Read our feature on Jekka McVicar (page 90 of August's The Simple Things)? Add her suggestions for useful but less obvious herbs to your shopping list.
1. Borage (Borago officinalis)
This frost-hardy annual has attractive, star-shaped, blue flowers in summer which can be used in drinks and salads. Its young leaves pep up salads and mature leaves can be cooked to make a delicious summer soup (chill first). Height: 60cm.
2. Celery leaf (Apium graveolens)
A hardy biennial with tiny, green-white flowers in the summer of the second year. The leaves have a strong celery flavour and young ones are good in salads or as a flavouring in soups and sauces. It is also used medicinally to ease osteo-arthritis. Height: 30cm-1m.
3. Myrtle (Myrtus communis)
The small white flowers of this frost-hardy, evergreen shrub have golden stamens in summer followed by blue/black berries in autumn. Its dark-green, shiny, oval, aromatic leaves are good with roast, pork and game dishes and delicious sprinkled on roast vegetables. Height: up to 3m.
4. Red Orach (Atriplex hortensis var. rubra)
Use the young dark red leaves of this hardy annual in salads or cook its mature leaves like spinach. One word of warning: it's an enthusiastic self seeder! Height: 1m.
5. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
A hardy perennial with large flat umbels of small yellow flowers in summer followed by aromatic edible seeds and soft green feathery foliage. Complements fish, pork and salads. Height: up to 2.1m.
6. Winter Savory (Satureja montana)
The small white flowers of this hardy perennial are tinged with pink in summer. The dark green, linear, pungent leaves are good for salt-free diets. Height: 30cm.
Image: Jason Ingram