In my eye’s I have always considered herbs rock stars. They have been around for ages and there is so much you can do with them from planting herb gardens, to cooking fresh, and by using them for essential oils and essences. For good measure let’s throw in a dose of Greek Mythology.
During the 1960’s you may remember a song called Scarborough Fair which was performed by Simon and Garfunkel. This was a song about a man who was challenging a former lover to complete impossible tasks which then if completed; she would become a true love of his. If you have never heard this song, look it up on YouTube.
Most notably about the song are the verses of;
“Are you going to Scarborough Fair; Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme.”
Finally! after thousands of years herbs have got their due. I challenge any of you who remember the song to tell me the rest of the lyrics.
These 4 herbs can make a beautiful cornerstone for your herb garden. They are easy to grow and all of them can be used for cooking. By the way, did I mention you can also get them from Moss Greenhouses?
Parsley- I personally like the curled varieties. Often times when I am walking the facility I will pinch a sprig of leaves and munch on them. There is nothing better in the spring than fresh parsley. Over the years parsley has gotten a bad rap because it is mainly used as a garnish on your dinner plate. In all actuality it is suppose to serve as a breath cleanser after your dinner. Parsley also has many health benefits like being high in Vitamins A, C, and K with the latter being important because it helps prevent Calcium build up in our arteries.
Sage- There is many sages to choose from. My favorite is Pineapple Sage. When you run the leaves between your fingers it smells like pineapple. In the summer this plant sends out beautiful red flowers. Most people grow sage for the leafs which then is used for cooking. As a culinary herb, sage goes well with poultry. Give the plant plenty of light and allow to dry between watering. Sages love container gardening. Recent testing of sage has shown promise in helping memory and concentration in older folks and children with ADD.
Rosemary- How many famous ladies can you come up with that had the first name Rosemary? No cheating, and don’t use your cell phone. I am watching you! I could only think of 1, Rosemary Clooney. Rosemary basically comes in two forms, upright and creeping. I prefer the upright varieties. In 2014 Moss Greenhouses introduced 2 gallon Rosemary for sale. I quickly bought 1 and planted it in a beautiful Roman type container. It thrived in the full sun and looked great in my herb garden. During Thanksgiving I clipped of a few leaves and threw them on my Turkey. My family and friends said the turkey tasted great! Rosemary has not been as well tested as other herbs and caution should always be taken when trying to use them for medicinal purposes.
Thyme- like Sage can be readily found in garden centers. In my herb garden I have English Thyme which has been planted like boxwoods. When planted in this fashion it makes a wall effect. In the summer along with the fragrance of the plants I had beautiful flowers. With the flowers came the bees which I like. They also brought the wasps which I did not care for. It made it hard to sit in the garden and enjoy it as I felt I would be stung by the wasps.
If you have never planted a herb garden, then what are you waiting for they are so easy to grow and once established make a beautiful presentation full of aromas, bee’s, and hummingbirds. Visit Moss Greenhouses this spring for the best selection of easy to grow herbs in the Magic Valley.
In the mean time, let’s all sing, “Are you going to Scarborough Fair, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme…”
Dave Holley is the Director of Operations at Moss Greenhouses and has been in the greenhouse industry for over 27 years.