Now is the time to plan your garden for the coming season, and with a slew of new herb varieties being introduced, 2009 is sure to be a year to remember.
This year, citrus is in, with a twist. Try the new ‘Lemon Sculpture’ (pictured) scented geranium with horizontal branches and tightly curled leaves for a structured, bonsai-like effect. ‘Lemon Sculpture’ can grow up to 3 feet tall, and because it does well in low light, you can use it to add subtle flavor not only to your food, but also to your home. This intriguing geranium will be available exclusively from Richters, www.richters.com, starting in April.
‘Pink Lemonade’ is a creeping lemon-scented thyme that works beautifully in stone walkways, pavers and as a ground cover. Unlike other compact lemon thymes, this one has delicate pink flowers. Thyme is attractive to bees and butterflies, some of which feed exclusively on thyme varieties. The plant is available from Mountain Valley Growers, www.MountainValleyGrowers.com.
Adventurous cooks will want to save space for an exotic “new” culinary herb, pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius). A tropical herb commonly used in Southeast Asian foods, pandan has aerial roots and long, narrow leaves with a fragrance similar to Thai jasmine rice. The nutty-flavored leaves (which are nearly impossible to find fresh at the market) are used to flavor desserts and beverages, curries, and the Thai dish ob bai toey, or pandanus chicken. North American gardeners can grow pandan as a potted plant, which can be brought indoors for the winter. Pandan is available from Well-Sweep Herb Farm, www.WellSweep.com. You can find pandan recipes on our website at www.HerbCompanion.com.
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