If you are new to gardening you might want to start with a small scale project for practice, such as cultivating a little herb garden. An easy way to start is by using ornamental plant pots or window boxes instead of planting them directly in the garden. With only a minimal investment you will soon have fresh seasonings that you can cut as and when you need for cooking.
How To Grow Herbs
The benefit of growing herbs in a window box or in decorative containers is that you can move the plants in and out of the shade rather than deciding exactly where to them. All plants need a particular balance of exposure to sunlight and shade for a few hours each day, and the appropriate combination can be easier to achieve through trial and error. With planting pots, you can correct the placement of your plants as needed, by observing the intensity of sunlight and availability of shade at different times of day.
Thyme is one of the easiest herbs to grow and has a strong, bright aroma that will permeate your garden. Thyme goes well with meat dishes and many soups, and has a sharp, lemony flavor. You can choose to buy seeds or you can pick out thyme that has already been cultivated in little pots. All you would need to do is to transfer the seedlings to your preferred container, whether it be a decorative pot or a window box.
There are several different varieties of basil you can choose from, but by far the most popular is the sweet basil commonly used for pizza toppings, pasta, stews and salads. Visit your local garden centre to compare the varieties in stock, and pick out one that appeals to your tastes. Again, you can choose to plant seeds or to buy tiny seedlings.
Parsley is added to a variety of soups and potato dishes, and many people use it as a garnish for hot foods as well as salads. Parsley can be grown year round, but it needs both light shade to flourish, so you may need to adjust the location of your planting pot until you find a spot that offers both. The different types of parsley include a flat leaf variety, often used in cooking, and a curly leaf variety, the one used for salads.
Chives are another easy herb to grow, and like parsley, they make a versatile condiment. You can simply snip off the amount that you need, chop it into coarse pieces, and add it to any creamy dipping sauce or soup.
Creating a small herb garden can be a rewarding experiment for a novice gardener. If you have children, herb gardening is also a way to expose them to enriching insights into where food comes from. Some garden centres offer starter kits for herb gardens that you can simply place in a window box and water for immediate results.