Sunday, June 1, 2014

English Herb Bed

"Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine"

Scarborough Faire originated in Medieval England in the mid 1200's. Merchants from all over Europe, Scandinavia and the Byzantine Empire traded and sold their goods at the 45-day event.

Parsley-thought to remove bad or bitter emotions
Sage-symbol of strength and wisdom according to Celtic tradition
Rosemary-given as a token of remembrance between lovers as it's strong scent lingers
Thyme-sign of love and courage, a knight's lady might embroider thyme leaves on his cloak or tunic

Basil-Ocimum basilicum is an annual that gets up to 18 inches tall. Wonderful for salads and sauces.
Bay-Laurus nobilis – Evergreen shrub which can get over 20 feet tall unless pruned. Hardy to Zone 7. Add dried leaves to soups, stews, beans.
Borage-Borago officinalis is a hardy annual that gets a foot tall. Deep blue flowers are a lovely garnish for salads and drinks.
Chives-Allium schoenprasum is an onion-flavored perennial that grows to a foot tall. Add the leaves to soups, salads and omelets; the flowers add a nice touch to salads and also dry well for arrangements. Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum), as you might expect, have a garlic flavor.
Dill-Anethum graveolens is an annual that reaches 2 feet and adds an anise flavor to salads, fish, and pickling.
Fennel-Foeniculum vulgare is a perennial that will add height to your garden, and a licorice flavor to your soups, salads and fish. Flowers dry well.
Lemon balm-Melissa officinalis is perennial and gets to 3 feet tall and is lovely in tea cakes, sauces, tea or lemonade. It’s in the Mint family, so it will get invasive – cut off the seed heads before they dry.
Lovage-Levisticum officinale is a hardy perennial that can grow to 3 feet. Use seeds for bread or salads, leaves for soups and casseroles.
Mints-Mentha species are hardy perennials growing up to 3 foot and can be very invasive. Grow in a container, or cut the seed heads before they dry and fall.
Oregano-Origanum species is a hardy perennial that grows up to a foot. Add to tomato sauces and soups.
Parsley-Petroselinum crispum is a hardy biennial so it will only last two years. Add to all kinds of dishes and use as a breath freshener.
Rosemary-Rosarinus occicinalis is a hardy (to Zone 6) evergreen perennial that can grow into a small bush 3 to 5 feet. Use for meats, and to flavored butter, oil and vinegar.
Sage-Salvia officinalis gets to 2 feet tall. Use in stuffings, sausage, and pork. Try the leaves battered and fried.
Sweet Woodruff-Galium odoratum or Asperula odorata can be used as a ground cover in the shade. It’s traditionally used to make wine or tea
Thyme-the thymus species is a low growing evergreen shrub that can be used in a wide variety of foods.
Rose-Scented Geranium

Law of physics: the herb garden at RHS Wisley
 includes culinary and medicinal plants

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