Planting a Scarborough Fair herb garden
Back in the 1960s, Simon and Garfunkel sang about them in the haunting song “Scarborough Fair.” Today, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme remain herb garden standards, adding their distinctive notes to many dishes. You can grow them together in one large container or in individual ones, which lets you meet their specific needs. Containers should be at least 20 centimetres across and can be made of almost any material as long as they have adequate drainage holes.
Cover the holes with a piece of landscape fabric, old window screen or coffee filter so the soil doesn’t wash out. Partly fill each container with lightly moistened, high-quality potting mix. Slip the plants out of their pots and set them in place, adjusting the soil height so the top of the root ball is about 3 centimetres below the rim. Add soil, firming it around the root ball. Water well and top with a mulch of pebbles—they’re attractive, hold moisture and help keep the plant crowns dry.
Quick growing tips
Parsley: Will take a bit of shade; likes consistently moist soil, whereas the other three should dry out between waterings.
Sage: Welcomes an extra dose of nitrogen (use diluted fish fertilizer).
Rosemary: Prefers light, alkaline soil; can winter over indoors in a bright
spot if kept cool and not overwatered.
Thyme: Likes sharp drainage so add grit to the potting mix.