Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > April 2015 > BONNIE'S GARDEN--Borage, Chervil, Savory, Rue...

BONNIE'S GARDEN--Borage, Chervil, Savory, Rue...

Last week, I wrote about why to grow your own herbs.  This week, I thought I’d write about herbs I think are often over-looked, but well worth growing.

BORAGE—Borage has a mild cucumber flavor and pretty edible blue flowers.  It is often used as a companion plant—it is said to be a particularly good companion for tomatoes, helping to repel the tomato hornworm moth.  It prefers sun, though it will tolerate a little shade.

CHERVIL—A celery relative, chervil is one of the French fines herbes, along with tarragon, chives, and parsley.  It has a delicate anise flavor.  Pretty feathery foliage is best in full sun.

LOVAGE—This is a perennial celery relative.  It has a strong celery-like flavor and is used in salads or soups and sauces.  It’s best grown in sunny borders or beds.

NASTURTIUM—Both the showy flowers and pretty rounded leaves are edible, with a mild peppery flavor.  They are excellent companion plants to cucurbits as they may help to repel squash bugs and cucumber beetles.  They prefer full sun.  If you fertilize too heavily, they’ll sacrifice flowers for foliage. The foliage can be used in place of watercress in sandwiches.

SAVORY—Winter Savory is a perennial herb, which has an affinity for beans or meat dishes.  In Canada, it is often used instead of sage.  It is a good companion plant for beans, helping to repel weevils, and for roses, helping to repel aphids.  Summer Savory is an annual and has a slightly less intense flavor.  Both of these prefer full sun.

RUE—Sometimes called Meadow Rue, this is a beautiful ornamental for part-shade.  A 2 to 3 foot tall perennial with pretty foliage and yellow flowers early to mid-summer, it’s a host plant for certain butterfly species.  It can also be used as a deterrent to cats as they don’t seem to care much for it.  The sap can cause a minor skin irritation in some people so avoid handling crushed or bruised foliage. 

SANTOLINA—Santolina is a perennial with beautiful silvery fragrant foliage and pompom-like yellow flowers.  It is a host plant for several butterfly species.  Tolerant of hot, sunny, dry locations, it is pest and deer resistant.  Prune in late winter to keep from getting leggy.

SORREL—Sorrel, or Spinach Dock, is a perennial herb that is grown for its lemon flavored foliage.  The young leaves are often used in French soups and can be added to salads.  I grew this one last year for the first time and, yes, it even made it over the winter in a pot.

SWEET WOODRUFF—This is a perennial groundcover for shady areas.  With a pronounced sweet fragrance, it’s often used in pot pourri.  It can naturalize quite readily, so plant it where it has room to grow.
Posted: 4/27/2015 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
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