Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vote for your favorite summer herb


It's 86 degrees, the end of May--all danger of a late frost is past. Time to plant tender herbs in Zone 7! 

I know I want sweet basil. 

I have five redwood planters that came with the house and they'll be my summer herb garden on the deck, near the kitchen door. One for sweet basil, one for peppermint, one for chocolate mint.

What to grow in the fourth and fifth planters? Our garden is already full of rosemary and lavender. Does anyone go wild for cinnamon basil? Lemon verbena? Maraschino cherry sage? What's your summer can't-live-without-it herb?

Cast your ballots and I'll plant the top two winners!


To vote, click on the word COMMENTS below

25 comments:

tina said...

Lemon verbena for sure. Nothing more lemony than a lemon!

Gyda said...

Dill. Lovely, light, elusive dill.

Daffodil Planter said...

Tina, Thank you! I've got out the chalkboard and am keeping score.

Welcome Gyda! Dill sounds lovely and Scandinavian!

susan morrison (garden chick) said...

DP, I think you're discriminating a bit. Must it be a short lived summer herb? Will you even consider a hard working perennial like thyme, oregano or sage? They might not have the cachet of basil (which to some extent has climbed to fame by riding on the coattails of home grown tomatoes.) In the dark days of winter, basil is nowhere to be seen, but my soups still sparkle with fresh thyme, my fish is complemented by a liberal dash of oregano, and my tuscan white beans are alive with the flavor of sage.

But if it has to be summer, than put me down for cilantro :-)

Daffodil Planter said...

Susan, I'm coming over to your house for dinner this winter! The deck herbs are meant to be super summery, so I'll mark you down as a cilantro supporter.

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Tarragon.

Tarragon is perennial here (zone 8) and is the perefct herb with chicken.

Go on, treat yourself.

Rob

Janet said...

Ok Miss Daff- how about savory? GREAT herb, there is both an annual savory and a perennial. Also, stevia--grow your own. Third-Salad Burnett- lovely cucumber flavor. I add the Salad Burnett to the Tsaziki when I make it....bumps up the flavor.

mr_subjunctive said...

The swallowtail butterflies have asked me to vote for parsley. The hummingbirds would rather see pineapple sage. I personally am partial to thyme, for reasons already articulated.

Overall, I think the hummingbirds have the best argument. Though I think pineapple sage is maybe the least useful in cooking, I do like its smell best.

Anonymous said...

I've changed my mind three times! Depends what else is in season (Tomatoes? ...chives! Sweet peppers? ...basil!) I'm going with marjoram because it adds an exotic taste to salads dressed with lemon & feta, and is a secret ingredient in a grilled calamari salad that I make any time of year!

Town Mouse said...

I vote for parsley and chives. Those (and dill) were the only herbs my mother used. Both are versatile and look pretty. You can let the chives go and they'll flower.

Daffodil Planter said...

Rob, Janet, Mr. Subjunctive, Anon, and Town Mouse,

Thank you all for your enticing suggestions!

It's starting to sound like I need to round up a lot more containers for the deck--and also plant more perennial herbs.

ellipsisknits said...

Sage and thyme work well sharing a pot. The sage sticks up tall, and the thyme cascades over the edge. Both overwinter without fuss if you bring them in. (or maybe if you leave them out, it's a lot warmer where you are than it is here).

Oregano? Eh. I haven't found the stuff you grow yourself has that 'spaghetti' flavor you expect from the spice jar. Instead it's more...minty? Like basil, but if you want basil, grow basil.

But you absolutely have to have parsley. The dried stuff is far inferior.

Joyce in SF said...

Chervil! If you have chervil and some parsley and chives, along with shallots, lemon zest and great olive oil, you have salsa verde (Italian, not Mexican, style) that is fab on anything grilled.

Daffodil Planter said...

Welcome Ellipsisknits! I'll use that sage/thyme planting idea, thank you! Parsley is moving up the chart. Although it's going to be hard to leave anyone out.

Joyce in SF, Knowing what a good cook you are, I'll say that chervil is a must.

Janet said...

Hi again, I have in one large bowl shaped planter the following herbs-- basil, savory, silver-edged thyme, tricolored sage, & parsley. In another container I have oregano and green thyme, and chocolate mint. mix it up!!

susie said...

Wow, to live in Nevada City.......I'm green with envy. Have to get my fix a couple times a year while visiting my mom in Auburn.
My vote would be for Pinapple Sage, golden oregano or garlic chives, all beautiful & tasty.

susie said...

Oh, I forgot....can't live without Italian Parsley.... & it will last thru some light frost.

Daffodil Planter said...

Janet, Okay, I'll pack more into the redwood containers, thanks for the tip and the new herb suggestions!

Welcome Susie! Yummy ideas! I'm adding your blog to the blogroll here.

Heather said...

My must-have herb would be cilantro for sure! We add it to fresh salad, salsa and to marinades too! Can't be without cilantro.

Daffodil Planter said...

Heather, Cilantro--yes! I just hope it doesn't bolt too soon.

Seasonal Wisdom said...

It's really time you considered thyme! Seriously, this pretty cold-tolerant perennial comes in so many delicious flavors like orange, lemon, lavender and lime. Thyme is truly one of my favorite herbs. Have enjoyed reading your blog and I'll be back... Teresa

Daffodil Planter said...

Welcome Teresa! Lime thyme? Gosh! Clearly I have to start a perennial herb garden next to the 'Hidcote' lavender and rosemary.

THANK YOU ALL for your wonderful suggestions!

The top vote getter for summer annual herb is parsley, and then a tie between dill, cilantro, and chives. Of course, now that you have all made such convincing pitches, we want to plant each herb!

peoniesinthesnow said...

I know its not an herb, but I think you could make a little room for arugula. Its great in salads and it makes a good pesto. I like the idea of a big planter stuffed w/ fun tasting things.

Daffodil Planter said...

Peonies, Planters stuffed with tasty things--yum. Arugula is just too bitter for me, but I know most people love it. Thanks for that image of the burgeoning planter; I'll go tell the new herbs what's expected of them!

Christine said...

Could I perhaps break the tie? Cilantro! I have started a slow-bolt variety from Renee's Garden Seeds. Hoping it lives up to its name. As for the first-place winner? I agree, Italian flat-leaf parsley grows well in Elk Grove. When I plant it in the spring, it doesn't flower until the following spring surviving the mild winters like a champ. Always a pleasure to find new garden bloggers! I look forward to following your progress.