Secrets to Benefiting From Your Own Home Herb Garden

Planting and growing herbs in your own home herb garden is a real joy. Fresh herbs smell so wonderful and it is advantageous to grow something that you can use almost on a daily basis. To be able to go out to your own home herb garden and pick fresh herbs to flavor your favorite dishes is truly a delight. I love to smell the fresh herb flavor as I am preparing my dinner when the fresh herbs I have picked are sitting on my bench.

If you have never grown your own herbs before you are in for a wonderful experience and you grow and cook your own fresh herbs. Start with those herbs that you are sure to use in your hot and cold dishes. Then over time, add more to your growing range and I am sure you will even search for recipes to incorporate the herbs that you grow.

Here are a list of herbs that I regularly use in my cold dishes:

· Basil – I will add leaves of basil to my green salads, to bean salads and put them in my sandwiches

· Mint – I tear mint leaves into my green salads and they give a salad such a lift which never ceases to amaze me – mint comes in several different varieties like spearmint and peppermint

· Fennel – I absolutely love fresh crispy fennel and tomato salad drizzles with a little French dressing. For variation some mint or parsley can be added as well.

· Rosemary – because of the fact that the leaves are rather hard I tend to use this in the dressings more than in the actual dish

· Garlic – over recent times I have almost become a ‘garlic freak’ as I use it in almost everything I can and when I am using it uncooked I do chop it finer or crush it

· Oregano – is a very nice subtle additive to a salad sandwich so try it out

· Parsley – I do like the curly leaf parsley because feel it has a stronger flavor than the flat leaf parsley and I add it to sandwiches, butters, salads of all sorts, green, bean and pasta. When I want a more subtle parsley flavor I use the flat leaf parsley

Here is a list of herbs I use in my hot dishes:

· Parley – I use this in many dishes that I cook, especially egg and vegetable dishes

· Rosemary – this goes hand in hand with lamb either pushed into the mean, laid across the top or in the basting mix. Rosemary is also very nice with vegetable dishes

· Coriander – I use in my curry or spice type dishes and in tomato dishes

· Basil – this goes great in my egg dishes like scrambled eggs and chopped up on pizzas or other tomato based dishes as it goes so well with tomatoes

· Bay laurel – leaves of this lovely little bush are beautiful in stews and the like. They do also flavor soups nicely as well. The taste is quite strong so not many leaves need to be used at any one time.

· Garlic – again I use this in so many dishes. Just about anything where I add onions I add garlic.

· Fennel – this has become a favorite and in hot dishes both the fennel bulb and the seeds can be used. The seeds are actually quite strong and not many are needed to flavor a dish.

I hope you have found my story of how I use herbs to be of some help and I am sure you will discover more herbs as you extend your range in your home herb garden and also in the cooking pot.

Some Poignant Ideas for Home and Garden Decor

Every home owner wants to ensure that their home and garden looks fabulous. For this they ensure that their home and garden are well maintained and also use accent pieces to decorate the space.

Themes

The accent pieces chosen to highlight and decorate the home and garden should have the same theme as the general design of the home and garden. For instance, homes and gardens designed in contemporary styles should have accent pieces and décor that are stylized and contemporary. The furniture and furnishings used should also match the same theme. On the other hand a home designed to look like a rustic farm house or seaside cottage should utilize home and garden décor items that reflect this theme.

Individual Rooms

Apart from using home and garden décor items that reflect the general style and theme of the house and garden, individual rooms should have accent pieces that reflect the function of the room or provide a unified decorating theme. For instance, kitchens in a contemporary styled home can use chrome or steel stylized utensils as décor items while a seaside cottage styled living room can use bookends and other décor items made of driftwood or seashells.

On the other hand, décor items for a bedroom should be more soothing and induce relaxation. Additionally, bedroom décor can be more whimsical and experimental, as they need to satisfy only personal tastes and are not meant for public viewing.

Conversations Starters and Interests

Depending on the general purpose of the room as well as the style of the home or garden décor items can also be used as conversation starters or to indicate the interests of the residents. For example, handcrafted, rustic, garden décor such as bird houses can be used to indicate a preference for recycling or a love of nature. They can also make excellent conversation starters or points of interest when guests are being entertained.

Budgets

While those who can afford it can opt for expensive décor items to give their home an individual and unique appearance, others can opt for handmade and artisan items that are less expensive to put together a special look that lends character to their home and garden. This can be done by blending a special theme with individual ideas and color schemes. One can also gradually enhance the appearance of a room or garden by deciding on the basic theme and keeping a look out for the ideal décor pieces that will complement it.

Tips For Creating A Garden To Enhance Your Home

When creating a garden at your home, there is much that needs to be considered and thought out before the spade shovel will ever hit the dirt. The location of the garden is important. What type of sunlight will the garden be receiving? Is this a garden of flowers alone? Is it a fruit and vegetable garden? Is it any combination of the preceding? How big will it be? How much time are you able to devote to cultivating it? All of these are important questions that should be answered and well thought out before you attack the chore of planting.

A backyard may be a big or small space. The space that you will devote to your garden may be big or small. The size of the garden should be the first decision made. Take into account the time that is available to you to care for the garden thoroughly. You want to keep gardening a pleasurable experience, therefore, don’t try to squeeze more than you can comfortably handle into your garden. If you work full time and have small children at home, a smaller garden that requires less care would be better for you. On the other hand, if you’re retired or have the means to stay home and have little else to do with your time, a large many faceted garden would fit your life. Be realistic with the time that you have to devote, those plants depend on you in combination with nature to care for them.

Once you have decided the size of the garden, what will go in it should be the next decision. Again, this will have to do with the time you have to devote to the garden. Some plants need just a little water and they can sustain themselves well while others require constant pruning, fertilizing on a schedule, and watering. When choosing the plants that will be included in the garden, read the labels carefully and they will tell you how much care each particular plant requires. Also, be careful not to plant too many avid growers in the same location. Otherwise your garden will look overgrown in no time and it will be difficult to keep up with pruning.

When those important decisions have been made, it’s time to plot out your land, prepare it, and plant. When plotting out the land, many will have to pull up grass that is residing there currently. In doing this, be sure that you get the grass roots or the grass will make a reappearance in the middle of your garden. When all the grass has been pulled, it’s important to work soil with a hoe or rake about six to twelve inches down. In this way you will break it up and breathe new life into soil that has had little room to breathe in quite some time. Add some fresh topsoil, perhaps with nutrients included to allow for new root stimulation and root setting, and plant according to your plan.

When the plants have all been planted and you’re satisfied with your garden, be sure to fertilize, and water thoroughly. The garden will need to be watered daily for ten to twenty minutes with a garden hose. If fresh rainwater is available, use that for watering as there are more nutrients in that than in what comes out of the garden hose. In a matter of days you will see your plants flourish in their new environment. If it is a flower garden, fresh flower buds will be seen quickly. If it is a fruit and vegetable garden, you should quickly see the beginnings of what has been planted.