Saturday, May 4, 2013

Herb Garden: Try Clever Pots of Chocolate Mint or Lemon Balm

What’s hot in herb gardens and edible plants this year? Forget mint or parsley (that’s so 2012).

A recent Wall Street Journal article says trendy gardeners are way beyond rosemary, basil and dill in the garden … and moving into potted herbs and herb beds with exotic names and unusual flavors. Some of the new herbs on the garden herb scene are lemon balm, papalo and the delicious sounding chocolate mint.

Not only are garden herbs attractive, fun and tasty, they’re cost efficient. You can mix garden herbs into attractive and clever pots, and disperse whimsical garden stakes in between.

Some of the trendy herbs this year for KC gardeners, like calendula, can be grown in pots and used for a relaxing bath. Bronze fennel has a fern-ish appearance that’s nice to gaze upon, nice in dressings and recipes and makes an appealing new home for butterflies in your garden. Invite friends to brunch or tea and tuna sandwiches, complete with fresh, crunchy sprigs from your potted lovage – a crisp, celery-like taste. If you like grilling fish, try chervil, which is said to resemble anise. A small bunch of lemon balm can be squeezed and placed into the bottom of a pitcher to infuse regular water with a light and wonderful taste.
Herbs get newbies going:
 Another fun element of garden herbs to note:  you can introduce yourself, or a friend or family member, particularly children – to the glory of having a garden through a few simple herb pots. The experience of harvesting a few fresh leaves for tea or recipes is often enough to give someone the garden fever that could last a lifetime.

If you have a small space, or are looking to add some peace to your porch (our theme this year for the annual Spring Sale!), garden herbs are perfect. A small square is enough to get numerous varieties going, and you can be creative on mixing them up. You can place varieties together in creative containers according to purpose – like mint and stevia for a quick grab for tea.
Herb gardens are delicious, creative and easy – and a fabulous way to serve up inviting conversations, beverages and dishes from your own porch this summer to neighbors. Check out these clever garden stake and container ideas at From the Summer’s Garden, and come browse the selection from KC artists at the Spring Sale weekends, now through May 26! 

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