Bees are the inspiration behind choosing most of our herbs in Melbourne… Lavender, basil, sage, and edible flowers like calendula and marigolds. We do use them in cooking and only just realised recently that most of the flowers we have are edible and good for salads and so on. Other herbs that grow so easily are rosemary, coriander, mint and parsley.
The best thing about growing herbs is that they ‘fit around the edges’ of gardens, pathways, junctions that have no particular purpose, pots, hangers – just about anywhere.
Herbs soften the whole garden and blend it much like they add their own aspects to the food we cook. But they also thrive on the edges following a basic permaculture principle: use the edges because that is where the nutrient and water build ups occur. We often find that they grow themselves in the edges, in cracks and gaps, at the front of beds or around the sides where they have blown or dropped as seeds
As well as herbs we have an array of spring onions, leaks, garlic, lemon grass, chilli, hot pepper and chives. Some of these are considered herbs but seem to be more in the ‘hot’ family.
Either way, what is important is that they compliment the garden and that we can use them in cooking to create much wider variety. The sambal we make for example relies heavily on our garden herbs and spices.