Author Archives: Jill Falls
Author Archives: Jill Falls
Although many plants can be grown successfully indoors, there are certain groups that, because of their attractiveness and relative ease of maintenance, are generally considered the best houseplants.
These include the aroids, bromeliads, succulents (including cacti), ferns, begonias, and palms, all of which have long been favorites.
Somewhat more demanding are those that are grown primarily for their flowers. These include African violets, camellias, gardenias, geraniums (Pelargonium species) and orchids.
There are thousands of tropical and subtropical plants that can adapt to growing indoors. Although some fancy exotic species do well only in a humid conservatory or a glass-enclosed terrarium, a great many species have been introduced that endure the adverse conditions of dry heat and low light intensity that prevail in many houses. A selection of the more widely favoured houseplants follows, under six sections: foliage plants (some of which also bear interesting flowers), succulents, trees, ferns, climbers and trailers and flowering plants, species kept primarily for their flowers.
Click the button above to learn all about plant propagation, growing from seed, which plants are easy to grow and which ones are hard (unless you know how). As well as which ones can be poisonous!
Dill (Anethum graveolens) is an annual herb in the celery family. Dill is grown widely in Eurasia where its leaves and seeds are used as a herb or spice for flavouring food.
Fresh and dried dill leaves are widely used as herbs in Europe and central Asia. Like caraway, the fernlike leaves of dill are aromatic and are used to flavor many foods such as fish dishes, borscht, and other soups, as well as pickles (where the dill flower is sometimes used). Dill is best when used fresh, as it loses its flavor rapidly if dried, however, freeze-dried dill leaves retain their flavor relatively well for a few months.
Salvia officinalis (sage, also called garden sage, golden sage, kitchen sage, true sage, common sage, or culinary sage) is a perennial evergreen subshrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers.
It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae and native to the Mediterranean region, though it has naturalized in many places throughout the world. It has a long history of medicinal and culinary use, and in modern times as an ornamental garden plant.
The delicious and vibrant taste and wonderful healing properties of parsley are often ignored in its popular role as a table garnish. Highly nutritious, parsley can be found year round in your local supermarket and is easily grown at home.
Parsley is the world's most popular herb. It derives its name from the Greek word meaning "rock celery" (parsley is a relative to celery). It is a biennial plant that will return to the garden year after year once it is established.
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. It is also known as Chinese parsley, and in North America the stems and leaves are usually called cilantro. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds (as a spice) are the parts most traditionally used in cooking.
Most people perceive the taste of coriander leaves as a tart, lemon/lime taste, but a smaller group of people think the leaves taste like dish soap!
The leaves are variously referred to as coriander leaves, fresh coriander, dhania, Chinese parsley, or (in the US and Canada) cilantro.
The leaves have a different taste from the seeds, with definite citrus overtones. Cilantro juice is recognized as an aid to digestion.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is sometimes referred to as the king of herbs.
It comes in many varieties, which I'll cover further on in this article and is a staple of many delicious recipes, such as basil pesto and tomato and basil soup. I've also included these and many other recipes in this article.
Basil also has a large number of health properties, but to get the full benefit of them, as well as the most intense taste, you really should grow your own. In fact, I'm going to give you this same advice for all of the herbs I talk about.
And you should definitely be embracing organic gardening.
I've written a book on organic gardening and I'd love to give it to you. Please click on the book cover or the button below to get it by instant download.
Hi, my name is Jill Falls and while professionally I'm a qualified interior designer, my passion is growing and cooking herbs.
I'd like to share with you my herb story. As I grew up in Melbourne, I remember my mother using a variety of herbs in her cooking. Herbs weren't easy to buy in those days so she grew them in pots on the window sill and picked from them as she needed. They fascinated me, each with its own pungent smell, and how they would turn a bland dish into something delicious.