JULY IN THE HERB GAR­DEN

The Simple Things - - LIVING/KITCHEN GARDENING -

Basil should now be up and pro­duc­ing in abun­dance, so make the most of the hand­fuls of leaves to make fresh pestos. If you don’t have your own plants, di­vide up su­per­mar­ket pots of basil and plant them into fresh com­post in sunny con­tain­ers. Basil wants heat but also likes to be well wa­tered, ideally early in the day.

Herbs such as mint, thyme and oregano ben­e­fit from be­ing har­vested, so use them while they are at their best. Al­ways har­vest just the tips: this is the fresh­est, loveli­est growth, and by do­ing this you en­cour­age the plant to grow bushy rather than leggy.

Don’t miss the flow­ers for a sweeter, more hon­eyed ver­sion of the leaf. Sage, oregano, thyme, basil and of course laven­der all flower over the sum­mer and can be used in sweet dishes as well as savoury.

While its can­died stems pair nicely with sum­mer fruits, lovage it­self looks strik­ing in a flowerbed or as a cut flower, too

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