The magic of herbs is in their physical make-up, and the beneficial effect on our own. We can enrich our culinary achievements not only with their various flavours and perfumes, but also with their wholesome medicines. Although special herb gardens do have a charm of their own, many herbs will thrive in conditions which everyone has to offer – a window box, balcony or patio – large pots, tubs or even boxes being sufficient to contain many varieties. Alternatively, most herbs can be grown among other plants in the ornamental border, and thus form a part of the whole. The best time for planting herbs is in the spring and early summer, and this is when the largest and most choice selection of varieties will be available on the Garden Centres.

ANGELICA. Good for the heart and kidneys. The stalks cooked with rhubarb correct its

tartness APPLEMINT. The mint with the best flavour of all. Useful in both sweet and savoury dishes. ARTEMISIA (Lad’s Love). Refreshing, spicy aroma. Has the reputation for repelling moths. BALM. Lemon Balm cure all! The favourite bee plant. Its delicate flavour and scent adds zest

to salads and stuffings. The famous ‘Melissa’ tea is made from it. 3ft.

BASIL. Sweet Basil. Aids digestion and calms nerves. Delicious sprinkled in salads and stews. CHIVES. Encourages the appetite. Well known for its use in salads. Rub steaks with them

before grilling. 6 ins.

CURRY. Handsome silver foliage. Small yellow flowers add colour and pungency to potĀ­pourri mixtures. DILL. Gives sound sleep and cures flatulence! Good with fish dishes and with cucumber. FENNEL. Credited with reducing unwanted fat! Especially good with fish dishes. A strong

aroma given to salads and vegetable cocktails. 3ft.

FRENCH PARSLEY. Superior flavour, it is the perfect garnish. Fry it crisp and serve with

sole. Can be used to make still and sparkling country wines. GARLIC. Strong penetrating flavour. Discreetly used it is worthy of almost any savoury dish.

Add 2 oz. of chopped cloves to 1 pint of white vinegar for salad dressings. Cloves to be

lifted and dried when foliage dies down. 2ft.

HORSE RADISH. Well known as horse radish sauce to accompany roast beef and smoked

fish. Use too mixed with creamy mayonnaise sauce to pour over whole peeled potatoes. HYSSOP. Good bee plant. Fragrant semi-evergreen shrub. The leaves are an excellent

ingredient in pot-pourri and good perfumes. 2ft.

LEMONMINT. Rich fruity perfumed plant, very suitable for perfumery. Useful in pot-pourri

and sachet mixtures. MARJORAM ISweei). Useful fresh or dried for its curative powers. The correct herb to

garnish avocado pear and water cress and apple salad. Important inclusion in bouquet

garni. 6 ins.

MINT (Common). Culinary uses are legion. Use in both sweet and savoury dishes, on vegeĀ­tables, in sandwiches, mint sauce, turnovers and sweetmeats. ORANGE MINT. A strongly-scented mint suitable for perfumery. PARSLEY (Common). Universal herb. Rich content of vitamin C. Use generously in soups,

stews, fish or bean sauces, omelettes and stuffings, in all kinds of salads or as a garnish

to many dishes. PEPPERMINT. Aromatic plant. True flavour of bulls-eyes and humbugs. Makes a very good

sorbet. PINEAPPLEMINT. A low growing herb. Fruity pineapply scent and flavour is good in fruit

salads and soft drinks. SAGE (Common). Excellent remedy for digestive and kidney troubles. Good in stuffings and

sauces to accompany rich meats such as goose, duck and pork. 2 ft.

TARRAGON. Warmly aromatic and slightly biting. Makes delicious vinegar, mayonnaise and

mustard. Essential for tartare sauce. 3 ft.

THYME (Common). Potent flavour. Numerous culinary uses include flavouring for soups,

stuffings, salads and garnishes for many vegetables. WELSH ONION. A hardy, non-bulbous perennial. Resembles a multi-stemmed salad onion.

Useful winter source of onions. 1 2 ins.

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