This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Herbs for cooking and teas

Last year I added more herbs to the garden and tried to incorporate more herbs into cooking. I'd score myself as halfway there and room for improvement, but that's part of the fun of growing, experimenting, and learning as I go along.

Lately as the weather improves, I've noticed the herbs are growing and many are ready for use such as the Thyme (left). This plant was probably about 1/4 of the size last year when planted. They seem to grow quite fast.

Above: Two types of Thyme and in the middle what I think is Oregano - fabulous smell when you run your fingers over them.

Above: A variegated Thyme that has more than trebled in size in a year - is looking a little baldy! Not sure what to do about this to be honest!

Above: Everything in the garden can't always look 'pretty'. This mint plant is starting to put on new growth, and needs a good chop back. I think mint is one of those plants that is almost impossible to kill! Mint tea all summer for me!
Above: Perennial Fennel is showing some new growth. I've saved fennel seeds from the Autumn and am enjoying Fennel tea over the Winter months.
The Rosemary has stayed green and lush all Winter. It keeps growing and growing!
I have cooked quite a bit with Rosemary - snipping two-inch sized pieces off and adding to meat whilst cooking, then removing before serving. In one case, I was entertaining and used rosemary sprigs to flavour potato wedges;  one of the children commented, "It's nice but could the twigs be left off next time."

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.


  1. My herbs don't grow quickly enough - or to put it another way, we eat them too quickly! We use a lot of herbs in our cooking, particularly Thyme, Mint and Parsley.

  2. I noticed my thyme is getting rather woody now so I think I will have to replace it this year. The rosemary got a good chop back as it has grown huge - sadly we don't use it that much - parsley, mint, oregano and thyme get used more than anything else.

  3. Thyme usually benefits from a trim to prevent to from becoming straggly,

  4. I've become more interested in herbs over the last couple of years too. Someone had planted mint on our old allotment before we took it on, it spread everywhere and we never managed to get rid of it.

  5. I need to improve my actual USE of the herbs I grow. Parsley is used often, but the others sometimes languish. Shame on me!

  6. Yes, I am always grateful that at this time of year even when there is not much else on the allotment there are still lovely herbs to perk everything up.