It is always useful to have a selection of fresh herbs available when cooking and there is no better way than to grow a few of the most popular and useful herbs. Even the tiniest space can accommodate herbs in some form. The flavour will far outweigh any packet you'll buy in the supermarket. A kitchen windowsill or box, a few pots on a patio or yard or a patch of garden, whatever you grow will be easy. And they don't necessarily need full sun. Use a good compost and don't let the herbs dry out. Herbs planted in the garden need good drainage.

I have this small patch just outside the kitchen door and while my herbs look lovely packed in, they do need a little more space than I seem to give them. Try to think about the height and spread of the herb before planting. Bay, for example, grows tall, so put it at the back. I have my bay in a large pot (below) alongside the herb patch and it looks stunning clipped into a ball. While most herbs are easy to grow from seed, this takes time, and in my impatience I tend to buy small plants from the garden centre, online or from the supermarket. Here' a few tips:-

Herbs for a dry sunny spot - Thyme, Rosemary, Chives, Sage, Oregano, Basil, Tarragon, Dill
Herbs for a little shade - Parsley, Chervil, Mint, Angelica, Bay

Matching Herbs and Food
With lots of herbs in the garden during this time of year, the possibilities of using them is endless. However, here are a few of the classic combinations that always work together:-
Oregano - works best with lamb, feta, tomatoes and pizza. Try tucking a bunch into a chicken for roasting.
Thyme - there are many varieties, but I use the lemon thyme most of all as it goes with chicken and salmon. Try it with goat's cheese - delicious.
Rosemary -  ideal with lamb, tucking sprigs into cut slits with slivers of garlic. Also great with fish.
Tarragon - fabulous with chicken and chopped with mayonnaise, it is delicious with cold turkey or chicken.
Basil - another favourite for fresh pasta and on home-made pizzas. Just tear on and few leaves. Top the garlic brushed tomato bruschetta with basil too.
Chives -  a favourite of mine when chopped with egg mayonnaise for sandwiches, but also ideal with new lightly boiled salad potatoes.
Sage - it has a strong flavour so works well with squash or served with calves liver. Traditionally a natural with roast pork and stuffing.    


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