Spring is here. Well, it seems to be here, in Melbourne. Who knows what tomorrow might bring. But no, in all seriousness, the beautiful explosion of blossom along footpaths and growing numbers of green bins ready for pickup is a bit of giveaway. Spring is in the air. Finally.
So, with this uplifting season well and truly taking hold, now is an excellent time to revive our green thumbs and get planting. There so much goodness to be gained by getting more green into our homes and, if you’re new to it, rather than splashing out at garden centres, herbs are a very satisfying way to start. Head to your local nursery, such as CERES Permaculture and Bushfood Nursery, to pick up seedlings or young plants to call your own, and you’ll never be buying plastic-wrapped, wilted and pricey herbs from the supermarket again. There’s nothing quite like picking fresh herbs from the sill to add to your cooking. But of course, there are plenty of indoor plants to choose from.
A few of our favourites and some recipes to get you started
Basil: Essential for Italian dishes, we can’t go past reliable basil. It will thrive in sunlight with plenty of regular watering and good drainage. Recipe: Ultimate Caprese Salad by Bon Apetit
Mint: Refreshing and versatile, mint is super easy to grow even from cuttings, and doesn’t need too much sunlight. Be warned though, it can run wild and takeover, so best to plant it in its own pot so no other herbs are vying for space. Recipe: Mojito by Jamie Oliver
Sage: With beautiful grey-green leaves and woody stems, sage is a good looking plant. It may not be as common as other herbs in recipes, but complements many flavours, including chicken and lamb. And sage butter is incredible with pasta or fish. Recipe: Browned Sage Butter by The Joy of Cooking
Chives: Similar to spring onions but more slender and with a milder taste, chives like a sunny spot and slightly damp soil. Snip them over soups and salads, and you can eat the flowers too – perfect for a spring dish. Recipe: Potato Salad with Garlic Mayonnaise and Chives by Epicurious