All about herbs

Depending on the size and layout of your garden you could create any style of herb garden you like. Informal or formal. You can very easily make the garden in raised beds or pots which makes picking easy. They can also be grown amongst ornamentals or dotted throughout borders.

Perennial herbs

Once planted, come back year after year and therefore tend to be the easiest to grow. By picking them regularly for consumption you will keep them nice and compact, but some will appreciate a hard clipping in spring to rid of any old foliage and generate new growth.

Mint- Best grown in a pot because it can be quite aggressive and spreads in a border. As well as common mint there is peppermint, chocolate mint, spearmint and pineapple mint. Loves wet feet.

Sage- Forms neatly rounded bushes when picked regularly or clipped.

Sage. Veg out community garden- St Kilda.

Sage. Veg out community garden- St Kilda.

Thyme- Most thymes make excellent garden plants. Many varieties are low creeping so make good ground cover to soften path edges, break up gravel paths or used between stepping stones. Their foliage comes in a range of colours from golden yellow to variegated silver and they also flower well with pink or purple blooms in summer.

Bay- Evergreen shrubs that can be toparised or allowed to grow loose. They look good in a pot as a focal point and one plant is usually enough for the kitchen.

Rosemary- Extremely easy to grow with blue, lilac or white flowers. There is even a groundcover variety.

Oregano-A well behaved and effective ground cover.

Annual herbs

These can be grown from seed or bought as small pot plants and planted yourself. They need to picked regularly to stop them flowering and seeding.

Basil- A very tender plant. Sweet Basil is the most common. I find basil incredibly difficult to grow as the caterpillars seem to love it and can do considerable damage overnight. Companion planting works well with Basil…try Marigolds.

Sweet Basil. Veg out community garden, St Kilda.

Sweet Basil. Veg out community garden, St Kilda.

Coriander- Fast growing and can quickly go to seed in hot dry weather. Does like a lot of water. Grow in some shade as the tender leaves seem to dislike hot sun.