A selection of quality herb seeds are available for herb garden enthusiasts who are looking to grow individual or several different types of herbs. These herbs are all very easy to grow and are suitable for the UK climate.
For some amateur gardeners, growing herbs is much more than a hobby or pastime, it’s a deep-rooted passion. And when you take into account the real value of these herb plants, it’s easy to see why they have such appeal. Herb seeds can be successfully grown both in open ground and in containers.
A brief history of herbs
People have been growing herbs for thousands of years and we know this because cave paintings of herbs found in the Lascaux cave complex in France are more than 13,000 years old. Ancient Greek and Roman leaders used Laurel for headdress and dill to purify the air. Herbs were also used extensively in the 5th century BC, during the time of the famous Greek physician, Hippocrates, who listed over 400 herbs, which were in common use.
During the middle ages, herbs were used to preserve meats and also to conceal the odours of those who chose to wash less often. Sadly, those who became obsessed with herbs, better known as herbalists, were hunted down by the Catholic Church, tried and burned at the stake for practicing witchcraft. However, the undeniable value of herbs for both cooking and medicine prevailed and the plants are now revered for both their culinary and medicinal properties.
Herbs for culinary and medicinal uses
Many generations of people from all over the world have grown herbs and harvested herb seeds as an aid to cooking all types of dishes. Herbs provide us with lots of options in terms of improving the taste of fish and meats and for flavourings used in soups and stews. Common herbs include Basil, Chervil, Chive, Coriander and Dill. All very easy to grow from seed. Other common herbs, which might be found in the kitchen include Garlic, Lemon grass, Parsley, Sorrel and some new hybrids such as Par-Cel, a cross between Parsley and Celery.
Herbs and spices are considered essential additives to many culinary dishes but they still have their place in medicine too. Alternative medicines are making a big comeback as many people push back against harmful chemicals, with their countless side-effects, and which are often prescribed as and when needed by their doctors. Mostly used between the 16th and 19th centuries, herbal medicines are again growing in popularity and so inevitably the sale of herb seeds also continues to rise.
Herbs all year round
It seems there will always be a place for herbs in our lives, whether culinary or medicinal, and herb seeds will always be in demand. As herbs are so easy to grow, you can grow them in pots, on a window sill, on a patio or in containers of any size. Alternatively, some people will grow a variety of herbs in a dedicated “Herb Garden”, ensuring they have a fresh supply of herbs for most of the year, with saved herb seeds and dried leaves making up for any shortfall during the winter months.