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A Home Herb Garden – 6 Herbs to Grow

A home herb garden is ideal for any enthusiastic cook who values flavor in their food. Most of the herbs that we commonly use for cooking are easy to grow, and once you have experienced the pleasure of picking fresh pieces for the pot, you will never want to be without freshly grown herbs.

This does not mean that you need to have a large garden. In fact you do not need a garden at all – because a large variety of herbs can be successfully grown in containers. Even if you live in an apartment building on a high level, you can grow them on a reasonably sunny windowsill.

What you decide to grow in your kitchen garden will depend largely on what you use for cooking. But you can also add other herbs, just because they look and smell nice. Four great herbs to start out with are parsley, chives, chervil and tarragon. Chop up an equal number of each of these to make the traditional French blend, fines herbs. Sprinkle into salads or use in cooked egg, chicken and fish dishes. These subtle herbs do lose flavor when cooked, so it is best to add them when the food is almost cooked, or even just sprinkle over the top to create a delicious garnish.

Parsley is one of the most common herbal species that people grow at home, and it is easily grown from both seeds and seedlings. There are two main types, curly and flat-leafed, both of which are a particularly rich source of vitamins and minerals. You can use all parsley fresh, or you can dry the leaves and use them dry at a later stage.

Chives, which are part of the onion family, are also easy to grow, and you have a choice between ordinary onion chives and garlic chives. Chop up their stems as a garnish and use, when they flower, their pink, edible flowers in salads.

Chervil is a hardy annual herb that grows best in damp, shady spots in the garden. It looks a lot like parsley and is used in much the same way. Like parsley, you can use chervil leaves fresh or dried.

Tarragon has a much more subtle and sophisticated flavour than most other herbs, and it is an essential ingredient in French cuisine. Although there is a type of Russian tarragon, French tarragon is considered to be the true type. Apart from its use in cooking and for garnishing, tarragon is commonly used to flavour white wine vinegar.

Rosemary is another very easy-to-grow herbal species. If you know someone with an established bush, just break off a piece, pull the needle-like leaves off the lower part of the stem, and stick it in the ground. It is equally at home in a regular garden or in a container, and can also be used fresh or dry.

Bay trees are another favourite, and they too may be grown in the garden or in a pot. It is a good looking plant that you can keep trimmed if need be. To dry the leaves, hang a branch in a dry, dark, well ventilated place and then remove the dry leaves from the stem before storing in an airtight container. While most people use dry bay leaves, you can also use them fresh, preferably shredded before use.