Curly Parsley

Curly Parsley

Flora Friday featuring curly parsley!

This week’s Flora Friday is taking a deeper dive into the herb planter I bought at Lowe’s for my balcony garden. It has a few different herbs in it, including curly parsley. This definitely isn’t a herb I would have purchased on my own, so it hasn’t been getting the most use.

Parsley aka Petroselinum crispum

Curly parsley is more commonly used as a garnish while flat parsley is more commonly used in cooking for its robust flavour. Comparatively, curly parsley has a more bitter flavour and less flavour. While it’s not commonly used in dishes, it can be a substitute for flat parsley but it’s important to note that the flavour won’t be the same.

Curly Parsley in the bottom left-hand corner.

How to grow it

Parsley is a very common garden herb that’s very low-maintenance. Needing sunlight and regular watering, this herb works well in a bed with other herbs and vegetables. To promote growth, it’s important to harvest parsley regularly. If you can’t find enough uses for your harvest, parsley freezes well and extends its life expectancy.

Curly Parsley

Mint

Flora Friday featuring Mint aka Mentha

This weeks featured herb of my balcony garden is mint. The herb is a fantastically aromatic option to have in the garden, that pairs well with fruit, desserts and drinks. It is also a very calming herb that has been used for thousands of years to help with indigestion or soothe an upset stomach. This resilient plant comes in many different species and hybrids and tolerates a wide range of conditions. It’s a fast growing plant, so you won’t need to plant too many to meet the needs of your household.

Different varieties

There are many different species and hybrids of mint, but the most common ones are:

  1. Peppermint is a hybrid of watermint and spearmint. The leaves are generally used peppermint tea and is used as flavouring.
  2. Native spearmint also used in flavouring food and herbal teas.
  3. Scotch spearmint a hybrid mint cultivated for essential oils and used to flavour chewing gum.

Some mint species are more invasive than others, but due to their speedy growth, it’s a good idea to separate this plant from others. Planting it in a separate pot on it’s own ensures that it won’t steal nutrients from neighbouring plants.

How to grow it

This resilient perennial can survive in a variety of conditions. Most will tolerate some shade, but ideally they thrive in full sun exposure. It grows the best in confined areas with moist, well-drained soil. From there, minimal care is needed other than keeping the soil evenly moist.

How to use it

I love using mint leaves in the summer by adding them to naturally flavoured fruit water. The fragrant herb adds another level of freshness that pairs wonderfully with cucumber and lemon.

I also love making mojitos with my fresh mint for a delicious summer cocktail.