(By Lyndy Mansfield)
Growing your own herbs is as easy as pie, satisfying, economical and can be planted indoors or out. Here are the simplest ones to start off with.
Mint ~ Comes back year after year. Once it has taken hold it can become something of a marauder. Rather plant it in a pot so you can discipline it. Loves shade and water. Bugs hate the smell, so it can have an extra role to play. Then again bees love it and will enjoy the nectar the little flowers produce. Mint is a lovely breath refresher, ideal to add to cool drinks, salads and veggies. (For peas, carrots, etc., pop in the mint about five minutes before they are cooked.)
Rosemary~ One of the easiest and hardiest of herbs to grow. Loves lots of sun and well-drained soil. It makes a delicious, soothing tea and is an absolute must if you are roasting lamb. It gets on well with any garlic and savoury dishes.
Coriander ~ This is a love/hate herb. It is simply a must, in my opinion, for any curry dishes and is delicious with Philadelphia cream cheese and sweet chili sauce. Yum. It makes an interesting addition to stir-fries and avocados. The distinctive flavor is not everyone’s favorite. This herb will flourish in cooler areas as it is not partial to bright sunlight.
Basil ~ Here is a lovely green herb that thrives in sunlight. It is perfect for spaghetti, pizzas, soups, seafood dishes and salads. When your plant gets flowers, cut them off, which will produce more leaves. The more you harvest basil, the more it grows.
Parsley~ Cultivating parsley is a piece of cake. I love Italian parsley which will grow anywhere and even just sprinkling the seeds on a patch of earth will normally grow. Omelettes and, in fact, all egg dishes are enhanced with the flavor of these frilly little leaves.You can add parsley to virtually any meal to enhance the flavor. The sprigs are perfect for garnish.