I am very excited today to have a guest post from Sam at Lavender World from the United Kingdom. Today he will share with you what windowsill herbs are great to have and grow nearby.
A new fashion is sweeping the nation. Unveiled at the Chelsea Flower shower key gardening is now becoming very popular. Combining psychology with planting, experts believe that the closer to the back door vegetables are planted the more likely one is to use them regularly in cooking.
This has brought about changes in the way we design our vegetable patches. Staples such as potatoes and onions are planted further away as these are seen as essentials and crops we cannot live without, whereas aubergines, salsify and chard are positioned closer to home in order to entice us to use them more in cooking.
There’s no better way to have crops close to hand than to have an army of windowsill herbs. Whether living in a window box within easy reach from an open kitchen window, or placed inside where the natural warmth of the home allows us to grow more Mediterranean herbs.
Window Box Herbs
Not only will an outside window box of herb plants complement any dish you create in the kitchen, it also adds a pleasing welcome to the outside of the house, letting visitors know that you’re keen about fresh produce whilst giving a fragrant display.
The best herbs to grow outside and together in one window box are:
- Sage – Either curly, purple or the more traditional mint green variety. When sage is established it can produce purple flowers that are also edible and make a great decoration to your favourite dishes.
- Rosemary – Bush rosemary or its smaller alpine cousin that produces lovely blue flowers
- Parsley – Flat leafed parsley may be best grown indoors, however although not considered too fashionable anymore, curly parsley still produces a wonderful flavour.
- Oregano – Variegated varieties provide a good source of colour, however any type will flourish in a British garden.
- Chives – Placed in the middle of the herbs these are wonderful as ornamental plants too as the chive flowers produce allium purple pom pom flowers that brighten up any border.
- Thyme – Lemon or orange thyme will add unique flavours to any dish however for a good all-rounder choose a silver thyme that not only looks attractive but can be used in stews and soups too.
On the Windowsill
Although we have a few months of the year when these herbs can be grown outside, for all year round cropping, grow on a windowsill indoors.
Basil – The supermarket plants won’t last long as the pots are overcrowded with seeds. Grow your own from seed in a conservatory or greenhouse, and see just how much better the flavour and texture is.
Coriander – A good cropper outdoors the harvesting period is quite short lived in Britain. Supermarket windowsill coriander will not last beyond a week. Grow your own, and any you don’t use can go to seed allowing you to harvest the fragrant small balls to store for years.
What about Mint?
Mint is a must in any kitchen garden; however it is not wise to plant with other herbs as it grows rapidly and its roots will strangle weaker plants. This is best grown in a pot just outside the backdoor or on the window sill, so you can keep control of it whilst still having it close to hand.
This was a guest post from Lavenderworld.co.uk.
Thanks again, Sam! I have a new recipe containing lavender coming up, too. It’s grain-free and I’m excited to share!
Thought-provoking, mind-prodding question of the day:
What are your favorite herbs to use? Do you grow any yourself?
My favorite is probably rosemary. Love the aroma. I wanted to make the scones above with rosemary, but it was too powerful for it. I used to grow a whole garden of herbs in pots: basil, cilantro, lemon thyme, chives, oregano, sage….