1. Lemon verbena – the Lemon Verbena should be the first herb on any planting, gardening, herb list. It’s easy to take care of, and to grow. It does not need that much maintenance, too. When you rub its long, thin leaves together, your fingers will be infected with sherbetty lemoniness, if you understand what I mean. If you enjoy lemon goodness, you can add it to your baked goods. Simply line your cake tin, or whatever you’re using as mould with its leaves before pouring in the batter. After baking, your cake will have a powerful zesty punch. And who doesn’t love that, right?
2. Moroccan mint – the Moroccan mint is a great all-around herb. You can use it for an endless list of stuff. From making the best tea, the finest mojito, to adding a bit of freshness to your dishes. It is lively, bright and fresh.
3. Scented geraniums – the scented geraniums comes in a wide variety. There’s lemon, lime, pine, hazelnut and a lot more. You can choose to plant all of these, or you can choose to plant one. If you have space for only one, make it rose. It is great for adding a little bit of scent, and the flavour of Turkish delight to jellies. You can also use it for homemade ice creams and ice lollies.
4. Chocolate mint – who doesn’t love chocolate mint? This one is a lively peppermint, and it carries more menthol than Moroccan mint. Personally, I would like to think that it is the best of “flavoured” mints. It is very much like After Eights, just in leaf form. The chocolate mint is great to use for syrups and poaching peaches. It also makes the best tea. Just avoid using it with bananas at all costs, you’ve been warned.
5. Orange thyme- there are plenty types of thyme out there, but if you have room for only one thyme, this is what we recommend. Lemon is magnificent, and broadleaved thyme my favourite for the kitchen, but both are increasingly available in the shops, whereas this variety isn’t. If you want to release its full-potential, add it when you are slow-roasting rhubarb with honey or sugar, you won’t regret it.
6. Blackcurrant sage – This just pips rosemary for my sixth essential herb, by virtue of its being difficult to acquire unless you grow it yourself. Just do it!