Bringing Herbs and Flowers into your Kitchen

window sill herb garden

I love the having herbs growing on my window sill. It is lovely to be able to just grab a handful herbs when the recipe you are cooking requires it.

Window Sill Herb Garden

In my opinion the best herbs to grown on the window sill are the following 5 consisting of parsley, chives, basil, oregano and thyme.  Forget the more woody herbs like rosemary, bay and sage these herbs just don’t do so well on a window sill. Keep these in the garden were they are more at home.

Photo credit: jdurham from morguefile.com

I use a combination of buying cheap herbs in small pots from the supermarket or I fill small plant pots with good quality compost and sprinkle on seeds. Cover the seeds with a fine layer of compost and keep well watered. Both these methods can produce plenty of hebs for your recipes. However the pots of herbs don’t last too long so you will need to keep sowing the seeds.

Herbs and There Uses

HerbCulinary Uses
ParselyChop finely and add to finished cooked recipes, e.g. casseroles, cauliflower cheese and chicken dishes.
ChivesAdds the mild taste of onion to your food. Chop or use scissors to about 1/3 inch lengths. Add to cooked recipes at the end of cooking. Can be added to dips and salad dressings.
BasilEssential ingredient in Pesto. Adds a Italian taste to recipes.
OreganoUsed in Italian, Greek and Spanish dishes. Add to tomato, meat and egg dishes. Great herb to add to soups.
ThymeThyme is one of favorite herbs. It can be used in the same way as oregano. Essential ingredient in a bouquet garni together with bay leaves and sage. Pop the bundle of herbs into a stew and remove at the end of cooking. The flavors will infuse into the meat and sauce.

Bringing Flowers into the Kitchen

Another way to bring some welcome interest to your kitchen decor is to fill a vase with flowers and place on your kitchen window sill, counter-top or kitchen table.

If you fill a vase with a mixture of cut flower together with foliage you get a great look without using up too many flowers.

My preference for dealing with flowers in the kitchen is to make sure they are not too formal. A bunch of stiff hot house roses from the supermarket are not my thing. Ideally  I like to gather a few flowers together with some foliage from the garden. However in the winter months a few hot house roses and some evergreen foliage but still has an informal look I’m aiming for.

Alternatively a flowering pot plant can add color and interest to your kitchen decor. I often see flowering pot plants for sale in the supermarket that are around the same price as a bunch of flowers. So good value when you think that a pot plant should out live cut flowers. When the pot plant is past it’s best I generally consign these to the compost bin. This might seem wasteful but really once the pot plants have finished flowering they are never quite as good again. Of course if you have a greenhouse then you could try to bring the plant back  into flower again.

 

Further Reading and Resources

This is an excellent video that shows you how to arrange flowers and foliage for your kitchen.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_culinary_herbs_and_spices

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herb

http://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/Plant-science/Specialist/Culinary-herbs

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardeningadvice/3348522/Gardening-The-best-flowers-for-cutting.html

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