Burnet, also called Salad Burnet, is an outstandingly beautiful and under-used evergreen perennial herb that attains a height of 12 to 18 inches, forming a dense and rotund clump. It’s lovely blue-green color draws the eye, creating a definitive point of interest in the garden. And because it stays green all year, Burnet is especially beautiful in the winter if a few drops of moisture on its leaves freeze overnight — the cold is welcome to this herb, and the icy decoration is festive, to say the least!
Whether planted within the garden or as a specific accent, Burnet thrives in our climate. It doesn�t seem to be at all particular as to soil or fertilizer, needing just a sunny spot and a moderate amount of water. Its blooms look like tiny red strawberries and are hardly noticeable — you may leave them or cut them off when they occur, surmounting very tall bare stems.
Although Burnet doesn�t offer much in the way of fragrance, its definitive cucumber flavor adds an interesting note to salads and herbal vinegars. And this is one plant that seems to be insect-resistant and disease-resistant, no matter what the season.
NOTE: During 2013, my monthly Arbor Gate Herb Picks will emphasize herb choices as great landscape additions. Many of them also have culinary uses, of course, but our focus will be on their visual, scent, and textural qualities.