Gardening with herbs personalizes our experience within the landscape. Valued for their flavoring, fragrance, medicinal, cosmetic, and culinary benefits, they play a vital role in humankind's health and well-being. The history of herbs teaches us about culture and tradition across generations. Rewarding as well as beneficial, herb gardens can be curated to the interests of homeowners. They're always a useful addition to a landscape when discovering their culinary or medicinal use is explored. While most landscapes are composed of trees and shrubs, herbs' addition will add ornamental and aromatic foliage and blend artfully with annuals and perennials to create dynamic and high-performing landscapes.
When you cook with herbs, you don't just toss different kinds of herbs together because you like them. How they blend and balance together affects the final flavor. This principle applies to successful growth, using native herbs, and how to harvest and preserve them.
Harvesting can begin anytime there is good foliage on the plant to tolerate cutting. Except for annuals at the end of their season, never cut back a plant completely when harvesting.
Soak all wild-harvested greens for 20 minutes in a gallon of cold water combined with 3 tablespoons of vinegar or salt. Soaking will remove the dirt, insects, and other wild things clinging to the greens. When the gardens have finished soaking, gently wash and rinse in fresh water.
Store dried herbs in clean glass jars away from heat and light. This will preserve their flavor and fragrance.
Dry herb leaves, roots, seeds, and flowers can all be utilized to make vinegar. It is essential to use high-quality vinegar with an acidity level no lower than 5%. Place herb parts in a clear glass container, pour vinegar over them, tightly close the box, and let the container sit for several weeks. At the end of the steeping time, strain herbs from the vinegar and reboot.
Combine 2 to 3 tablespoons of finely chopped herbs with 1 cup of softened, unsalted butter. Some cooks like to add a tablespoon of olive oil to give the herb-butter mixture a more spreadable texture. You can add a pinch of salt dissolved in a bit of lemon juice. Pack the butter into a small crock or form it into a log for slicing. Herb butter can be stored in a freezer for up to three months.
Three are three main ways to freeze herbs.
In pots or containers, gardens, and raised beds, herbs are a must for entertaining in the garden. Their beauty, fragrance, and flavors will grace your garden, as well as your kitchen, for many years to come.
Contact Accent Landscapes to install an herb garden in your landscape or next design project.