Herbs

Aloe Vera

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Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) is a perennial succulent that grows to about 2m in height, with spiny leaves. It is best suited to warm, tropical conditions, growing best in full sun with well drained soil. Harsh sunlight can damage the leaves yet poor lighting can stunt leaf growth, so it can be grown indoors, in direct light. Avoid frosty conditions. Ideal as a pot plant, on a sunny windowsill. Allow the plant to become fairly dry between each watering as the plant prefers drier soil. During summer, water fortnightly, but water sparringly during winter and other colder months. Aloe Vera has many uses, the gel like juice produced in the leaves can be applied directly onto skin as a softening agent or to help heal minor wounds and sunburn.

Basil

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Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a common herb that grows into a bushy plant around. 30cm tall. It likes warm/hot environments, and is very sensitive to cold or frost. If it is cold outdoors, it can be grown indoors and in containers. I grows best in full sun to partial shade and need protection from winds. Regular watering is essential as basil loves to have moist soil. Despite is well known uses in cooking, pesto, pasta sauce and garnishes, basil does have remedial properties. It can be chewed to relieve travel sickness or mixed with water to help relieve indigestion.

Bay Tree

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Bay Tree (Laurus nobilis) is an aromatic evergree tree that grows to around 10m.It can be grown in pots as longs as the height can be controlled. It likes tropical climates with hot summers and cold winters. It requires plenty of sun, full sun if possible, yet will require som shade on particularily hot days. It can tolerate dry conditions. Leave to dry out between each watering, but water the tree plenty o n hot days, especially if being grown in a pot. Commonly knows for the use of its leaves in cooking, but is also used to create decorative bouquets or centrepieces. Fresh leaves are a powerful source of vitamin c and are a natural antioxidant.

Chervil

chervil1 Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) is a small, hardy, annual plant with a long produce season that grows to about 30cm in height with a similar appearance to parsley. It grows best in cool areas but can tolerate humid conditions. Keep it in filtered shade through summer and keep in sun during winter. Perfect for growing indoors, in a sunny position. Needs to be well watered all the time. Used popularily in French cooking and ideal for garnishing and herb butters. Add at the end of food preparation as cooking it gives the herb a bitter flavour.

Chives

chives1 Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are a perennial herb that grows in grass like clumps up to 30cm tall. They are very hardy and can withstand hot, cold and frosty conditions. The grow best in full sun but can cope in part shade. In hot, dry conditions, they require a little shade and humidity. Water well, especially on hot days. Extensively used in cooking yet also thought to help lower blood pressure and help the kidneys as they are high in Vitamin C and folic acid, which aids in digestion and ease stomach aches.