It´s impossible to love cooking without growing your own, fresh herbs. Even if you don´t have a garden, it is still very easy to have your favourites freshly available.
Most herbs don´t need many space and can be put together. I once saw a nice example: a strawberryvase with rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley and chive. The parsley and chive on top, because those need a little more watering, and you´ll have your own little herbgarden on a 10 x 10 cm surface.
Starting a herbgarden can become an addiction. I started mine on a square meter and grew the aforementioned. But then my coworker gave me The Herbal Yearbook (Gillian Haslam). This book contains recipes, growingtips, legends, decoration-ideas and so on.
It was the beginning of a complete collection and the most satisfying hobby I have. I love cooking, gardening and the country life and my herbgarden is the best combination of all three. My square meter was expanded to six and then to nine. And I still have some stones and a little space left. Oh temptation...
Meanwhile I don´t only grow kitchenherbs, but also medicinal herbs and some meant to prepare paint. In my garden now, there are besides the above mentioned, marjoram, oregano, anise, mustardseeds, santolina, alchemilla, various types of peppermint, liquorice, fennel, curryplant, marigold, chamomile, bergamot, sagebrush, comfrey, chervil and mallow. Basil, unfortunately, I have to grow in the greenhouse because of the climate.
|rosemary and sage|
|santolina, curryplant, mottled sage|
Most herbs are suitable for various use. Besides cooking or preparing tea, most of them can be used to make shampoo, soap or bathingoils. Or use the flowers to mix your own potpourri or to decorate your homemade candles. Also very nice are those little herbal sachets that smell so good in your wardrobe.
I will not mention the medical use. Without a thorough knowledge of the effects, and especially the side-effects, it would be irresponsible to experiment without consulting a doctor.
Most herbs can be well preserved. If you wish to do so, then pick them about june 21th. Kitchenherbs can very well be dried, but peppermint, oregano and parsley can be frozen as well. Wash them well, dry carefully, chop them and freeze them in ice cube trays. That way you will always have a portion at hand.