There’s nothing that says “chef” more than a handful of fresh herbs casually added to a prepared dish, for flavour or garnish guests are sure to be impressed! We’ve all started cooking more in the last year, now it’s time to step up your game.

Herb gardens are surprisingly easy and can yield a massive bounty, while taking up very little space. I recommend container gardening for herbs as it is SO simple and leaves your plot for larger edibles.

Not only are they easy to grow but many herbs have touted health benefits. Anise strengthens your immune system. Basil keeps your heart strong. Thyme can help to speed up the healing of a cold. Sage works to keep you emotionally balanced and cilantro is a great anti inflammatory.

Some herbs will do better in pots than others so here’s my recommendation on 6 great herbs to get started.

Basil

With so many varieties too choose from an obvious choice is basil, give it well-drained soil and plenty of sunshine and it’s usually smooth sailing. Like most herbs, basil responds well to frequent harvesting, trim back any flower heads as once it begins to flower flavours will decline.

Oregano

Oregano is an enthusiastic grower in the garden and putting it in a pot is an easy way to control growth. The small leaves are packed with flavor, perfect for topping homemade pizza and bruschetta, as well as adding to vinaigrettes and marinades.

Rosemary

Rosemary is a woody shrub with aromatic, needle-like foliage that adds a welcome depth of flavor to roasted potatoes and chicken dishes. It’s very hardy and will grow well into fall. Just be sure not to overwater excessive moisture is a sure-fire way to invite root rot.

Thyme

Thyme is one of the best herbs for container gardening; it’s low maintenance, drought-tolerant, and can take a bit of neglect. Like Basil there are many varieties with specific flavour, lemon thyme is very distinct and aromatic. Like Rosemary it prefers drier soil so be sure not to overwater.

Mint

I like this in containers because it is otherwise downright unmanageable, a voracious spreader it will quickly choke out other plants. Perfect for summer drinks our fruit salad, Mojitos anyone?

Parsley

Basil may be my number one culinary herb, but parsley is a close second. I grow the two main types; curly and flat-leaved parsley. The curly leaf can be easily used as a companion plant to other ornamentals as a filler.

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