Oregano, Parsley, Coriander, Sweet Basil, Thai Basil, Sage, Purple Sage, Pineapple Sage, French Tarragon, Lemon Verbena – the gardens are bursting with herbs – we’re picking by the basketful. Chives, Sorrel, Salad Burnet – they’re all going into the kitchen. We love growing herbs, for flavour, for fragrance, for colour, even occasionally for making homemade potions! We grow more herbs than we can eat so we’re scenting oils, freezing and drying to keep us going all year. French Tarragon Oil is delicious on everything, but it’s absolutely amazing drizzled over poached eggs and toast. Lemon verbena tea is the drink of summer and even better when it’s picked fresh from the garden – we also use it in possets, salads and add it to summer tarts. We’re still picking Rhubarb – Timperley is an early variety but it’s still going strong and makes a great pairing with Lemon verbena in tarts, cakes, cocktails – all the good things.
As well as the herbs, the edible flowers need picking regularly to keep them flourishing. We use a lot to decorate cakes and garnish salads and the Violas, Sweet Williams and Scented Geraniums are all flowering well.
The soft fruit is just about ready for picking – nearly, almost, not quite…the task is to determine the exact perfect moment seconds before the Mistle Thrush that’s been eyeing them greedily. Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, nothing is sacred. Somehow it manages to get through all varieties of barrier - the only solution is going to have to be fruit cages – maybe next year, for now the race is on!