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Basil, sage, dill and thyme


sweet sandy soil. It will not tolerate overwatering. Lavender is under-appre- ciated as a culinary herb here. In the south of France, however, it is a major component of Herbes de Provence (which is the correct French spelling). Thyme, savory, wild thyme, rosemary, chervil, bay leaf, fennel seeds and oregano are also found in this iconic herbal mix.


n Mint comes in a plethora of flavors, colors and scents. It is refreshing and a delight to the senses for a variety of reasons. It will spread throughout your garden with wild abandon and makes


a weed proof—insect free ground cover—if you have the room. Pepper- mint oil is well known for easing the severity of headaches.


Intriguing varieties of mint to try in your own edible landscape include: chocolate, lemon, apple, grapefruit and pineapple mint, along with spearmint, peppermint and the beautifully orna- mental catmint. Curly mint is one of the strongest pure peppermint flavors and is striking in the garden. Use mint often and you’ll keep it tidy. Try plant- ing different varieties in different pots and grouping them together or apart


on your deck or patio. That ole’ southern staple consumed on Derby Day and across the South throughout spring and summer, would not be nearly as enjoyable without the addition of this highly aromatic and fla- vorful herb. A good Kentucky bourbon, mint from your garden, crushed ice and sugar shaken together and poured into julep cups will lead to a most enjoyable afternoon in the garden. Mint also makes a lovely garnish for fresh berries and crème.


n Oregano is evergreen here in Virginia where I have grown it in large urn pots on the kitchen patio. Oregano pos- sesses strong anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It repels insects and also improves the growth of other plants around it. It makes a lovely ground cover if you have the room and is easy to grow from seed or division. It is important in Italian, Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.


n Rosemary is a beautiful shrubby perennial herb that will root easily from cuttings. It prefers well-drained, average garden soil and will tolerate extremes


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March/April 2017


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