In the last couple of years – well, ever since lockdown actually – I’ve become more and more invested in gardening. Unfortunately for me, I live in rented accommodation, so there’s only so much I can do to the property without upsetting the landlord. That being said, I have spent the last 2 years or so mastering the art of creating a renter friendly garden that is practical and pretty. In this time, I have filled my garden with unique fence planters filled with gorgeous blooms, delicious fresh vegetables, and, of course, fragrant, aromatic herbs.
The humble herb is one of my favourite types of plants to grow outside. There are plenty of reasons why these plants stole my gardening heart, but the main reason is that, quite frankly, I love having my very own supply of tasty homegrown food just yards away from my kitchen. I love being able to pop out and pick a few leaves, knowing that they’re going to add a real punch of flavour to my food and drinks. Herbs are also especially good for flavouring vegan dishes – something that I’m trying to incorporate more into our family’s lifestyle.
I’ve grown many different types of herbs over the last few years, but the ones I have listed below have to be 5 of the best herbs to grow in your garden. They’re great to use in your cooking, they’re easy to grow, and they look gorgeous in the summer sunshine too!
1 Chives – Easy to grow and will thrive almost anywhere.
Chives are definitely at the top of the list of our 5 best herbs to grow in your garden. Chives are incredibly easy to grow and will thrive practically anywhere you place them. Add them to your flower borders or place them in pots and you will have happy chives that produce gorgeous purple flowers in the summer.
Every part of the chive plant is edible. The flowers can be used to garnish salads; the leaves can be cut with scissors and used to flavour a number of dishes. Even the bulb can be used in a similar way to an onion.
2 Basil – But ONLY in the summer!
Basil is one of the most popular herbs and is found in dishes all over the world. Originally from India, basil grows well in the UK during the summer months. It requires a good source of light and well draining fertile soil. If you’re fortunate enough to have a greenhouse, or you have room for a mini greenhouse* in your garden, your basil will be quite happy in there, provided it doesn’t get too cold.
As the weather starts to change around mid-autumn, you will need to bring your basil plant inside and pop it in a warm spot that gets plenty of light; a south-facing windowsill is a perfect place to keep your basil plant during the colder months.
Basil makes a great addition to a whole number of dishes, but it complements foods that feature tomatoes particularly well, such as pasta dishes, soups, and pizzas.
3 Rosemary – Extremely hardy and easy to look after.
Rosemary is another popular herb choice for those looking to grow edible plants in their gardens. The Rosemary plant can tolerate dry soil and drought, so it is a great choice of herb for people who tend to forget to water their plants. Rosemary sprigs can be used to add a real taste of comfort to some of the nation’s favourite meals, including roast dinners, Yorkshire puddings, and comforting soups.
4 Sage – One of the best herbs to grow in your garden if you love UK dishes.
Sage is one of the UK’s most loved herbs and is used widely in dishes due to its savoury and slightly peppery taste. Typically, you will find sage is used when creating roast meats, especially pork. Sage and onion stuffing is a delicious Sunday roast accompaniment that tastes amazing when made with fresh sage. The general rule of thumb for picking sage leaves to use in your cooking is that the larger the plant is, the more intense the flavour will be. For this reason, you can create delicious meals using both the large and smaller leaves.
5 Mint – A hardy herb that is easy to grow.
Mint is my favourite type of herb to grow in my garden! Not only is it insanely easy to grow, but it can be used in cocktails and mocktails, as well as in your kitchen dishes.
Mint will take over your garden if you let it, so be sure to use it regularly. A good way to use overgrown mint plants is to make your very own mint sauce. If mint sauce isn’t your thing, mint leaves can be harvested and dried, then used to make mint herbal tea.
The essential items needed for growing herbs in your garden:
Now you know 5 of the best herbs to grow in your garden, here are a few extra tips and suggestions on how to get your herb garden started.
- Make sure you have suitable planters for your herbs. Herbs grow well in most planters, so feel free to experiment with the way you style your herb garden. For something a little extra, I love this rustic herb planter*. I have also previously used these colourful hanging garden planters* for my herbs as they’re great for smaller spaces and add a lovely pop of colour to the area.
- Use fertile, well draining soil for optimal growth. You can further support the growth of your herbs by using liquid herb focus fertaliser*.