Gardening Guide

Mediterranean Garden: 4 grow-at-home herbs

Once you’ve had fresh basil, rosemary, thyme or sage you’ll never plunk down cash for a jar of dusty dried herbs again. Even if your thumb is more black than green, these four user-friendly plants will thrive in your kitchen, garden or on your terrace.

The Mediterranean has one of the best growing climates in the world. That’s not just our happily biased opinion, but a fact knwon to gardeners around the world. Citrus, squash, courgettes, tomatoes, watermelon, peppers, chillis, and aubergine all grow abundantly across the island. Capture that green magic at home with a simple herb garden.

Rosemary

Grow from: Cuttings

Plant: In the garden

Care: Rosemary is hardy and loves the sun. Water it evenly and regularly and prune the bushes to keep them from getting to lanky

About: Start your own rosemary plant by cutting a fresh green stem from one of the countless wild plants dotted around the island. To do so, you take a healthy stem, strip the lower leaves, put it in water and leave it to sprout. Once roots are visible plant in well-drained soil, either indoors or outside. Fresh rosemary is essential for barbecues or roasts, it goes particularly well with lamb. For a delicious veggie dish toss boiled new potatoes with olive oil, sea salt, coarse black pepper and rosemary.

Basil

Grow from: Seed

Plant: In the sun, indoors or out

Care: Basil loves hot weather and sunshine, as long as it’s hydrated

About: Varieties include purple and sweet basil, each with distinctive colouring and flavour. Plant a combination of seeds in one large pot, or grow separately. If planting outdoors, choose a spot where it will get six to eight hours of sun; if potted, keep in a sunny location. It loves the heat but needs plenty of water — wilted leaves mean it is thirsty! Use basil in any tomato dish, hot or cold. Basil mojitos are a great twist on the classic cocktail.

Sage

Grow from: Cuttings

Plant: In sandy, well-drained soil

Care: Water young plants regularly; prune heavy, woody stems

About: To grow from a cutting, clip an eight centimetre cutting from the tip of a stem, apply rooting hormone on the exposed portion of the stem, and plant it in sand. Roots should appear in about six weeks. Transfer it to a small pot till the roots form a ball, them move it to a large pot or the garden. Sage is a hearty herb that thrives on hot sunshine, so plant it outdoors or put the pots in a sunny spot. Savoury sage is a classic in stuffing, or for flavouring a mushroom and sage risotto.

Thyme

Grow from: Cuttings or a plant

Plant: In well-drained soil

Care: When soil is dry, water well; don’t over-water; trim to prevent woody stems

About: There are many varieties of thyme, several of which are common in cooking, including French, English and lemon thyme. They all love heat, sunshine and are drought resistant, making them perfect for the Ibiza garden. Thyme is delicious with pork or chicken, roast vegetables, or in an herb quiche.

To Top