As Simon and Garfunkel commemorate in their seventies hit song, Scarborough Fair, herbs are an essential, loving ingredient in life. “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme” is their hook phrase repeated in each verse to poignantly depict their true love’s attributes. I can relate to their choice of descriptors!

In every country, state, or city to which I’ve moved, starting from college till today, I’ve planted fresh herbs because, for me, herbs signify the essential soul of the idea of home. I don’t know how to cook unless I can snip fresh herbs. And I love running my fingers through spicy, fragrant herbs as a greeting coming in or leaving my home.

The first herbs I plant in each location are always parsley and mint, for how can you cook Lebanese food without them? The next favorite herbal workhorses are rosemary, thyme, and oregano, reliable perennials that never fail. For annual fluff, I plant dill, cilantro, and basil both for their pungent, distinctive taste and their pollinator loving blooms. I planted chives in this backyard eight years ago and have harvested a bumper crop each year, even with annually thinning out and giving away rootings. Nevertheless, I’ve yet to crack the code for successfully growing lavender and culinary sage. If any of you have suggestions, let me know!

Remember to always plant your herbs in full morning sun and let them go to seed each year. Not only are their blooms attractive, but when the flowers drop their seeds, they will gift you with a new crop each year without any replanting on your part.

The featured parsley picture in this post was taken in February of this year. It reseeded itself, which is why the plants are so thick and lush. Just imagine what they’ll be like by early spring!

Are you ready to plant your culinary herb garden?

Tell her to reap it with a sickle of leather

Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme

And gather it all in a bunch of heather

And then she’ll be a true love of mine


If she tells me she can’t, I’ll reply

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Let me know that at least she will try

And then she’ll be a true love of mine


Love imposes impossible tasks

Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme

Though not more than any heart asks

And I must know she’s a true love of mine


Dear, when thou has finished thy task

Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme

Come to me, my hand to ask

For thou then art a true love of mine



Simon and Garfunkel, Scarborough Fair

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