Another great day at In Your Backyard! Today I was showing Tori and Vince around Niagara College and the Greenhouse so I got a chance to check out some of the cool new plants we got in.
One thing I've always loved is herbs, and man we've got an interesting selection! I got a Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans) at the NC Greenhouse last summer that grew enormous so I grabbed another one of those. I know regular herbs (parsley, sage, oregano) will be around all spring and easy to find so today I focused on a bunch of unique looking herbs. Broadleaf Thyme (Coleus amboinicus) definitely caught my eye - and my interest - as according to the latin name it is a member of the Coleus family... strange! I'm also hoping for a bit more colour diversity in my herb planters this spring so Golden Oregano (Oregano dorado) is a lovely contrast. I have never seen Pineapple Mint (Menthe ananas) before and it doesn't exactly smell pineappley...
Then my masochistic side came out... I LOVE BASIL: the smell, the taste, the feel of the leaves... but I have never once successfully grown a basil plant without some kind of disaster! Logic tells me that I should just buy my basil at the farmers market and focus on other lovely herbs, but I was inticed by the wide variety! Regular, purple, licorice, lemon, cinnamon to name only a few! Who wouldn't want to grow an herb that comes in so many cool varieties? It sounds like a mix between an icecream shop and a crayon box!
Local Business Profile:
BUY LOCAL! The herbs you find in the grocery store don't even compare! Plus Freeman Herbs definately came through for me on my quest for interesting herbs as the most unique plants mentioned came from them. Based out of Beamsville, their large scale operation (250, 000 sqft) produces over 100 varieties of herbs!! Recently joining their neighbours Hendriks Greenhouses they are a growing (pun intended haha) local business that has reached the North American market (largest dedicated herb grower in Canada, top 5 in North America). They also have a gemstone of information in the form of former owner and current growing consultant: Tim Freeman. Their products are available from a number of retailers across the province including right here at the Niagara College Greenhouse and even in Thunder Bay!