Saturday, November 12, 2011

Herbs Still Going Strong

Purple Sage

It's November and many of my herbs still look fantastic.  I always grow lots of herbs.  I do a decent amount of cooking and there's nothing like going right out onto the deck and clipping a few herbs for a marinade or a pasta sauce.  Also, I like how they make such great companions in a mixed container planting (oregano notwithstanding--it's terribly invasive).  So here are three that are still going strong.

Sage:  This is an old standby for me.  It's perennial in my zone so it returns every year.  I'm partial to purple sage because it plays well with bright colors in a container.  Also, the texture of the leaves adds interest to a mixed planting.  It likes full sun.  For cooking, it's a great addition to pork, turkey, and even cheese dishes.  I always put a few leaves under the skin of my Thanksgiving turkey before I roast it.  But be careful not to use too much as it can be overpowering.

Italian Parsley

Parsley:  I grow flat leaf (Italian) parsley.  What's the difference between that and curly parsley?  Well, I think the flat leaf just looks better, more elegant, in the garden.  Also, most cooks prefer flat because it's more pungent.  Typically you would only see curly parsley as a garnish.  Parsley is a prolific grower and likes full sun.  Although I've read about gardeners in colder zones than mine having luck with their parsley returning, mine has never survived my zone 7 winter.  I have to buy new every year.  Because there's even more flavor in the stems than in the leaves, I just chop up an entire bunch, stems and all, into my marinades and pasta sauces.  Also, consider adding parsley to your salad. 

Thyme:  This herb is super easy to grow.  You can start it from cuttings with almost no effort.  It is very hardy (zone 4) and likes full sun.  Because its leaves are so tiny, it is a great addition to a mixed planting and it tends to have a spillover effect.  For cooking, try it in your marinades, meat dishes, soups, and stuffing. 

My most favorite herb, Rosemary, is missing from this writeup.  For whatever reason, it did not perform well for me this year, and I had three plants!  I usually have great success with it but this year, I think I'll barely have enough for my Turkey Day preparations.  Oh well, better luck next year!

1 comment:

Swimray said...

Mini celery, oregano, and rosemary here.