Kick-Off the Season With an Herb Garden

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Ready to get in the garden, but winter weather is spoiling your plans? Not to worry; fresh garden edibles and bright flowers are still within reach. Think containers. Think herbs. You can grow an herb garden in pots near a sunny window now and move them to patios, balconies, or wide steps in the spring.

 

Herbs are almost the perfect plants. Obviously, there’s taste. Herbs add zip to nearly every dish – baked, sautéed, or fresh – with zero calories and just a few snips. Think fresh basil, oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary – the options are endless.

 

Then there’s fragrance; look to lavender, rosemary, mint, and lemon balm. Dry for sachets or mix with Epsom salts for soothing baths.  

 

Finally, there are fresh flowers. Soft purple chives blooms, periwinkle blue borage stars, and chartreuse dill flowers are lovely in a vase.

 

Need new ways to use herbs?

 

  1. Crumble chive blossoms into salads for colorful flavor explosions.

  2. Brush stretched-out pizza dough with olive oil, sprinkle with chopped rosemary, and a pinch of course salt. Bake at 400F for 10-12 minutes until golden. Serve wedges with salads and grilled kabobs.

  3. Mix finely chop dill with softened butter and use on broiled or grilled fish. Add feathery dill to potato salad.

  4. Spice up scrambled eggs with snips of chives and parsley.

  5. Make flavored vinegar by bringing the liquid to a boil, adding leafy basil, sage, or tarragon stems, cooling and refrigerating for 2 to 3 weeks. Strain out herbs. Store in the fridge for up to a year.

  6. Toss woody rosemary, thyme, or sage stems on the grill instead of wood chips for a subtle herb infusion.

 

Bonus: you can stop buying $3 packets of produce department herbs to end up tossing the unused portion. Plus, fresh, last-minute additions are available any time you want them.

 

Plant an herb container now to get in the gardening spirit. They will bring flavor, aroma, and beauty throughout the season into fall.  

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