Wednesday, 10 October 2012


I have in my backyard a wine barrel full of herbs, with a few other miscellaneous pots around the place with smatterings of other herb-y things. Taking the sum total of things, I have chives, oregano, basil, Italian parsley, spring onions, sage, rocket, thyme and mint.

These are not in equal proportions - the rocket is growing up between the mint and parsley, and in between the weeds in one of the "garden beds" where it self seeded. I use the term garden bed advisedly - the dog likes to sleep there - it is her "bed", but not much else grows in it besides some hardy weeds and adventurous rocket.

The sage, basil and spring onions are all baby plants and not big enough to harvest yet, but the chives are a healthy tuft, the parsley is going great guns and the mint is trying its hardest to take over the barrel, foiled by me constant pulling out of tufts of it.

This ramble does actually have a point. It is that I was looking at the lush greenery, feeling guilty and thinking that I don't use the herbs nearly as much as I should. So I am setting myself a new challenge: to use herbs in cooking or some food-related activity every day.

Perhaps some chives chopped over an egg for breakfast. Or some oregano in pasta sauce. Some rocket leaves on a sandwich. Parsley chopped over dinner for some fresh greeness. Some basil on a pizza. A mint tisane before bed. There are many many possibilities and I'm not quite sure why I don't already make use of them every day. I am sure my cooking will move to a whole new level with the help of my little culinary friends.

Do you have any herbs in your garden that you like to use? Any favourite ways to cook/eat with herbs? Do you, like me, have herb-guilt? Post a comment and let me know your experience.


  1. I would love to have a garden with herbs, but now, I have only a window-box. I love to grow basil, thyme and chives. But it would be great to have more, as I always feel sorry for them when I use them.

  2. I know what you mean by feeling sorry for the herbs! This has stopped me on a number of occasions from picking herbs to use. However, in my experience (as long as you don't pull most of the plant out!), herbs actually like being picked - it makes them grow back bushier. It's a bit like pruning roses. A good tip is to pick the leaves at the top of the plant - the growing tip, as this makes the plant bush out more.

    Basil, thyme and chives are great herbs! Very useful - also compact so good for small spaces. What do you like to use them for? Basil for me means pizza!