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Our full range of herbs is available from mid April, and we always have in stock a wide range of suitable containers.
Herbs can be planted in tubs with other ornamental shrubs but on the whole it is best to keep them on their own, using a soil or peat based compost ensuring adequate drainage. Invasive herbs such as Mint must be grown separately. The remainder can be grouped very pleasingly in large containers.
A selection of herbs can be grown in a small place by using a strawberry pot. Suitable plants include: Bay (for the top only), Chives, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme.
Brief History & Modern Usage
Many of the herbs popular today have their origins in the Mediterranean regions and were introduced by the Romans. The combined knowledge of these plants and those already known in the North formed the basis of herbalism, an important aspect of early and medieval living. Monasteries were the main centres of learning and the monks in their Herbariums and Physic Gardens did much to increase the knowledge of plant derived remedies. During the 18th Century the first plant drugs began to be synthesised chemically giving rise to our present day pharmaceutical industry.
By the 1500’s most people were growing herbs for medicinal, cooking and personal hygiene use. The growing of herbs in large houses gave rise to knot gardens or parterres. These were small decorative beds of herbs surrounded by low clipped hedges. Apart from medicinal, the main use of herbs at this time was to disguise the taste and smell of rotting meat, and for strewing around the house to guard against infestation and to mask smells. This practice also gave rise to the use of the various scents in toiletries and pot-pourri.
Culinary herbs have long been grown in pots on windowsills and all the more common ones will do well. Many are aromatic and some have attractive flowers so they need not be purely utilitarian. They will need to be watered regularly, but avoid over watering. Most herbs need a sunny site to thrive and some herbs are annuals, which will need sowing each year, e.g. Basil, Borage and Summer Savoury. Parsley is a biennial and will need replacing every two years.