You're already growing sweet basil, dill and mint. Your parsley and cilantro are always abundant in your garden. Yet, for some strange reason, you want to kick it up a notch. You've mastered the basics and you want to grow some herbs with exotic flavor and international intrigue. Here are six herbs that will rock your world. These are temperate-climate herbs that are suitable to grow in North America, although transplanting times and growing seasons vary by region. Are you ready to grow an even more fragrant garden? Are you excited to introduce new flavors to your cooking? Let's get started.
Chocolate mint: There is chocolate, and there is chocolate mint. If you have ever been fortunate enough to smell a patch of chocolate mint, you know the distinction that I am making. Chocolate mint smells like a peppermint patty, or an after dinner chocolate mint wafer. It smells like mint with an edge of chocolate. The smell is more chocolatey than the taste. However, chocolate mint is an excellent addition to iced tea, mixed drinks, and desserts. An aggressive perennial that spreads quickly, it is best to plant chocolate mint in a container so that it does not invade your yard and garden.
Lemon basil: The smell of lemon basil is unbelievable. Both citrusy and with the spicy edge of basil, it is one of the most fragrant herbs that you could plant in your garden. This pungent plant with small green leaves prefers well-drained, rich soil. One whiff of lemon basil growing in the sun of your garden, and you'll be hooked on growing it for life.
Epazote: Epazote is difficult to find in American supermarkets, but it is a dominant herb in Mexican cooking. Though it is delicious, it is an invasive plant that should be planted in containers away from other plants. It grows with minimal maintenance in hot, dry climates. At once peppery and minty, epazote will add a delicious and authentically Mexican flavor to beans and stews. Medicinally, it is said to reduce flatulence.
Hyssop: Hyssop grows wild in the Mediterranean and Middle East. It is a common flavor in Middle Eastern cooking. It's an attractive-looking plant with purple blooms and fragrant leaves that is known to attract hummingbirds bees, and butterflies. It can tolerate dry conditions, preferring well-drained soils. An excellent dip for homemade bread is olive oil with hyssop, sesame seeds and sea salt.
Herbs are so fragrant and fun to grow in pots. Enjoy the diversity of fragrant herbs this spring and summer in your garden.
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- How to get free seeds for your first garden