The Herb Garden - Collection of Herbs

Here is a wonderful collection of useful herbs for your herb garden. These herbs are used in the free herb garden design. The medicinal and culinary use of each herb is described. Some interesting facts are given for some herbs.

I use fresh herbs out of my garden. They are so much more tasty and fragrant than the dried ones bought at the supermarket. May these delightful plants inspire you to grow them in your garden?


The number of each herb corresponds to the number on the free garden design . You may also want to look at a few pictures of herbs (a new window will open). Click on the link below for a description of the herb.

1. Rosemary

Herb Garden - Rosemary

2. Comfrey
3. Sweet Cicely
4. Lady’s Mantle
5. Fennel
6. Chive
7. Salad Burnet
8. Savory
9. Lovage
10. Tarragon
11. Basil
12. Lemon Balm
13. Lavender
14. Thyme
15. Parsley

1.  Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis).

First on the herb garden design is Rosemary. This is a very ancient herb. It has marvellous culinary and medicinal purposes it also smells very aromatic. The name Rosmarinus means “Dew of the sea”. It was burnt in ancient times to clean and clear the air.

Rosemary leaf is strong and should be used sparingly. It is delicious with beans, tomatoes and lamb. Rosemary flowers, stripped of the calyx can be used in salad. Consider using Rosemary twigs (stripped of their leaves) instead of skewers when you make kebabs for barbeques, it adds to the flavour.

Rosemary is good for blood pressure abnormalities. It levels both high and low blood pressure. It also helps with headaches, fainting, fits, rheumatism and obesity.

Rosemary grows well in most types of soil, but it prefers sandy, light and well drained soil. It is hardy ever-green, and flowers in spring and autumn. It is an excellent plant for your herb garden.

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2. Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)

Comfrey makes excellent mulch. Wait for two days before chopping it up. The leaves soaked in water make a good fertilizer. Comfrey is rich in minerals and excellent for the compost heap. Boiled comfrey leaves were used anciently to knit bones, they harden when they are dry. They were also used to ease burns, bruises and ruptures.

The leaves may be eaten, but research has indicated that comfrey may damage the liver. Comfrey likes sun or partial shade. It requires a lot of moisture in order to grow well. It grows well in swampy ground and it attracts bees to your herb garden.

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3. Sweet Cicely (Myrrhis odorata)

Cicely is a handsome slow growing perennial. It is a very fragrant plant and has a lovely sweet anise flavor. The tiny white flowers of Myrrhis grow in clusters. These should be cut off to retain the full flavour of the leaves.

Sweet Cicely is the “sugar saver” herb and can be used with tart fruits. This herb cuts down acidity. It also reduces the amount of sugar needed. All you do is add finely chopped leaves when cooking your tarts.

It will be really sweet if you can find a place for it in your herb garden. Cicely germinates easily from seed and is sown in early spring. It likes to grow in partial shade and moist soil.

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4. Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla mollis).

Lady’s Mantle reaches a height of 30-40cm and gets dainty yellow flowers. This herb is a perennial and was chosen to complement the other herbs in the design.

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5.  Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare dulce)

Fennel is a perennial. It grows to 1.5m tall. It has finely divided feathery leaves. It has bright yellow flowers and a sweet anise flavor.

Fennel is grown from seed and is a very hardy plant. It likes a sunny position and well drained soil.

Fennel is well known as the “fish herb”. The seeds and leaves give fish a lovely flavor. The attractive leaves also look good as a garnish.

An infusion of leaves or seeds is very good for tired eyes or inflamed eyelids. Fennel is a diuretic, and a mild laxative, it is also good for a detox slimming program.

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6. Chives ( Allium Schoenoprasum)

Chives belong to the garlic and onion family. I use them extensively in my kitchen. They not only taste good, they also improve the appetite. Chives cleanse the blood and ward off colds and flu. The plant likes rich soil and a sunny position, but it dies down in winter.

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7. Salad Burnet (Sanguisorba minor)

This plant is native to the Mediterranean region. It is grown from seed only. Sow seed from late spring or early autumn. This is a hardy perennial and will stay green.

Burnet leaves have a fresh cucumber taste and are used in salads. Leaves taste best when they are young, tender and fresh. Burnet vinegar is also delicious and good for French dressing. The leaves can be used in place of parsley. A very useful plant for any herb garden.

Chopped leaves added to smooth cottage cheese, makes a tasty dip. An infusion of Salad Burnet helps to tone and refine the skin. Here is a recipe.

Burnet Vinegar

Ingredients:

10 tablespoons of chopped burnet leaves.
450 ml white wine vinegar.

Method:

Bring wine vinegar to the boil. Add the crushed Burnet leaves and leave to cool. Pour into a wide mouthed bottle and keep for two weeks, shake every day. Strain the vinegar and re-bottle.

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8. Savory (Satureia spp)

Savory is a low growing annual. It grows between 20 to30 cm in height. Savory has long narrow leaves and small dainty blue and white flowers.

Summer Savory is used to flavor fish, meat and eggs. It has a delicate spicy flavor.

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9. Lovage (Levisticum officinale)

This herb is a close relative of celery, but 4 times the size. Lovage is a perennial and bears greenish yellow lacy flowers. It likes rich composted soil and dies down in winter. It likes partial shade.

The Lovage leaves are used in soups and stews. They can also be dried on a drying rack in a cool area on the patio. Store it in an airtight jar when dried.

Lovage treats coughs and helps ease stomach pains.

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10. Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)

This herb has a fiery taste. Their roots look like serpents.

Tarragon dies down in winter, but it revives in spring. They loose their flavour as they get older. Cut the perennials side shoots and replant. Keep new cutting going for fresh growth and taste. Eventually discard the plant when it gets very old. This plant requires moist soil and grows to 1 meter in height.

Tarragon will attract butterflies to your herb garden.

Tarragon is good for compost because it breaks down quickly.

Tarragon is good for acne. Place a leaf on a pimple to draw it out. It also eases toothache when placed on the sore tooth.

Tarragon makes good vinegar and can be used in many dishes, for example chicken stuffing and mustards. You can also make a tasty herb butter form it.

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11. Basil (Ocimum basilicum var. “Dark Opal”)

Basil likes sun. It can be planted in a vegetable and herb garden. If tomatoes are planted next to basil they develop a lovely taste.

Basil is an annual, and attracts butterflies. Dried basil gives of a spicy scent. Bunches of fresh basil hung upside down, will keep the flies away. Crush the leaves to release the smell.

Crushed basil leaves massaged into the scalp is said to promote hair growth. It is also used as an antiseptic. Fresh basil leaves rubbed onto the temples can relieve a headache.

Basil and tomatoes go well together. It also goes well with Aubergines marrow and squash. Basil’s taste is overpowering and it should be used sparingly.

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12. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Mellissa is a very popular herb garden plant. It is grown all over the world. It is used in aromatherapy to combat depression. Simply crush the leaves and smell the beautiful, uplifting fragrance.

Melissa dies down in winter. Cut it back to encourage new spring growth. Melissa encourages bees to visit your garden.

This herb deters moths if hung in bunches in your cupboards. Melissa mixed with aqueous cream sooths aching feet.

Mellissa is good for cheese dishes and fish. It is tasty in salads mixed with cucumber, asparagus and celery.

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13. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavendula likes airflow around it and full sun. It looks and smells beautiful. It is a much loved herb for cosmetics and beauty.

Rodents hate the smell of lavender. Sprigs of lavender rubbed onto the windowsill will discourage flies. Sprigs of lavender in between linen, keep fish moths at bay. Lavender helps for sleeplessness. The fragrance is also very soothing.

Lavender should not be limited to a herb garden, it also makes beautiful borders.

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14. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

This spreading evergreen perennial grows to 45 cm in height. It is used as an antiseptic for mouthwashes. It is also used to flavour meats, fish, soup, stews and herb sauces.

Thyme is good for pimples. Thyme made in form of a tea, sweetened with honey will promote sleep. Thyme is also said to cure certain worm infestations in children.

There are a number of different Thyme herbs select one that will complent your herb garden.

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15. Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

Parsley has been used for hundreds of years. Many call it the king of herbs.

Parsley is very nutritious and a few leaves everyday will aid the body in many ways. It is good for the bladder and is rich in iron.

Parsley may be added to cooked vegetables, salads, and stews. It makes a lovely garnish.

Grow parsley near tomatoes and roses to discourage insects. No herb garden should be without parsley.

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There are many more wonderful herbs to use in a herb garden. The above is just a small collection of some of my favourites.

Want to Design your own Herb Garden

We provide detailed information and know how to help you to design a herb garden . Come on, be creative and plant your own herb garden!

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