By Penny Woodward

Bright yellow day lily flower

Edible day lily flowers


More tough herbs that are easy to grow and will withstand both drought and heat. And they are useful too!

Aloe vera Aloe vera
Description: Fleshy leaves with spiked edges, sometimes spotted.
Growing notes: Perennial clumping plant. Grow by dividing off small side-plants in spring. Frost tender, needs excellent drainage.
Uses: Used medicinally for all sorts of skin complaints. Rub the fresh sap onto bites, burns, sunburn, fungal infections, eczema and other rashes, minor cuts and grazes.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera

White flowered garlic chives

Garlic chives

Samphire Crithmum maritimum
Description: Pale green, succulent aromatic leaves and green flowers.
Growing notes: Perennial grown from seed sown in spring. Sprawling shrub grows well in coastal regions.
Uses: Leaves are high in mineral salts and vitamin C. Young leaves are cooked as a vegetable, or added fresh to salads, or used as a garnish.



Garlic chives Allium tuberosum
Description: Strappy bright green leaves, strong garlic/onion flavour.
Growing notes: Perennial. Divide clumps or sow seed in spring or summer. Lift and divide every 2 yrs.
Uses: Add leaves to any dishes (both fresh and cooked) that would benefit from the garlic flavour. High in vitamins A and C and iron and calcium. Antiseptic and antibiotic. Insect repellent against aphid and thrip. Good edging plant. Grows well in a pot.

Tansy Tanacetum vulgare
Description:  Dark green, aromatic, fern-like foliage. Bright yellow flowers.
Growing notes:  Herbacious perennial. Grow from root division in spring or autumn. Very vigorous spreading clump.
Uses: Strongly pest-repellent, use against fleas, flies and mosquitoes. Plant near doorways, windows and eating areas to repel flys. Add to compost to increase potassium and other minerals, and to speed up decomposition. 

Day lily Hemerocallis species
Description:  Strappy leaves and bright yellow/orange flowers.
Growing notes:  Perennial. Grow from seed or by dividing clumps in spring.  Add compost in spring.
Uses: Flower buds are eaten fresh and dried, their musky flavour being essential to a range of Chinese and Japanese dishes. Add to salads, soups, stir-fries and meat and noodle dishes.




Lemon scented pelargonium

Pelargonium Mabel Grey

Scented pelargonium Pelargonium species
Description:  Soft, rounded leaves vary in size and scent depending on the cultivar.
Growing notes:  Woody perennials generally grown from cuttings in spring. Add compost in spring. Sprawling bushes Cut back regularly.
Uses: Scented leaves are used in fruit salads and cakes. Also to make delightfully flavoured teas. The leaves dry well and hold their scent for scented sachets and pot pourri.