I never buy herbs.
With the exception of cilantro – of course. And basil. But only during basil season.
I used to spend big bucks for that recipe that needed two, yep two, sprigs of thyme. And I’d think to myself, what the hell am I going to make now.
I couldn’t eat roasted cherry tomatoes with goat’s cheese, thyme and lemon on fresh pasta all week (a recipe ripped from a friend, which may have been ripped from the internet, which could probably be re-ripped from the internet through the Googling of the list of ingredients, if by chance one’s taste buds are tingling at the thought).
Invariably, thyme, rosemary and oregano went to waste in my fridge.
It wasn’t long before I got wise to how easy it is to grow a pot of herbs. And not long after that did I realize herbs make for an amazing rock garden display – even in my frigid and often sun-challenged sideyard.
The shapes, colours and smells in my rock garden have changed immensely over the years.
I have fewer traditional flower garden flowers and an abundance of lemon balm, lavender, rosemary, oregano, chives, mint, tarragon and thyme. Most return each year. Each dependant on the winter weather.
Although my favourite trailbuilder often suggests oregano isn’t worthy of the dirt it rests in, the bees love it — especially when it flowers.
And I think the oregano flowers look stunning once dried. And so does @therocketnarcissist, but he never makes the oregano connection. Nor do I remind him.
Today, was a bit damp, but it didn’t stop me from getting eye level with a few of the lovely herbs that make up my rock garden “passion” project.
I like mornings best. The light is gorgeous. The bugs are sleeping in.
The only downfall is the need to watch out for the banana slugs on your way through the garden. That slime is certainly the most unpleasant thing about gardening. It’s disgusting.
Lisa Severn lives in Pemberton South South (aka. Emerald Estates) with her trail-obsessed “husband”. Pembertonians can be seen around town asking Dan and Lisa, “So, what are you doing in Pemberton, again. Did you move here?”
Follow Lisa @rhubarbstreet for more of her food photography. Click for more on Lisa and her co-conspirators… err… co-contributors.
Herbs are the BEST! Oregano can vary greatly in flavor. There are many that have little flavor, so taste a leaf before purchasing a plant. And fortunately, most herbs dry well or can be frozen for use in the “off” season.
Good tips. I like to add a variety of colour to my rock garden, so I have some oregano that certainly has less flavour than other varieties. I wanted to get my self a drying net – could probably make one of cheese cloth…
You will not experience oregano to it’s fullest unless you have tried sicilian oregano. Growing in a sicilian family gave me that unique perspective (while I acknowledge perhaps a bit of taste buds bias). This variety is very intense and nearly non existent stores selling plants. I have managed to buy dry sicilian oregano from italian food markets and grown my own from seeds. I promise it is an all together a new oregano experience.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I have 4 different ones in my garden. Each with a different leaf shape and colour. And flavour profile. More than the eating the leaf, I love the smell. It would be great to try them all. I suspect the Sicilian oregano grown in Sicily has a unique flavour that comes from the soils and weather in the area. For example, I usually grow jalapeno peppers but they are significantly more mild here than ones grown in hotter climes.
For sure climate and native soils make a difference. That is the thing sicilian oregano, when you open a jar (I keep it sealed jars to keep the oils from evaporating) and I smell it; well, it is just heaven.
….and you can make medicine from your herbs. Culinary herbs are anti-microbial, so much so that food processing companies use them to help preserve foods. The volatile oils emanating from a pot of simmering rosemary, thyme, &/or oregano will disinfect the air in a house ridden with the dreaded Whistler grunge. Teas and tinctures not withstanding herbs are just plain yummy and – I agree with you – beautiful.
I never think to simmer them. Will do! Thanks for the tip on effectively eradicating that Whistler grunge.