This post is for Alexa who wrote to me asking for more information regarding summer herbs. I thought that many of you might find this topic interesting so I have posted my response here for everyone’s benefit.
Alexa – hi Im in high school and I need to do this hospitality project, part of it is that I have to name 5 summer herbs but Im struggling to find any! I was wondering if you could list a few for me it would really help me, thanx 🙂
Thanks for your question. I can see how this could be quite confusing as there is a lot of talk about herbs on the Internet but, mostly the information is non-specific in terms of their seasonal classification. It can also be tricky in some parts of the world, like here in Australia, where we don’t necessarily have clearly defined seasons. In cold climates for example it would be much easier to tell that you have “summer herbs” because they would be the ones that either can’t survive in winter or go dormant during that time. However, in my garden that is not quite so evident – because many of the perennial herbs that would, in a cold climate garden, go completely dormant, don’t. Sure, they start to look a little tired and die back a bit but, after a good prune they reshoot and continue to grow into the autumn and winter. Mint, sage and oregano are just a few of those continual growing “summer herbs” that I have in my garden.
So, I would say that “summer herbs” are those that like the warmer weather and do most of their growing during the spring and summer months. They are herbs that we plant in the spring to enjoy harvesting during the summer. They will often be the type of herbs that die down at the end of summer (but, not always!) or in the case of perennials, ones that need to be cut back hard before the frost arrives.
One place that might give you a good clue as to which are “summer herbs” and which are “winter herbs” is to look at a few recipe books. For example mint is one of those herbs that is used a lot in summer dishes and drinks. Pineapple sage and lemongrass are beautiful in fruity, summer iced teas and are also a nice accompaniment to bottled fruits like peaches. Basil is another important summer herb – very often teamed with fresh tomato dishes because they share the same growing and harvesting seasons and also because of their naturally superb flavour combination.
The following are some of the summer herbs that I have growing here in my garden. I have listed their Common names and their Botanical names for easy reference. I hope this helps.
Every Day In The Garden’s Summer Herb List:
- Basil Ocimum basilicum
- Chamomile Matricaria recutita
- Chives Allium schoenoprasum
- Comfrey Symphytum officinale
- Echinacea Echinacea angustifolia
- Horseradish (or Seeradish) Armoracia rusticana
- Mint Mentha spicata
- Oregano Oreganum spp.
- Lavendar lavandular angustifolia
- Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis
- Lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus
- Lovage Levisticum officinale
- Parsley Petroselinum crispum
- Pineapple Sage Salvia elegens
- Summer Savory Satureja hortensis