Hi everyone. Before I get into the details of today’s post, Jordan asked me to explain why she has been MIA lately. After returning from their two-week trip to Africa, she has been on the road with work. She has only been home for three days since then, and that time has been devoted to laundry, groceries, mail, cleaning, etc. You get the picture. She promises both you and me that she’ll be back to posting soon.
I am so excited about today’s post. I have had an herb garden almost every year that we have been married, and that’s a lot of years. Sometimes I had as many as 30 different herbs in my garden, but since we down-sized to our townhouse and its courtyard, I now stick to the basics that I use for my own day to day cooking.
The nice things about herbs is that they don’t require a lot of space or attention. I lined this 5 x 5 space in our courtyard with boxwoods and then filled in the interior with herbs. Oh, and I even had room for two tomato plants that will climb up the trellis. And in a few weeks, I intend to plant some pumpkin seeds in there just as an experiment.
I planned my herb selections on what I actually use for cooking. You’ll find two kinds of basil in my garden. Both are great for pesto, caprese salads, and tomato sandwiches. I harvest enough basil to freeze several pints of pesto. I love using it on pasta in the winter when the basil plants have long been gone.
This herb is lovage, and it tastes just like celery. It is good in salads like chicken, tuna, potato or pasta salad. It’s also good to add to your bath water when you want a good soak.
This little sprig of a plant is rosemary. It will grow to almost shrub size this summer. (Sorry for the blurry photo). If the winter is mild enough, it will not die off. My last rosemary plant lived through two winters, but unfortunately, it couldn’t handle last winter.
Ditto for the thyme. Like the rosemary, it can live through a normal winter, but not last winter. There are several varieties of thyme, but I just went with a basic. I love it on any chicken dish.
I use parsley more as a garnish than as flavor. I bought curly-leafed parsley but will also purchase some flat-leaf parsley which is what most chefs recommend. The colors of these herbs are much greener than they are showing in the photos. Sorry about that.
This garden ornament, which I purchased a few years ago at the Brimfield, MA Antique Sale with my friend Beth rests above the chives. Chives are very hardy, and they did live through the winter.
Although we might just have a courtyard, Mr. Right selected for us the same outdoor spigot that is used on horse farms. It is very classic in design and will never freeze. If a hose is attached to it during the winter, the hose won’t freeze either.
Remember when using fresh herbs, you add them to your dish at the last minute so the flavor will be enhanced. When cooking with dried herbs, you add them early in the cooking so the flavors will come out in the process. If you haven’t planted any herbs before, it’s time to give it a try. There are many gardening books out there on how to do it.