Herbs I’m Growing

July 30, 2008

I’m growing more herbs than ever in my garden this year. I generally stick to flowers and ornamentals but after coming across some great examples of container herb gardens I was intrigued by the variety of color and texture you can get in one pot using only herbs. Here’s a picture of my container herb garden.

The tall one on the left is Stevia rebaudiana, a great alternative sweetener. The golden colored leaves in the back right is Oregano (Origanum aureum). On the right side (a little hard to spot without clicking through to a larger image) is Dill (Anethum graveolens). In the front is Italian Parsley (Petroselinum crispum). And finally, in the front left is Curry (Helichrysum italicum). The local nursery that I purchased these from had a great selection of herbs and it was difficult to narrow my choice down to these five.

Each one has unique foliage. The Stevia has fuzzy, slightly serrated, oval leaves. The Oregano has small golden smooth (but not glossy) leaves that, due to their color, are very striking. The Dill is dark green and has finely divided foliage like Fennel (which, curiously enough, is only related through the Apiaceae family, not by genus). The Italian Parsley (also called Flat-leaf Parsley) has larger dark-green shiny leaves. The Curry plant is very different with tiny, whitish, leaves. It’s got the shape of Rosemary (only miniature) and skin that’s somewhere between Lavender and Dusty Miller. Here it is up close.

Although the leaves do smell like curry, Helichrysum italicum is not not used to season curries.

Here’s a close up of the Oregano.

I’ll confess that I haven’t put this plant to much culinary use but the foliage sure brightens up this container.

I also haven’t used the Stevia much yet (although we do use several Stevia products in our household). I have confirmed on several occasions thought that the leaves are in fact very sweet tasting. Here’s a shot of the Stevia up close.

In the vegetable garden there’s a bed with a well-established clump of Fennel. Our son, who will eat any vegetable as long as it is picked and eaten in the garden, frequently grabs a handful to snack on. Because of it’s height and dark color it helps provide some nice structure in the veggie patch. Here’s a photo of what it’s up to now.

For some reason nothing seems to grow very well in the bed with the Fennel except for a large clump of Sage (I’m pretty sure it’s Salvia officinalis). I would be quite happy with it even if it never flowered because the foliage is quite handsome.

Other plants in our Southern Oregon garden that would normally be classified as herbs include Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, Basil, and some self-sown Feverfew (at least I think that’s what it is).

What herbs do you grow in your garden? Which one is your favorite?