Tag Archives: herb

Lavender – The Romantic Herb

Growing Lavender plants is easy. Lavender is best grown in well drained, dry soil. It does best in Zones 5-8 and can survive Zone 4 if planted in a protected area. French or Spanish lavender is the easiest to grow. English Lavender can be a bit touchy because it doesn’t tolerate hot humid heat.

This perennial blooms all summer long and reaches from 1 to 3 feet in height, depending upon the variety. You can wait till the flowers stop blooming before you harvest the flower buds… which is the end of August or the first of September.

Lavender is know for it’s romantic fragrance and is used in potpourris, sachets, and soap. The flowers are lovely in dried floral arrangements and wreaths. Lavender holds it’s fragrance for a long time and can be easily refreshed with a bit of Essential Lavender oil. Even the leaves are fragrant… so don’t worry if the stems and leaves end up in your potpourris and sachets.

I love to walk by my lavender bed and smell the fresh clean scent.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. Last spring, the clean up crew I hired cut my Lavender back to the nubbins and I was frantic. I was afraid I wasn’t going to get any blooms. It was probably one of the best things that could have happened… it bloomed like crazy…as you can tell by the photo. I’ve enjoyed my fragrant Lavender plants all summer long.

Growing And Cooking With The Herb: Parsley

Growing and cooking with the herb… parsley… with it’s celery like flavor… gives a freshness to many dishes. It’s easy to grow and comes back every year. It prefers full sun but… I have found that it flourishes great in partial shade.

This garden herb does well in a container garden and is successfully grown indoors in the winter…that is… if you have a sunny window.

If you have need for it’s breath freshening qualities… chew a bit of parsley after you have eaten garlic or alcohol. If your in need of more vitamin C… this is the herb for you. It’s loaded with C.

This garden herb can be harvested frequently during the summer. New growth will spring up from the bottom of the parsley plant.

You can dry or freeze parsley leaves for use at a later time. However… fresh parsley is alway the best.

Aside from using parsley in your cooking to enhance soups (great in chicken soup)… casseroles, potatoes, stuffings and rice… it’s frequently used as a garnish. A small sprig is often used to give color to a plate of food… and can be used after the meal to sweeten your breath.

Cooking with fresh herbs is just the best!

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. If you want to add some fresh herb spark to your cooking… check out my Parsley Potatoes.

Growing & Cooking With The Herb…Dill

Dill is an herb that flourishes well in an herb garden and is a delightful herb to use in your cooking. Growing dill is easy and it does well in the full sun or part shade. Dill can be be planted by seed or plant starts. Sometimes it’s called dill weed because it comes back in the herb garden if the seeds from the previous year have fallen to the ground. It can over take an herb garden area so, you can control it by plucking out the new plants you don’t want to grow to maturity.

The dill herb reaches from 24 to 36 inches tall. However, there are dill dwarf varieties that are nice for container gardens. As the dill weed reaches full maturity, the plant may have to be staked because they have a tendency to bend over.

Harvesting the dill weed tops just before the flower opens gives you the best flavor. However, you can let the flowers go to seed for the next years planting. Also, the dill seeds from the head can be harvested and used later in your cooking.

Down on the stem of the dill plant, are airy fern like leaves. These can be harvested chopped and used in dill sauce, or a dill dip. The leaves can be cut and dried for future use. The entire dill weed head, stem and leaves are used in bottling homemade dill pickles.

An accent of the dill head and stem are lovely mixed in with a cut flower bouquet.

For me… the growing season for my herb garden is not long enough for me to experiment with all the possibilities. I am planning an indoor herb container garden for this winter. However, a 36 inch dill weed plant will not be part of my indoor herb garden selection. Too bad… for I dearly love a touch of dill.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. For cooking with dill weed, check out my fantastic Fresh Dill Dip.

Planting A Container Herb Garden

Planting a container herb garden is simple and fun. Having an herb garden is not only useful in your cooking, but the fragrance of your lush green plants are a delightful addition to your patio or porch. For you who don’t have a porch or patio… I’ve seen a container of herbs placed in flower beds among the daisies and geraniums, soaking up all that good sunshine.

Go to your local garden nursery and select a nice variety of herbs that you will use in your cooking. I’m big on basil, chives, and oregano because I do a lot of cooking with tomatoes. However, I do pick up herbs I don’t frequently use… just because they’re colorful or they lend a nice texture to my container.

Locate a container that is suitable for your collection. There are all kinds of garden container options out there… a basket, an old wash tub, a slatted wood box… use your imagination. Last year I picked up a great metal container at an import store… drilled holes in the bottom… and was good to go.

Next, pick up some good potting soil. I use Miracle Grow potting soil because it’s convenient and the fertilizer is already in the mix.

Oh… one other little secret… pick yourself up a bag of “packing peanuts.” You know… those little white things you put in your packages so your valuables won’t get broken. You will need enough to fill the bottom of your herb container at least 1/4.

Once you’re planted… place your herb container in the sun. Herbs like plenty of sunshine and… water them only when dry.

I can hardly wait until I can slice fresh tomatoes on a plate, top them with slices of mozzerella cheese and sprinkle them with fresh chopped basil from my own herb garden. Sprinkle them with rich Balsamic Vinegar and watch them vanish by the quick hands of my children and grandkids. Hey… save one for me!

Hope you enjoyed the video!

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. Now don’t for get to pinch back your herbs all through the growing season so they will stay nice and full and continue to produce.