Herbs are such a diverse group of plants that it is very difficult to separate them into logical groups. Some disguise themselves as wildflowers, some are fragrant ground covers, and some are weeds that we try to eradicate from between the cracks in our driveways.
Some herbs are scraggly and unkempt, and others make the perfect garden border. Some have to be replanted each year, and some overtake the yard with minimal effort. So We are going to tell you a little of the many herbs we have and a little bit about each and every one!
Anise: In cooking, the lofty licorice-like taste of Anise seed mingles well with eggs, cheese, stewed fruit, and carrots.
Anise (Queen ann’s lace)
Bee Balm: Bee balm is known by several names, including Bergamot, horsemint, and Oswego Tea. Bee balm is an amazing, easy to grow garden perennial with wonderful fragrance and bright color on tall plants.
Calendula; is easily grown from seed, but the seed has to be relatively fresh for success in the garden. Seed should be started when the ground is thoroughly warm, but once the plants are up, they are surprisingly resistant to cold and frost. In fact, they bloom better during the cooler weather. Sow seed per package instructions in a sunny spot, and then thin to about 9 inches apart. Keep weeds at bay until the seedlings are up.
Field Marigold (Calendula)
Chamomile; can be sown in the garden in either fall or spring. Seed viability is increased by freezing and thawing, hence planting in fall is preferable. It appreciates full sun and evenly moist soil, and it will reseed freely if some flower heads are left on the plant.
Dill; is an annual herb, and it looks like a smaller version of Fennel. It grows to 30-36 inches and has light green feathery leaves. The seed is sharp, and has a more pungent flavor than the leaves, which are mildly tangy. It is used to flavor vinegars and mustard-based sauces and dressings. It also goes well with tomatoes, fish (especially Salmon), eggs, pickles (obviously), salads, and many more vegetables.
Gathered dill awaiting drying.