Essential herbs – Herbes essentielles

Voici certaine des herbes que je cultive dans mon jardin. Elles sont toutes essentielles à ma cuisine!

Here are some of the fresh herbs I keep in my garden. Each and every one of them is essential to French cooking except for basil, chamomile and mint!

Be careful if you plant mint, sage or rosemary. They grow A LOT!! Mint is impossible to get rid of…

Chives and parsley for my saladsIMG_6646 _Snapseed

Rosemary for potatoes and stewsIMG_4309

Basil for those amazing tomato mozza I’ll prepare for my friends this summerIMG_7873 _Snapseed

Tarragon for my tomato sauce and vinaigrettesIMG_7875 _Snapseed

Serpolet (Thyme). It’s called “herb for peas” in France as it is fantastic with peas and green beans

IMG_7878 _Snapseed

Mint for fresh infusions, my famous mint custard and fruit saladsIMG_5287 _Snapseed

Lemon chamomile for infusions as well as some of my beef dishesIMG_8042 _Snapseed

Pineapple Sage for fruit salads or in my “crème Anglaise”IMG_8026 _Snapseed

Proper sage for pizza and home made ravioliIMG_8028 _Snapseed

Oregano on my Italian dishesIMG_8031 _Snapseed

Lemon Thyme for teaIMG_8033 _Snapseed

Regular thyme for EVERYTHING :0) Here you can see my friends the “gendarmes” harvesting. We call these little guys “gendarmes” because the design on their back looks like a mask with mustaches. In the old days, all gendarmes (cops) in France had a big thick mustache. I also call them my friends, because I used to play with them for hours when I was a kid and the grown ups didn’t pay attention to me…IMG_8036 _Snapseed

Bay leaves in most soups and stews! Not too much though as it can make you sick…IMG_8010 _Snapseed

56 Comments Add yours

  1. Gorgeous herbs, I use almost every one them in my cooking, some if I can get my hands on.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I love herbs! They truly make the difference between an average dish and a great one…

  2. PK Read says:

    You are such an inspiration. Thank you!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I don’t know why, but thank you so much PK! 🙂

  3. A farmer, too. You’re a man of many talents.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      🙂 🙂

  4. lolarugula says:

    Beautiful photos, as always! Tarragon is another one impossible to get rid of, try as I have. I keep my mint in pots because at least I learned my lesson with that one! Sadly, rosemary is an annual in my neck of the woods. I do have a number of sage plants but the hummingbirds love the purple blooms, so I’m hard-pressed at getting rid of it. 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I didn’t know about tarragon… I’ll watch it like a hawk 😉

      1. lolarugula says:

        Ack! I love it but it spreads by root and comes back….and comes back…and comes back. 🙂

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Shit. Maybe I should take the plants out before it’s too late 🙂

          1. lolarugula says:

            lol! I hate to make you dig it all up but I’m not sure if you even could, I’ve tried to dig mine up for 3 years now and each year there’s a little left that comes back. Maybe that’s the key to keeping it in the garden but keeping it contained!?!? It’s not as bad as horseradish but it’s close. Just a fair warning.

  5. ciao! herbalicious garden. looking forward to your recipes and particularly your mint custard. yum:)

    1. My French Heaven says:

      For the mint custard, just add 2 or 3 branches of fresh mint to the milk when you boil it. It’s great to go on chocolate cakes

  6. dinnerbysusan says:

    Please, please share your mint custard recipe!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It’s really simple Susan. You just take your favorite custard recipe and add a few branches of mint in the milk when you boil it. It is really refreshing and perfect to go with chocolate cakes.

  7. juliabarrett says:

    I love your photos and your herbs. I’ve begin planting my herbs in wine barrels so I can control them. My oregano and rosemary are almost out of control even in the barrels. And one must be very careful with any type of mint – mint plans to take over the world! The only herb I don’t grow is bay – we have bay laurel trees all around so I can just pick what I want when I go hiking.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Wine barrels are a great idea!

  8. Farmgirl says:

    Beautiful pictures! I love my herb garden. I overwinter them in the house so that I have fresh herbs all year round. There are a few here, like lemon chamomile, that I haven’t seen before. I must look for these! Great post Darling!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much! Lemon Chamomile tastes a little like lemon grass…

  9. Joséphine says:

    Tes plâts doivent etre très parfumées avec toutes ses plantes aromatiques !moi aussi j’adore 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:


  10. ohlidia says:

    And don’t forget mint for mojitos! Beautiful photographs!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I won’t! 😉

  11. gotasté says:

    Your herb garden is driving me crazy. I only got sweet basil and rosemary along my corridor and tasted mint. How I wish I can cook with all of your other herbs. especially interested in sage, oregano and chives 🙂

  12. That’s fabulous! A beautiful looking post, and instructive too. Tell me, this “Serpolet” thyme – any idea of its botanical name so I can look for it in Australia? I love the idea of a ‘herb for peas’ (having recently developed a taste for them after hating them as a kid and ignoring them for the aeons in between!).

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks! the name I think is Thymus serpyllum

  13. Wonderful herb garden and beautiful photos. 🙂 We plant our herbs in various pots and around our trees. It’s a great way to use the space around your trees. 🙂 I don’t know where I would be without my fresh herbs.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      That’s a great idea Richard!

  14. hollykaann says:

    Oh How I love herbs! Yours are beautiful- just as I expected. 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Couldn’t cook a thing without them. 🙂

  15. Janet Rörschåch says:

    All of the above, Stephane. <y life would be very sad indeed without my chives, thyme, and rosemary.

  16. Mmmm, I could almost smell each plant from your lovely pictures! I think thyme is my all time favourite herb ever… but having said that, even the new mint plant I bought at market yesterday has me stopping to inhale every time I walk past it… 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:


  17. ladyredspecs says:

    Gorgeous pics!! I use lemon thyme with lemon zest and citrus vodka when I make gravlax. I love it’s flavour! How could we live without fresh herbs?

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I couldn’t cook much without fresh herbs. Your gravlax recipe sounds divine!!

  18. lulu says:

    Thank goodness herbs are quite easy to grow because, like for you, they are essential in my garden, er, pots! I enjoy the act of going on the porch and cutting what I need.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m the same! I have so many that I have to trim them even when I don’t need them for cooking. So I freeze them…

  19. It’s just as well I don’t live in the area as your pineapple sage would go missing 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I just discovered it this year. The fragrance is unbelievable! It really smells like pineapple. Even stronger… I don’t really know where to use it best yet…

      1. Try it in a very simple green salad, baby spinach and rocket, and a few other leaves. It’s also possible to add a pinch or two of other herbs (mint and tarragon? don’t remember now) as it’s very robust in flavour. Go easy with the dressing. Perhaps sunflower with a white wine vinegar, both used sparingly.

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Thanks for the tips J!!

  20. redesigned says:

    I love your herb garden! I aim to have one just like it. ~M.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It’s really worth it! 🙂

  21. Reblogged this on sustainability wench and commented:
    I love this – I don’t think we use herbs enough in New Zealand. Read this and be inspired (and get planting)

  22. Lovely fresh looking herbs, I can smell them. Lovely!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks! I couldn’t cook much without them 🙂

  23. Penne Cole says:

    I’m so envious. How do you keep the bugs off your herbs?

    1. My French Heaven says:

      They don’t like eating them. Except snails on basil… I figure they need it more than I do and I leave them be 🙂

      1. Penne Cole says:

        You’re lucky! I had so many bugs on my basil. Mainly aphids.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks darling!

  24. ary says:

    c’est vrai que la menthe a tendance a tout envahir ! j’en ai fait l’expérience. l’avantage c’est que ça sens du coup super bon quand on tond la pelouse !
    Les herbes fraîchement cueillies du jardin c’est quand même autre chose que ducros !!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      J’adore l’odeur du gazon après la tonte!!! 😉

  25. eclecticlamb says:

    Beautiful photos! and I loved reading about how you use each herb. I have lemon thyme in my herb garden but have not used it in tea. I would love to see a post on how make tea with lemon thyme. Also what time of day did you take your photos?

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Just put your thyme in boiling water et voilà 🙂 The pictures where taken this morning around 10am…

      1. eclecticlamb says:

        Thanks! I will try it.

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