From growing your own herbal remedies to cooking, cosmetics and medicine, herbs are great value in, as well as out of the garden.
The Grow Your Own movement has increased the popularity of less common varieties as gardeners and budding chefs alike are looking to grow their own unusual edible produce to impress their friends with.
What’s more, fresh herbs can contain more cancer fighting antioxidants than some fruit and vegetables, (according to fresh-herbs.co.uk), so there’s a really big push in the market for weird and wonderful tasting herbs from all over the world.
Primula veris (Cowslip) is a variety that may perhaps less commonly be viewed as an herb, and more of a woodland plant, but the peppery leaves can be added to salad, and we have even seen recipes for Cowslip tartlets, Cowslip Jelly, Cowslip flower ice cream and even for a headache cure in the form of Cowslip tea.
Lavender, coming from the same family as mint, has been used across cultures for thousands of years for perfumes and medicinal use. Often used to infuse patisserie cream for a delicious Lavender flavoured dessert.
Although we prefer it most when planted in swathes along garden paths, releasing its heavenly scent on hot summers days. Lavender angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ (also pictured above) is an excellent dwarf Lavender with very dark-purple flowers and narrow green leaves.
Perhaps the best thing about Balm is that by simply touching or bruising the leaves, they release the most heavenly lemon scent. Its genus name ‘Melissa’ means ‘honey bee’, and bees certainly do love Lemon Balm flowers. We however, prefer it turned into a delicious Lemon Balm infused Limoncello. The variety pictured below is Balm ‘Variegated’. It has wonderful variegated lemon yellow leaves with green centres.