Book Review - RHS Herbs for the Gourmet Gardener

If you have visited the nursery you'll know we have a herb garden on the middle terrace and they are one of my favourite groups of plants. Herbs were one of the first groups of plants to get me into gardening as a child (along with cacti on my window sill, you can read about them here). I remember visiting a herb nursery in Cumbria as a ten year old and being amazed at all the different scents these plants had and I can still remember the smell of the lovage now, 40 years later. They also made their herbs into all sorts of products and I especially remember the pots of herb jellies lined up on a shelf. That connection of producing and making food and items from what we grow has been a life long interest. Did you know smell is the sense most directly linked to the memory part of our brain? 

So as you can imagine a book on herbs always grabs my attention, and you can never have too many herb books, garden books or indeed any books. See below for more posts about gardening books.

The RHS Herbs for the Gourmet Gardening book
The RHS Herbs for the Gourmet Gardener book

Lovage is the first herb I can remember coming across as I child as mentioned above

This book combines good informative, practical details about herbs with recipes, historical anecdotes and lovely illustrations, making it easy and interesting to read as well as useful. The book is arranged alphabetically, so you can read cover to cover or dip in and out.

There are beautifully illustrated pages about the history of herb gardens

It makes a refreshing change to have a gardening book illustrated by
 botanical illustrations instead of photographs

With most herb entries there is a text box of tasting notes. Often a recipe but sometimes advice on the best varieties for cooking. Some of my favourites include Mrs Beeton's seed cake, herbelade and anise cookies.

For anyone wanting to get started in growing and using herbs,
this is a lovely book to begin with

Burdock even makes an appearance, a plant I grow in the native Scottish plant borders in the nursery

The history of each featured herb with it's growing conditions and uses

I'm creating a collection of RHS books

What is your favourite group of plants and do you have a book on them that you really enjoy?

Why not have a look at our other book reviews on our book page

#bookreview #herbs #herbbooks #favouriteplant #bookonherbs #RHS #RHSbooks

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  1. What a lovely post, I immediately set about trying to get hold of this book. As you say, one can't have too many books; especially if they are so beautiful as this. Funny, or perhaps not - I also became interested in herbs as a child and had a cacti collection (some of them still exist). This kind or interest, or experience, may have paved the way to plants as a profession. There could be worse fates in life ;-)
    I have a big bush of lovage and think it a great summer screen, if there is space for it. It works as a shrub. In sunny and hot weather I'm surprised how its aroma reminds me of curry! Don't know which ingredient it is, herbs have quite a few aromatic components, don't they?

    1. Isn't it funny the universal appeal of cacti and herbs to children, wonderful! I hope you get a copy of the book, I found it a refreshing book to read and look at. My lovage has struggled in our wet clay soil but I am persevering, I moved to a new place this autumn so hopefully it will be happy there.


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