I love finding new herbs to grow. There are so many to choose from and there is always a herb or ten for everyones taste. There is something incredibly satisfying about growing and using herbs. Not only do they look wonderful in the garden, but many are so simple to grow, pollinators love some of the flowers and growing something that can is also medicinal and full of nutritious is immensely satisfying.
I have a whole lot of herbs on my allotment and in pots in my garden. Most are chosen for their specific properties but some are definitely impulse buys from the garden centre! My favourite is Lemon Verbena made into a tea but I am not really a fan of Rosemary - and that’s not just because of the many Rosemary Beetles I have found!
There are many well known and traditional herbs such as Lavender and Oregano to Mint and Thyme. My plot is home to a Oregano ‘Hot n Spicy’ and a new Pineapple Mint which is absolutely divine - I can taste the summer cocktails already!
One particular herb really does top them all and that’s the Mushroom plant (Rungia klossii). I love the stems and foliage! The dark green, glossy leaves look really lovey and it can be grown both inside as a houseplant or outside, but as it is a tender perennial it will need to be moved into the greenhouse and protected over the winter months. It also produces blue flowers later in the summertime.
The leaf texture is a little similar to spinach but it tastes remarkably like mushrooms. So if you aren’t a fan of the texture of mushrooms or can’t eat them for health reasons, but you like the flavour then this is the perfect plant for you. As long as it gets that winter protection, its an easy herb to grow and even likes a little shade so good for a spot where other herbs won’t grow. It will grow up to about 60cm and just cut it back to about 12cm before tucking it up over winter.
It tastes delicious in a stir fry, curry and anything you want some mushroom flavour. Add it in at the end of cooking much like spinach and you’ll find the flavour is most definitely intensified after it’s cooked. Hope you give it a try!
To read more about Ellen Mary, you can find her on social media and on her website - https://www.ellenmarygardening.co.uk/