel, celery, sharp apple, yellow pepper and a few cauliflower florets with chopped lovage leaves scattered over is beautiful summer treat.

Bags Mon 06-May-13 08:41:36

I shall be making mushroom and nettle soup soon with the top parts of new nettle growth.

Bags Mon 06-May-13 08:43:35

Young sorrel leaves tucked into (or wrapped around) a dried date that is filled with cream cheese make a nice combination of flavours.

annodomini Mon 06-May-13 09:00:46

I wrap a salmon fillet in sorrel leaves and then in foil to be roasted in the oven.
I have large lovage plant. A small amount goes a long way in a vegetable soup or casserole. It freezes very well too, so there's always some to use in the winter.

kittylester Mon 06-May-13 10:41:17

Thank you all for your suggestions - Bez, I think your idea for a herb thread is brilliant. I don't do anything clever with herbs but I'd love it if someone would start one. smile

Stansgran Mon 06-May-13 11:53:53

Variegated sage has a pink flower and adds variety. I was told parsley seed has to go to hell and back nine times before it germinates so I used to pour boiling water along the seed drill every day for nine days. Works.