Herb Garden

Herb Garden

by Jez Hall

The other day my wife mentioned to me that it might be a good idea if we purchased a raised herb garden. "It would look really good in the corner there, and I could use the herbs for cooking", she said.

It was at that moment I made a critical error - my non-committal grunt and Roger Moore style raised eye-brow was enough to show a modicum of interest. The product was as good as ordered. Click-and-buy is way too easy.

So the "garden", consisting of several pressure treated planks of slotted timber duly arrived, and my planned Saturday morning of leisure disappeared. My task was to assemble this kit and plant up. Simple! And to be fair, it was.

I very much enjoyed constructing the thing with my hammer and nails, each piece slotting together to form a corner-style raised bed, with one large deep square and two smaller, shallower squares beneath. I emptied-in a couple of large bags of compost and things were starting to look really nice.

Just one problem - once the compost was in, it was extremely heavy! So my top tip is "build it where you want it!".

My plant advisor had already purchased some potted herbs and also received some as gifts (Thanks Mum), so the next step was to plant them in some sort of logical formation. Into the main section went the Bay plant - as per the instructions this should be sited in a sheltered area in the sun. It can tolerate most soils, as long as it is well drained. So that sounds good to me. My cooking advisor tells me Bay is one of the most versatile herbs used in cooking and the leaves are commonly used to flavour stews and soups.

Next in goes the Coriander - a versatile herb common in Asian cooking especially curries, Chinese and Thai dishes. Yum yum. Both the seeds and the leaves of the plant can be used, and offer two distinct flavours.

Now for the Rosemary, one of the most commonly grown herbs in the garden. It will bear small, blue or white flowers in late spring and is a fantastically versatile herb in the kitchen. Sprigs of rosemary can be added to roast vegetable medleys and to meats.

Unfortunately the Basil plant was lilting badly and I suspect it might not survive. I have my finger crossed that we don't get any more significant frost.
I gave the garden a good watering and will await the results.
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