A few years on, and my opinion has changed. What happened? Well, firstly, I began to cook with marjoram. It's a popular herb in the US, where I lived for several years (and where it's usually called oregano). But since moving to the UK I'd rarely used it in cooking. I found the dried herb bitter, and tended to use fresh parsley, thyme, and basil instead.
Fresh marjoram, though, is quite different from the dried stuff. It's aromatic rather than bitter. I
now cook with it frequently, using it to season vegetables and meat, and really like it.
The second reason I came to like marjoram was for its colour. Our garden still lacks colour in July and August, but marjoram, with its waving purple flowers, adds attractive colour just when the garden most lacks it. Yellow marjoram, a shorter, creeping form of the herb, adds a fantastic burst of sherbet to the front of the borders. In August I lifted, split, and potted on lots of yellow marjoram, so that I can extend its presence along several of the borders next spring.
Finally, I noticed that pollinating insects, especially native honeybees and white butterflies, adore marjoram. I cannot wander past the herb without noticing a dozen bees sipping busily, and half a dozen butterflies fluttering about. For this reason only, I plan to plant more marjoram!
But do remember... it is as tough as old boots, and does rather like to stretch its reach.