Botanists will simply describe herbs as any plant that doesn’t have a permanent woody stem. Essentially this means any plant that is not a tree or shrub. Most gardeners would define herbs as plants that we grow to add flavour to our cooking but this definition falls down when you consider rosemary is a shrub and bay leaves come from a tree.
Herbs are amongst the easiest plants to cultivate. A large majority only require good drainage, plenty of sun, and moderate amounts of fertilisers and water. With a good start and a little regular maintenance your herb garden will reward you with a plentiful bounty.
While most herbs will tolerate poor soil and periods of drought they shouldn’t have to. Herbs flourish best in good quality soils and with the same regular watering the rest of the garden is afforded. A good planting mix is perhaps the most important element of a successful herb garden. A combination of manure, compost or other fertile organic material that is light on bark and sawdust will produce the best results.
Your herbs don’t need to be grown in special herb beds. They will be perfectly happy and bring fragrance and beauty to any part of your garden that is blessed with plenty of sunshine. Using parsley or sage as a border or one of the lower growing lavender’s to hide the woody undergrowth of roses can be extremely effective.
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