Herb Garden Indoors
When considering plants for the kitchen, the first things that spring to mind are herbs, and rightly so. No plant is more aromatic, and a supply of garden herbs within hands’ reach is not only decorative but extremely useful. Not that it is particularly easy to grow a complete herb garden indoors. Their natural habitat is, of course, out in the fresh air and a large number of herb varieties are perennials, thus winter-hardy and not accustomed to warmth. They prefer to grow in the open ground and enjoy fresh, moist air.
If the temperature in the kitchen proves to be too high for them, it is worth trying to grow your herbs in a flowerpot outdoors or planting them in the garden soil close to the kitchen door. However, if you wish to grow a complete herb garden indoors, then the most convivial place for them is indeed the kitchen.
Although this location is generally warmer than the plants prefer, evaporating liquids create an overall moist atmosphere here, which is something they also enjoy. If you spray frequently, open windows regularly and, weather permitting, place them under a gentle shower of rain each week, your windowsill could well become the fragrant focal-point of your kitchen.
Herbs can now be bought at all kinds of different outlets. Some greengrocers, supermarkets and garden shops sell small pots of chives and thyme, flower shops and garden centers not only supply many different sorts of seed in specially prepared pots, but also packets of ordinary herb seed for direct sowing in containers or in the garden. As a result of their popular revival, the range of herbs is now so extensive that you don’t have to look very far to find what you need.
Chives and thyme stand the best chance of survival on a sunny windowsill, as does marjoram, dill, basil and lemon melissa. If your chive plant fails to flourish indoors, placing it outside under a rose bush will work wonders. For chives and roses make very good companions; each encourages the other’s vigour and bloom. Thyme can tolerate life indoors for a fairly long time if it is given a sunny position. Use the watering can very sparingly with this plant, but keep it moist by misting frequently with a fine spray.
Parsley can flourish happily on a windowsill in the shade, likewise chervil, woodruff and celery. But on no account place parsley and celery next to each other. For some reason, these to plants simply cannot tolerate one another , and pairing them off invariably leads to their decline.
The kitchen is, of course, also an ideal place for ‘ordinary’ plants. Before choosing your plants, however, first consider the position of your kitchen in relation to the sun. As this is not usually the lightest room in the house, it is often best to choose a selection of shade-loving plants.
In a really spacious, kitchen-dinner, plants grouped in large troughs can look really attractive. And if they are tall, you can possibly use the plant-troughs to screen off the kitchen works units, and in so doing place a great deal of chaos out of sight, if not out of mind. They can also function as a soothing, airy partition between the kitchen and dining area.
When planting the trough, try to select plants that look well together and have mutual needs as regards light, moisture and atmospheric humidity. It would be a great pity if, after a time, some specimens have to be removed from the trough because of their premature demise.
Your plants will not mind the rather high degree of atmospheric humidity in the kitchen in the least. On the contrary, they actually welcome it.