You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘Italian herb garden’ – but what does it mean exactly? Well, put simply, some of the most famous and tastiest herbs in the world come from Italy. Some great cooking recipes also come from Italy, and they are famous in part for their herbs. For more information try our Herb Gardening
eBook. Basil is a well know ‘Italian’ herb and useful in many Italian recipes. Basil will not only add flavor to many Italian cuisines, it is useful in the garden for other plants. Planting basil next to your peppers and tomatoes will actually improve their flavor. Basil will also repel flies and mosquitoes. Parsley is a relatively difficult plant to grow well, but it is useful in not only Italian dishes but many other types of cuisines. A long time before we had breath mints, people would eat fresh parsley after a meal to remove the bad breath left over from enjoying a meal. The tradition arose in Europe to serve parsley on a small dish after the meal. The tradition lives on today by using parsley as a garnish on a variety of meals, especially meals including strong onions or garlic in them. Like basil, rosemary is an Italian herb that is beneficial to the garden. It grows into a large shrub that spouts pretty little blue flowers. It helps the garden by attracting bees. Although it is a tough evergreen perennial, it is sensitive to frost. Oregano is as decorative as it is flavorsome. When it is fully mature it sprouts pretty purple flowers. Oregano should not be harvested until it has flowered because this is when the plant is most flavorful. Fennel is another famous for its seeds, which can enhance the flavors of Italian sausage. The interesting thing about fennel is that the plant looses its flavor as it matures. It is a perennial plant that should be divided and replanted every few years to savor its flavor (!). However, probably the most used herb in Italian cuisines is garlic. No Italian herb garden would be complete without this useful herb. Garlic gloves can be planted and will thrive in just about any garden with very little attention. They can be stored to be used
at a later time after they are harvested by freezing them or pickling them to store in the refrigerator, or hanging in the airing closet. Sage is used in a variety of Italian dishes from meats to salads. New shoots of the plant contain the most flavor, so it is recommended not to let sage plants to get to woody by keeping them trim. This way new shoots will be encouraged to grow. Sage can be harvested after it blooms. There are many
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more herbs that can be included in an Italian herb garden, you really should consider which herbs you are particularly partial to eating in your recipes. Think about the growing conditions each plant needs. Italian herbs add flavor to food but they should also be looked at as more then that. They also make amazing additions to landscape designs. They can be displayed for color and their aroma. By planting Italian herbs amongst other plants, you will be graced with the sweet aromas straight from Italy. It will be like taking a stroll on an Italian hillside. Grazie!
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