Herbs in May



So much going on at the moment! Plenty of Hawthorn blossom still around, and Elderflower now also in full bloom.

In the garden, leafy herbs like Mint, Sage, Oregano, and Lemon Balm are plentiful.

Chives have started flowering. The beautiful purple flowers make a gorgeous pink vinegar (simply infuse them in vinegar for a couple of weeks), and are also great added to salads, soups and other dishes. Thyme is also is blossom and the flowering stems are particularly nice in teas.

Also in flower are Valerian, Rose, Catnip, Common Mallow, Scented geraniums and Calendula. Chamomile buds are also starting to appear.


Transform some of the springtime abundance into herbal treats to last all year around:

  • Make elderflower cordial or maybe get some elderflower wine going;

  • Make your own rose syrup;

  • Dry herbs to use in teas;

  • Make delicious oils by infusing pouring some into a jar with culinary herbs and letting it infuse for a few weeks.


You can start taking softwood cuttings of both shrubby herbs such as sage and lemon verbena, and herbaceous ones like mint and lemon balm.

If you haven’t yet, trim lavender plants, removing all of last year’s flower heads.

Keep an eye out for signs of pests and diseases. Early prevention is much easier than having to deal with an infestation later in the year.

Ensure plants, especially those growing in containers, are well watered. The best time for watering is either early in the morning or after sundown.

Visitors to the garden need water too. Deep dishes or bowls filled with water make a great bird bath, and will certainly be appreciated in these hot spring days.


May is a good time to sow almost any herbs you could think of. It's now warm enough for plants that need a little extra warmth to germinate, and it's not too late to start those that need a while to get established over the growing season.

Warmth-loving herbs like basil, rosemary, sage and thyme and are best sown indoors and transplanted when established, but others like coriander, dill, parsley, chives and spring onions can be sown directly into the ground or in containers outdoors.

Flowers like borage, sunflowers, nasturtiums, poppies, calendula and nigella can also be directly sown.

// Words Camila B //