Of all the plants that I have grown in my garden this year, the herb patch brings me the most pleasure. These sturdy plants remain icily unfazed by whatever creeping pestilence is plaguing the rest of my garden. They don’t wilt overnight for no apparent reason or blacken with some horrible fungus from incessant rainfall or become infested with slimy green eggs dropped from the back end of some wretched bug. They just grow. And they look pretty. And they smell good, all the while looking down their noses at the weaker plants around them who so easily succumb to bugs, disease, and a lackluster gardener. I like to pinch off their leaves and rub them between my thumb and fingers breathing in their heady scent when I am pulling weeds and watering. It’s cheap aroma therapy and works wonders to revive an embattled gardener who is up against an army of squash bugs.
Also - the herbs make everything that I cook taste much better.
Top center – dill
Purple leaves are basil
Across from the basil is cilantro
Underneath the purple basil is sage.
Underneath the sage is lemon balm.
The one with the tiny purple flowers is oregano
To the right (your right) of the oregano is lime basil.
Did you get all that?
Or should I go through it again?
The lime basil has a wonderful citrusy smell, but a peppery, basil taste. It’s kind of like an herb that is having an identity crisis. Perhaps it just turned 40?
Oregano is a perennial. I did not know this when I planted it last year and was surprised to find a clump of it growing this Spring in a happy, unperturbed mass by the fence. When I discovered it, I briefly became a happy unperturbed mass as well.
Dill – probably one of the most easily recognized herbs, but you still feel kind of smart and earthy and extra wholesome if you can identify it in a public place while lots of people are standing around you whom you wish to impress.
Here we have chopped purple basil, lime basil, oregano and lemon balm. I frequently add chopped herbs just like this to whatever I am cooking - sprinkling it on chicken and chops. But sometimes I really outdo myself and make a quick sauce of mayonnaise, parmesan, salt and a little garlic and then add the chopped herbs to the mixture, spreading it on whatever is about to go in the oven for dinner. This is particularly good on fish creating a rich, fragrant, golden herbed crust that is absolutely delicious.
Thinking of starting a small garden of your own?
Might I suggest the herbs?
They are a perfectly painless, particularly pretty patch.
And tasty too!