More than a treat for the tastebuds

Rosemary is flowering.
Rosemary is flowering.
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Culinary uses apart, we are pleased to create space for various herbs that have other strings to their bows.

Rosemary Jessop’s Upright is a mass of pale blue flowers at present, and being sited on a garden thoroughfare, it releases that most agreeable fragrance as we brush past the foliage.

Fragrant lemon balm

Fragrant lemon balm

Pinching out the growing tips is normal routine as they’re gathered to accompany at least one meal a week. As this simple practice encourages bushiness in any plant, our rosemary thrives.

Rosemary is always rich in stem cuttings in summer, so is sage, and they’ll both root well in damp gritty sand. Grey-green leaved Salvia officinalis is the sage most often grown for kitchen use but three others we have - Golden, Purple and Tricolor - are so attractive and edible.

The lemon balm (Melissa) comes in two forms, green and variegated.

Both are welcome here for their gorgeous citrus scented leaves. Although it’s a member of the mint family (labiatae) with square stems, and can be divided up to create new plants, it is much less invasive than its relatives.

Colonising as much garden space as possible is second nature to annual borage, whose deep blue flowers and black stamens can be found on medieval tapestries. We sowed a packet of seed years ago and have never been without the plant since. The flowers are edible and often floated on summer drinks.