In ancient times, all gardens displayed a respectable selection of aromatic and edible plants alongside ornamental ones. In temples it was essential to grow the plants used in rituals, while those involved in medicine were required to have the plants and herbs needed for remedies, and in the kitchen herbs were required for flavouring food.
While nowadays it is no longer essential to have these plants, there is a delicate pleasure in taking a couple of leaves to make an infusion or to garnish your meals. the best part? It's not complicated at all to grow your own herb garden.
The easiest aromatic plants to care for
Mint has digestive properties, it is magical for relieving gas, nausea and upset stomach. It is very refreshing and has a high iron content, so it can be taken to fight anaemia. It is also used to decongest the respiratory tract in colds.
This plant is a biennial, low growing, spreading wide. It can be very invasive, so it is recommended to be potted alone. Grows in any type of substrate, requires plenty of light and regular watering.
It has anti-inflammatory, digestive properties and has hundreds of uses in cooking. It is almost impossible to make Mediterranean recipes without its presence.
This plant is stationary, but if you are careful to remove the flowers and seeds as soon as they emerge, you can extend its life span. It tolerates light and shade, but does not tolerate very low temperatures. It requires regular watering, as the slightest sign of drought will make it look droopy.
Another essential plant in Mediterranean cuisine. It is ideal for combating menstrual cramps and works as a relaxant. You can use it fresh or dried to season pasta sauces, pizzas, poultry and meats. It is small and grows very easily. If you plant it in the ground, it will grow into a large shrub that can be up to 2 metres long.
It is very hardy, prefers very bright spaces and is not too fussy about watering.
Chamomile or camomile is a herbaceous plant that produces pretty little white flowers. The infusion serves as an anti-inflammatory, relaxant, relieves digestive problems and gas, as well as being of great help in cases of asthma and flu. This plant grows in full sun and prefers sandy, drained soils.
It resists droughts very well and reaches its splendour in spring.
The star of the kitchen. You can use it to season stews, roasts, sauces, poultry, meat and pork. You can mix it with butter or cream cheese to create a delicious dip or to flavour potatoes and chicken. Rosemary is very hardy, has a woody trunk and can grow as a one-metre shrub, very abundant if planted in the ground. In pots it can also grow luxuriantly.
It prefers direct light and moderate watering.
This aromatic herb is rich in minerals such as iodine, calcium, iron and magnesium. You can use it in vinaigrettes, salads, as a dressing and even as a garnish for almost any dish. It also has medicinal properties, as it is perfect for combating gastric or intestinal inflammation. It grows very easily, even from seeds. It withstands almost any climate, although it prefers sunnier seasons.
You can grow it in any pot and it is not at all demanding with the substrate.
It has antiseptic properties, but is most used for its delicious aroma. In aromatherapy it is highly appreciated for its relaxing and calming effects. It is said that having it near the bed produces pleasant and enjoyable dreams. Lavender infusions, besides being fragrant, are ideal for nervous states.
It withstands drought well and should be pruned to keep it lush.
Tips for growing a garden of aromatic plants
- You don't need a lot of space to grow aromatic plants. You can keep them in separate small pots or group them according to their type.
- Separate annuals from perennials, as they need different care depending on their life cycle. Perennials have leaves all year round. This group includes rosemary, lavender, thyme, sage and mint. Annuals last only one season, complete their cycle and die, such as basil, dill and chives.
- As for watering, all aromatic plants require regular watering, but some are more demanding than others. Basil, parsley, coriander and mint require a lot of care with water, while rosemary, lavender, thyme and sage are a little more drought tolerant.
- When harvesting leaves or flowers for cooking or infusions, stimulate the growth of the plants and prevent them from entering the maturity-flowering-death cycle. Make small prunings, never more than ⅓ of the plant at a time.
- Remove the flowers from your plant, as this will keep it constantly growing, with fresh, large leaves.
- Propagate your aromatics with cuttings or seeds, it is very simple and will keep you with new specimens for your garden and kitchen.
Dedicated to creating an army of cacti, succulents, poodles and cats to help me conquer the world. In the little free time I have left, I play, write and dance.