Sicilian Oregano

Oreganos abound and can serve many purposes in the garden, from groundcover to gourmet quality culinary uses. With their cousins, the marjorams, this herb is a must, and can be grown in containers as well as in the ground. This perennial herb is virtually indestructible — few insects attack it and it’s not susceptible to disease.

The best flavored-oreganos are in the Italian family, and there are numerous choices. A favorite in our area is Hilltop Oregano, a cross between marjoram and oregano introduced by Madalene Hill. This terrific mounding perennial will grace your garden as well as your table.

Also well-loved is the familiar Sicilian Oregano, which is said to have originated in a particular mountainous region of Sicily. The scent and flavor of this variety are very familiar to those who specialize in Italian or other Mediterranean cuisine.

Though the oreganos are said to tolerate a good bit of shade, they all prefer lots of sun and their productivity and flavor increase when planted in a very bright area. Plant in well-draining garden soil with a handful of Arbor Gate Blend. Using oregano will keep it productive, and the fresh new leaves that follow snipping have the best flavor. Left to its own devices, though, oregano will perform as a wonderful landscape plant, and produce pretty (though small) blooms during the summer months.