Here’s a secret for even the most inexperienced gardener: Outside of straight up neglect, it’s almost impossible to mess up an herb garden. They’ll grow anywhere and in almost any condition. They love containers, don’t need much light and can be trimmed and cut down while still bouncing back. They just want to grow.
And their uses? Numerous. Whatever your style, whatever your needs, a small little DIY herb garden planted in your repurposed Bijou bases can add flavor and spice to any home. We’ve got a few ideas.
For the Gourmet
Great cooking begins with subtlety, so you’ll want a garden of basil, bay and thyme. Fresh basil elevates a basic pasta dish into something elegant and making your own pesto sauce with basil, pine nuts, olive oil and parmesan is one of the most deceptively impressive dishes you can whip up for guests (it always tastes fresher than store bought, and it takes just minutes to make). Thyme works subtly in meat marinades, and bay leaves are a staple for homemade stocks and sauces.
For the Entertainer
If you’re prone to mixing a killer cocktail at the end of a long day, or love having friends over to bask in the glory of your bar cart, you’ll want to go ahead and plant some mint. Uses include the bourbon-based mint julep, those refreshing rum mojitos you always want to order (but feel bad about asking for at a busy bar) or even sober classics like mint lemonade or fresh mint tea. Quick tip: Bundle up fresh mint, crush the leaves to release the flavor, and steep in hot water before bed for my go-to hangover cure.
For the Health Conscious
If you start the day with a green juice and sun salutation, plant some parsley. Parsley is one of those fantastic superfoods that do everything for your body besides granting X-ray vision. In addition to containing more vitamin C than every other herb, it packs a punch to liven up a fresh pressed kale, celery and apple juice.
For the Dreamer
Plant sage and rosemary. Years ago I visited my friend’s apartment for wine and relief from the miserable November rain, and was welcomed into her home, which smelled earthy and oh-so inviting. She had been using a smudge stick to purify her apartment, and the deep sage and cedar smell wrapped the whole evening in a dreamy haze. To make your own, dry out the grown sage, bind it together, and burn it for a purifying and potent smudge stick. And the rosemary? A very reputable source says to plant it for good luck.
About the writer:
A typical Scorpio, Elizabeth is a
writer/producer/film snob from Toronto.