BBC Gardeners' World Magazine

Herby harvests

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There’s nothing quite like having fresh herbs growing on your windowsill or by the back door, ready for when you’re cooking. Often, recipes call for just one or two sprigs of tarragon or fresh oregano, and then the rest of the supermarke­t packet ends up sitting, forgotten, at the back of the salad crisper.

With your own pots, the rest of the plant is both decorative and useful – it’s particular­ly lovely if you can do some multi-level planting, including waist-high herb troughs or in pots along a garden fence, brushing against the leaves for fragrance as you walk past.

For lower-level planting, this year I’ve put chives along the edges of the garden borders for their pretty purple flowers – the leaves are lovely snipped into Asian or French-style omelettes, and I particular­ly like them in the wobbly Korean steamed-egg dish, gyeran jjim, along with or instead of spring onions. (It’s a lovely recipe to have in your kitchen repertoire – have a look online at the video by Korean superstar chef Maangchi.)

Inspired by a tiny and beautifull­y formed vegetable garden that’s just around the corner from my house, I’ve ditched planting sage, rosemary and lemon verbena in pots, and instead put young plants straight in the beds, hoping they’ll spread to cover more ground by next year.

As always, I’ve been sowing cut-andcome-again salad leaves every month. Bitter and oriental mixes are a wonderful addition to dinner; a favourite accompanim­ent for them inspired by chef Guillaume Gillan is a dressing of blended extra virgin olive oil, anchovies, fresh basil and olives – it’s deliciousl­y rich and has significan­tly increased my salad consumptio­n.

Next year, I might even be brave enough to try to grow my own hearting lettuces – watch this space.

 ?? ?? Salad sowings from late March onwards keep the harvests coming
Salad sowings from late March onwards keep the harvests coming
 ?? ?? Pick the tips of herbs little and often to encourage regrowth and extra harvests
Pick the tips of herbs little and often to encourage regrowth and extra harvests

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