Basil, Sweet (Ocimum basilicum)
Sweet basil is a tender annual, and is part of the Lamiaceae family.
It grows to a height of about 1 ½ feet and has green leaves
that are pointed and oval. White flowers develop in the summer.
sweet basil from seed after the chance of spring frost has long
passed. Pinching the stems will promote a fuller, more compressed
plant. You can pick the leaves about six weeks after planting
basil is a must in pasta and tomato dishes.
Bay is a small tree with a maximum height of about 20 to 25 feet
and is often kept pruned to a manageable height. It is a member
of the Lauraceae family. Bay is not a good herb for containers
because it grows very slowly.
aromatic leaves add a nice subtle flavor to stews and sauces.
Chervil is a hardy biennial that often acts like an annual. It
grows to approximately 1 or 2 feet, has fern-like leaves, and
is a member of the Apiaceae family. Small white flowers grow from
spring to summer.
has a peppery taste that goes well with chives and tarragon in
sauces and other dishes.
Chives are hardy perennials, which grow to approximately 1 foot
in height and are a member of the Alliaceae family. They have
beautiful pink or purple flowers. When the plants get too packed
together, they are easy to separate and replant.
have a taste similar to onions, but not as strong. They are an
absolute must in many oriental dishes and are also excellent in
salads and with potatoes.
Dill, also called dill weed, is an annual that grows to about
5 feet. It has yellow-green flowers which develop into seeds in
late summer. It is a member of the Apiaceae family.
has a taste that is similar to fennel and is delicious mixed with
heavy cream and garlic for tasty salad dressing.
Garlic is a popular herb that has been cultivated for thousands
of years. Today, wild garlic only grows in Central Asia in Turkmenistan.
Wild varieties probably grew over a much larger area of Asia at
one time. Garlic has been cultivated for at least 5000 years.
It was first used extensively in China and Persia, as well Egypt,
Greece and Rome. Gilroy, California celebrates an annual garlic
festival and you can visit their site at http://www.garlicfestival.com/
for lots of good recipes.
There are several excellent varieties of mint, which are in the
Lamiaceae family. As an example, Mentha spicata is a hardy perennial
that grows to approximately 2 feet in height. It is easy to grow
and spreads underground by root stolons (similar to the way grass
and bamboo spread) and can be somewhat invasive. Its invasive
tendency can be abated by growing it in containers.
makes a delicious jelly and can add character to salads and many
Parsley is a hardy biennial that grows to a height of approximately
1 ½ feet and is a member of the Apiaceae family. Off-white
flowers appear in the summer of the second season and the seeds
will fall to the ground and sprout in the next season.
adds a distinctive note to many dishes and is also used as a garnish
in soups and salads.
There are many varieties of sage, from Jim Sage to Pineapple Sage.
They are annuals that grow from 1 ½ feet to 4 feet and
are members of the Lamiaceae family.
are a number of colors and leaf shapes that you can find at your
local nursery. Many can last through the winter.
adds distinction to turkey and other poultry, as well as stuffing.
An additional asset is the beautiful aroma and color it adds to
Tarragon is a perennial that grows to approximately 2 feet and
is a member of the Asteraceae family. It does well in partial
has a tart flavor that is tantalizing in seafood and poultry dishes.
The leaves must be used while fresh because they soon loose their
flavor. Tarragon leaves blend well with parsley, chives, and chervil.
Thyme is a woody, shrub-like, hardy perennial that grows to approximately
1 foot tall and is a member of the Labiatae family. Make sure
you use a well-drained soil for growing thyme.
adds zest to poultry and pasta sauce. It is a common herb is Cajun
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