Lemon grass is an exotic herb used in many Far Eastern dishes. The long, linear leaves
smell strongly of lemon and contain essential oils that have medicinal, culinary
and cosmetic uses. It is a tender perennial and is best grown in a greenhouse or
conservatory. Plant in loam-based potting compost in full light, but not direct sun,
with some humidity. Water sparingly in winter.
Common Name: Lemon grass
Skill Level: Experienced
Exposure: Full sun
Hardiness: Half Hardy
Soil type: Well-drained/light
Time to divide plants: April to May
As much a salad vegetable as a herb, rocket is a pungent annual, not quite hardy
but available as a winter crop if protected with cloches or grown in a frame. The
young leaves have a warm nutty flavour, becoming quite peppery as they age. Harvest
the leaves regularly to prevent them from rushing into flower, especially in mid-summer
because their flavour then begins to dwindle. But the flowers are edible and often
used as a garnish, while the crisp seedpods also add spicy warmth to salads, so it
is a truly versatile crop whatever the weather.
Common Name: Salad rocket
Species: vesicaria subsp. Sativa
Skill Level: Beginner
Exposure: Partial shade
Soil type: Well-drained/light, Dry, Moist
Time to plant seeds: March to August
Garlic chives or Chinese chives, as these plants are sometimes called, are a close
relative of ordinary chives, and are just as easily grown by the same cultivation
methods. But the normal mild onion flavour is replaced by a pleasantly sweet garlic
flavour, especially when the leaves are young, and regular harvest will ensure this.
They are especially useful when garlic bulbs are out of season or unavailable, and
may be kept going in pots over winter indoors to prolong supplies.