Herbs can roughly be divided into two categories: culinary and medicinal. Some herbs have uses in both categories.
Identifying which are perennial and which are annual is important.
Coriander is the most popular annual variety which must be replanted each year or even planted in succession throughout the year.
Mint and thyme are long lived perennials.
Parsley is a biennial plant and will need refreshing every other year.
Bay and Rosemary are perennial and can take a bit of frost but are best given winter protection in the Highlands.
Some, such as Lemon Verbena, are only half hardy perennials and will only survive the winter if kept frost free so take them in and treat them like houseplants.
It sounds difficult but they are generally easy to grow and simply need regular cropping and feeding .
Most herbs are a very good food source for pollinating insects, especially bees.
Whatever the size of your plot you can grow a herb. Just a pot on the window-sill will do and it is great fun to cook with your own herbs.
In our area it is probably best grown in a container so that if the temperatures get very low in the winter it can be taken indoors for protection. It is a Mediterranean herb and therefore likes a sunny or lightly shaded spot with any well drained soil.
Very easy to grow in either containers or in the garden. They will die back in the winter to reappear again in the spring. Tolerant of any garden soil that is kept moist.
Fennel is a hardy perennial which grows up to 2.5m high. It is from the Mediterranean area and therefore prefers sun but is easy going. The bronze form is even more decorative with it’s darker foliage contrasting with the yellow flowers. Not suitable for containers.
The best lemon scented plant there is. Lemon Verbena is a deciduous tender shrub native to South America. It will need protection from winter frosts and prefers to be in full sun in a free draining soil.
A hardy perennial which is best grown in containers to prevent it from spreading, but needs regular watering to prevent it becoming too dry. It is easy and will grow in sun or shade.
Oregano is sometimes referred to as "The pizza herb". It is an easy to grow hardy perennial from the Mediterranean and therefore prefers well drained soil in a sunny position. The leaves taste best before the plant flowers.
Curly or flat leaved parsley is our most popular culinary herb. It is easy to grow and will do well in a container. It should be fed regularly.
Soil: Rich, moist soil
Situation: Sun or semi-shade
Rosemary is reasonably hardy but it should be planted in a sheltered position to give it as much protection as possible. It can be grown in deep containers but it is more vulnerable to frosts in a container. It will grow in any well drained soil and prefers a sunny position.
The fruity scented sages are Salvia elegans and are native to South America, are only half hardy and should probably be considered an annual in the Highlands of Scotland. The Salvia officinalis varieties are reasonably hardy Meditteranean plants which do best in well drained soil in sunny positions.
There are many different Thymes to choose from. All are easy to grow and are best suited to rock gardens, front of border, between paving stones and of course in containers.
Soil: Well drained, light soil
Situation: Sun or semi-shade
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Open Monday to Saturday 9.00am to 5pm and from 10.00am to 5.00pm on Sunday
For those who can't visit we are happy to send plants by mail or carrier,
01463 741698 or 01463 741365
From Inverness you head west on the A862 then take the A833 to Kiltarlity.
Once through the Village just follow the signs for 'Garden Centre'.