Growing herbs and aromatic plants

Herbs

There is nothing that I find more satisfying than to plant seeds or take cuttings and watch them grow into strong mature plants. They then reward you with wonderful flowers, fruits and seeds. This life cycle is vital for our existence on earth. I find the process very grounding and nurturing to my spirit and general sense of well-being.

 

It is something that we can all do whether we only have pots on our windowsill or a large garden.

 

If you grow herb and aromatic plants you get the wonderful scents along with the edible leaves, fruits and seeds. Below are a few suggestions of easy / interesting plants to grow:

 

Annual plants

These are plants which complete their full growing cycle in 1 season. i.e. they grow from seed, flower, produce seed and die all in the same year

 

Calendula or Pot Marigold

These are a wonderful bright addition to any planted area. Their leaves can be used in salads or you can macerate the flower heads in sunflower oil to produce the wonderful orange coloured oil which is so good for treating skin conditions

 

Coriander

These wonderful ferny type plants are easy to grow giving wonderful foliage, flowers. and a crop of coriander seeds at the end of the season

 

Perennial plants

Perennials are classified as plants that can live for more than two years

 

Thyme

This comes in many varieties – some of the variegated leaves give a wonderful splash of colour. These can be grown easily from seed but can go woody when they get large so are best replaced every few years. You can use the leaves in cooking and dry them for use through the winter months

 

Sage

This again comes in many varieties. They, like thyme can be grown from seed but do need replacing regularly as they go woody. They can be used in cooking and the dried leaves can be used to smudge treatment areas to clear negative energies.

 

Fennel

This is a wonderful architectural plant which has fern like foliage. The flowers are yellow producing seeds which taste like aniseed balls! The dried seeds can be used in cooking and teas. Beware of this plant as it can get very large with long roots!! – keep it contained in a pot or replace regularly

 

Chamomile

This is a carpet forming plant which had wonderful daisy like flowers – it can be grown from seeds or from cuttings. A wonderful plant to put in areas near seating or that you can brush against. Chamomile lawns were popular in Victorian times

 

Lavender

These are quite difficult to grow from seed as the seed needs to be placed in the freezer to break the hard seed coating before they can germinate. They are best taken as cuttings from another plant

 

Mint

This is available in many varieties. It is a prolific grower so best contained in pots unless you want it growing everywhere in your garden. It can be grown from seed or split from other plants.

 

Ginger

You can grow ginger as an indoor plant from the root ginger you buy in the supermarket. If possible buy it with a growing bud and then pot it up in compost. It will grown into a wonderful house plant

 

Useful Information

I recommend Sarah Raven for buying seeds and plants, she does a wonderful selection along with great home and garden wares. Find her at

www.sarahraven.com

 

Below are a few you tube videos you might find useful:

 

How to plant and grow from seed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9dd0hoQKvw

 

Taking cuttings:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-mMEeIJIOo&feature=related

 

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