How are your gardens coming? With all the wet weather, we’ve been experiencing a slow start this year, but the potatoes and onions are flourishing and I ate my first radish yesterday!
Today I will continue my series on herbs with three more you will find growing in my garden.
In the Garden: Dill is an annual which I grow from seed in the garden each year. It also does very well in pots on my sunny deck. I plant this herb twice, in spring for a summer crop, and again in early summer, so I will have lots of seed heads for pickles in the fall. I have not tried growing dill indoors, and probably wouldn’t, due to the height of this plant!
In the kitchen: The feathery leaves (often referred to as “dill weed”) are wonderful in many summer salads, especially cucumber salad! I cut off the big seed heads in the fall to flavour pickles, and know that you can both collect the seeds and dry the leaves for winter cooking, although I have not done so myself.
In the Garden: I added this herb to my garden last summer, when herbs were on sale for 25 cents a pot. It grew well last year, and this spring was one of the first to appear in the spring garden and has more than doubled its size from last year already. Mine grows in a sunny spot, but I’ve read that it is tolerant of partial shade, and that it can be aggressive, like mint. Some recommend that it is actually better grown in pots, and, like mint, I would imagine that it would also grow well indoors.
In the Kitchen: I have note yet used any of my Lemon Balm yet, although I love smelling its fragrance in the garden. This summer I plan to brew some for iced tea, use it to add flavour to cold ice water, and maybe try some in fruit salad. With its lemony flavour I would imagine it would be a good complement to fish.
In the Garden: Sweet Marjoram is an annual that I grow in my garden, and in pots on my deck. The pots overwinter well indoors in a sunny window, and although its growth slows down, it can still be harvested in small amounts all winter long.
In the Kitchen: My primary use of marjoram is in roast chicken. I slip some between the skin and breast meat (along with some thyme) and also use some to stuff the cavity (usually along with a lemon, and rosemary). It is also sometimes used in soups and stuffing recipes.
This post was written with help from Herb Gardening in Five Seasons by Adelma Grenier Simmons (Hawthorn Books, 1964) Don’t you love discovering great old books?
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