Help with a list for cooler climate herbs?

Recently, someone in Nova Scotia asked what herbs I could recommend. I've never lived in a cold, maritime climate. So, who has suggestions?

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  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 Here is a link to have a look at. Lots of info and some of it for herbs that tolerate varying levels of 'cool'... think, Alaska..


  • Annie Kate
    Annie Kate Posts: 680 ✭✭✭✭

    We are Ontario, with wet climate, so what grows here should grow in NS: parsley, thyme, chives, garlic chives, various mints, lemon balm, lovage, dill all grow like crazy at our place and propagate on their own. So does mustard, which I'm not sure is an herb. Sage is not easy to grow here (but that could just be me) and it doesn't overwinter at all. Basil is OK if we start it indoors.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    We are cold but dry. Colder than Nova Scotia so I would think that anything that grows here will grow in NS. I'm surprised that sage doesn't overwinter in Eastern Canada. It overwinters for me.

    For perennials, I have several kinds of mint, chives, lemon balm, several kinds of thyme, tarragon, rue, lovage, bee balm, coloured yarrows, aconite, oregano, hyssop, catnip, sorrel & bloody dock, feverfew, hops, horseradish, marshmallow, meadowsweet, walking onions, sage, winter savoury and valerian. I have had one Anise-Hyssop overwinter for a couple of years (I'd planted 3). I planted caraway once and it has seeded itself but I don't find it every year. It is a biennial so maybe that's why.

    Dill comes up throughout my garden every year without having to reseed. Mugwort was planted once and now it is everywhere. Poppies also appear everywhere, although not as prolifically as mugwort. Giant red mustard is another that comes up everywhere. St. John's Wort is considered an invasive weed here although I currently don't have any in my garden.

    Burdock doesn't need to be planted as it is a very invasive weed in my area. Mullein can be found in almost all habitats (except boggy areas). Native wormwood grows everywhere here as does yarrow. Sweet woodruff and other Galium species are native.

    Annuals that I seed every year include: nasturtium, basil, parsley (curled & Italian flat), calendula, chamomile, cilantro, perilla and summer savoury,

    Mullein should do well in NS. I'd try California Poppies, too. Foxglove is another one I'd try for NS. I currently don't have elecampane in my garden but have seeds and I know it does very well in cold climates as several friends in colder locations that I am, have it in their gardens.

    I have grown curry plant but it doesn't survive the winters. Horehound sometimes survives and sometimes seeds itself but not often. I grow rosemary but harvest what I have and then get new plants every year as it won't survive the winter here. I have had no luck bringing it inside. Lavender is another that will grow but rarely winters over. Same for pennyroyal. Fruit sages grow well during the summer but are done as soon as a frost hits.

    I would very much like to try saffron again. It didn't survive the winter when I plant the bulbs before, but I was in a different (much colder) location at that point.

    I love lemon verbena but it only grows as an annual here. Same for Vietnamese Coriander.

    That should give them some ideas to get started.

  • Sharie
    Sharie Posts: 276 ✭✭✭

    I really miss woodruff from Germany (best jello flavor ever!). It should grow in Nova Scotia if you can find seeds.

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Sharie I'm guessing you would make a tea from the woodruff and make the jello with that? could you expand on that so I don't ruin my taste test run? lol

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    I forgot a few.

    Borage is another that pops up everywhere in my garden.

    Marjoram isn't as hardy for me as oregano and it only survives some years.

    I have grown burnet and it does well but not a particular favourite of mine so I don't plant it often.

    Self-heal grows wild here as do violets. I would think that they would do well in NS, too.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Annie Kate Basil can be tough, but all your other suggestions are good choices.

  • Sharie
    Sharie Posts: 276 ✭✭✭

    In Germany, you can buy ready made jello or powdered jello. My favorite junk food lol. I have never made it from scratch. I tried growing some seeds that I collected but they didn't grow in my climate. They're a very pretty plant in my opinion and good just for a filler plant if you don't want to harvest it.

  • lewis.mary.e
    lewis.mary.e Posts: 225 ✭✭✭

    Thyme, chives and sage seem to be the only herbs that winter over here.

  • Annie Kate
    Annie Kate Posts: 680 ✭✭✭✭

    If sage overwinters, I can't imagine mint not doing so. Have you tried any of the mints? There are many kinds.