I don’t have a lot of space for gardening where I live now. In fact, pretty much the only place I can plant things is around the sides of the house, and much of that area is shady. (There is also the deck, where I am currently experimenting with container gardening, but that’s a subject for a future post.) Fortunately herbs are easy to grow in the space I have available.
Some herbs, such as peppermint, lemon balm, and bee balm, (all members of the mint family), can take some shade. I have lemon balm and peppermint growing around a lilac bush, where they seem to be quite happy.
Both plants make delicious teas and have other culinary uses as well. I have enjoyed peppermint in minty pasta, added chopped peppermint to a chocolate chip cookie recipe, and my next experiment will be a layer cake flavored with chopped mint. And I have lots more ideas to explore.
On the sunny side of the house, I planted oregano, which I mostly use fresh in salads and to flavor tomato sauce, and I dry some for winter use as well.
I also have a patch of chives there, delicious in salads, biscuits, and many other dishes, and some bee balm, which makes a fragrant tea.
This is lovage, which has been described as having a taste similar to celery. It sort of does. The leaves and stems can be used in place of celery in soups and stews, and I also like it in salads. Next to it, I planted a couple of salad burnet plants. Pretty much the only use I know for that is as its name implies – a salad herb. It has a flavor reminiscent of cucumber. I also have some basil growing in pots by the front door. And that’s my herb garden.
Herbs are easy to grow. Even if the only space you have is a flower pot in a sunny window, you have the opportunity to enjoy a bit of fresh, local food, the fruits of your own labor!