The Low Water Kitchen Herb Garden
By SCMG Jason Robinson
Herbs in your garden have many benefits. The foliage of many, but not all herbs, can be harvested fresh for culinary purposes or dried and used in teas. Oils that exude from the leaves of many herbs are pest-aversive. So having herbs planted increases the overall vitality of your garden. Some herbs – such as ROSEMARY (Rosmarinus officinalis), CATNIP (Nepeta spp.) and LAVENDER (Lavandula spp.) – attract butterflies and are deer resistant. Catnip, besides attracting cats, also attracts hummingbirds. Significantly, many herbs are drought-tolerant including BORAGE (Borago officinalis) which attracts bees; HYSSOP (Hyssopus officinalis) whose flowers are delicious tossed in a salad; and LEMON BALM (Melissa officinalis), the leaves of which can be used to flavor wine, teas or beers.
A number of the water-wise herbs mentioned above are discussed in detail in plant articles on the SCMG website. The following highlights some of my favorite low-water herbs essential to my kitchen herb garden:
THYME (Thymus vulgaris) is an herb that is thrifty in its water needs and loves a sunny
OREGANO AND SWEET MARJORAM (Origanum vulgare and Origanum majorana) are
California is in the midst of a drought that may be with us for years to come. But it still is possible to support a healthy and robust herb garden by cultivating drought-tolerant herbs such as the ones mentioned in this article. Happy herb gardening!