Nothing says “I love you” like a handmade gift – even more so when it’s made from home-grown herbs. Jane Griffiths shares five ideas for making fabulous gifts using herbs’ summer abundance.

handmade herbal gifts

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Herbal oil 

Drizzle this green oil on soup, pasta, salads or roast vegetables. 

Chive oil (try basil, coriander or parsley)

  • ½ cup chives 
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • salt to taste

Blanch herbs for 10 seconds in boiling water and then dunk in iced water. Twist in a tea towel until completely dry. Blitz with oil in a blender and add salt to taste. Pour into an oil filter over a jug to drip overnight and decant into a sterilised bottle. (Keeps for a week in the fridge).

handmade herbal gifts

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Herbal vinegar

Use herbs and fruit to create flavoured vinegar for summery salad dressings. As a base choose white or red wine vinegar, malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar plus summer berries and herbs such as chives, rosemary, winter savory and tarragon. 

To make: spread fresh herbs in a warm place to dry for a day. Place a handful of berries and  ½ cup of partially dried, finely chopped herbs in a sterilised bottle. Add vinegar to fill, seal and infuse in a dark spot for at least 3 weeks, shaking occasionally. Strain and decant into a pretty bottle.

Drying herbs 

Herbs with a lower water content (oregano, lavender, marjoram, thyme, savory, rosemary and bay) are well-suited to drying, retaining flavour and efficacy. Hang in a warm, well-aired spot, out of direct sunlight, until dry. 

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Herbal salt

Blending fresh strongly-flavoured herbs with sea salt creates a bright-green, healthy condiment. Salt is a natural preservative which absorbs the herbs’ fresh flavour as they slowly dry.

Rosemary and lime salt  

Try marjoram, oregano, winter savory or thyme!

  • ½ cup packed fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1½ cups sea salt
  • 1 Tbs lime zest

 Blend rosemary until finely chopped. Add salt and blend further until smooth and green. Mix in the lime zest and seal in an airtight container. 

handmade herbal gifts

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These use abundant midsummer herbs, rubbed on meat, fish and poultry or mixed with olive oil and tossed with vegetables when roasting. 

Herb and spice rub 

  • 1 Tbs each dried thyme, oregano and rosemary
  • 1 tsp each dried marjoram and basil
  • 2 tsps sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp each ground cumin and coriander 
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes

Mix together and store in an airtight container. 

handmade herbal gifts

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Home-grown herb container

An elegant container with home-grown herbs is a gift that will keep giving.

Propagating herbs 

Many herbs (such as oregano, lavender, rosemary, thyme and sage) are easily propagated from established plants. Take cuttings from new growth and place in a growing medium until roots grow. Take several, as they won’t all be successful.

Sow chives, basil, coriander, mint, parsley, dill and fennel from seed. Most take longer to germinate than vegetable seeds. Use fresh seeds as many herb seeds are only viable for six months to a year. 

Tip: personalise your gifts with scented sprigs of rosemary and lavender. 


Herb growing tips

  • Group herbs with similar watering requirements together.
  • Many herbs happily grow in containers – a good option for small spaces. Even in large gardens, placing pots of herbs near the kitchen door is a practical choice.
  • Most perennial herbs benefit from trimming, which prevents them from becoming leggy and dry. Trim by about two-thirds in early spring or in late spring after flowering. 

Jane Griffiths IMAGES Jane Griffiths and Keith Knowlton


Your guide to growing herbs indoors