Sunday, June 5, 2011


Fresh herbs are some of my favorite things in the world. I love the way they look, I love the way they taste, and I love the way they smell.

If you're new to gardening, starting a small herb garden is a great way to get your feet wet and thumbs green. Many herbs are low maintenance, hardy to extreme conditions, and perennials (come back year after year).

We had a very successful herb garden last year, and this year, we're almost running out of space in the small beds as the herbs compete with each other for the spare room. We definitely have more fresh herbs than necessary for our family-of-two's weekly menu. So I've taken to finding other uses for our abundance of herbs.

Use numero uno: herbal arrangements

Here's our dining room table centerpiece - a vase filled with rosemary. It's a beautiful splash of green at the table, gives off a wonderful aroma, and we can season our meals with fresh rosemary as desired.

Here is a decorated jar filled with lavender. I set this one in the bathroom instead of a chemical air freshener. You can pump up the scent of the fresh lavender by dipping a cotton ball in lavender essential oil and setting it in the bottom of the jar.

Use numero dos: dried herbs

Drying herbs preserves them indefinitely for uses in just about any dish. Here's the process, 1. Cut the fresh herbs 2. Tie a string around the stems of a bunch of herbs 3. Hang the bunch of herbs upsidedown in a dry, well-ventilated area 4. Let dry for several days 5. Remove dried leaves from the stems and store in air-tight containers

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