When selecting the perfect perennial herbs to plant in an herb garden, base your decisions on how you intend to use the herbs; herbs have a variety of uses, from enhancing the flavors of food and beverages to the medicinal benefits that specific properties of the plant provide. Many crafters include herbs in their home (aff) decor personalized gifts. Other gardeners include an herb garden based only on the attractiveness of the foliage and blooms and their subtle aroma.
A single herb has properties that can ease an array of symptoms, so a medicinal herb garden doesn't have to be huge to offer relief for the occasional minor discomfort. Chamomile is a favorite because of its relaxing properties and because the subtle flavoring makes a good, basic tea to combine with other herbs. Echinacea, or coneflower, boosts the immune system and treats inflammation.
Thyme, rosemary, mint, lavender, and scented geranium are favorites of gardeners who choose to plant an herb garden based on fragrance. The aromatic properties of these plants can provide pleasure, whether you dry their cuttings or use them fresh. Dry these herbs in potpourris or sachets to infuse a delightful fragrance into your wardrobe. Extract the oils from these aromatic plants by allowing fresh cuttings to soak in carrier oils.
Crafters choose their favorite herbs for many reasons. Some crafters use rosemary because of its evergreen sprigs, and the scent of dried and fresh herbs is so pleasing to many. Other crafters favor herbs like bee balm and chives because of the attractiveness of the flowers. Scented pillows, wreaths, and dried bouquets often include treasures from the herb garden.
The Best Herbs to Grow in a Garden
Fresh herbs can add a variety of new tastes to liven up any dish you're cooking in the kitchen. But fresh herbs can be expensive to buy regularly at the grocery store. If you enjoy cooking with them, consider planting an herb garden to keep your favorite herbs readily available. The best herbs for growing are those you use regularly in your cooking. You'll save money by growing your own and always have immediate access to your needs.
Fresh basil adds a spicy, rich quality to any dish you add it to. It's popular in tomato-based dishes and Italian cooking but also goes well with fish or salad. Grow basil from seed or a starter plant, and if you savor its taste and use it frequently, plant several plants to ensure a bountiful supply. Popular basil variations include Thai and Vietnamese basil, which are each common in their respective countries' cooking and have a distinct flavor. Domestic variations include purple-leafed basil and lemon basil.
Parsley affords a wide range of uses in the kitchen, but it's one the easiest herbs to grow in your garden. Plant parsley once, and it will frequently reappear year after year. It spreads, too, so a couple of hardy perennial plants will likely give you more parsley than you need. Utilize it in pasta sauces, salads, salad dressings, and as a garnish; parsley is nutritionally rich, boasting high levels of iron and vitamins A and C. If you've got more parsley than you can use, wash it, place it on a baking sheet, and cook it on the lowest setting in your oven until it's crispy. Then break it up, and you'll have homemade dried parsley.
Mint grows in many variations and can add fresh flavor to food and drinks. This remarkable herb Is commonly used in appetizers. Use the green leaves as a garnish on desserts or crush them into a refreshing, cool, summery drink. Peppermint and spearmint have different flavors, but you can buy lemon, orange, and pineapple mint plants. You'll need one or two low-maintenance plants in several small pots. Mint spreads like a weed, and you may cut it back to keep it from taking over the rest of your early spring herb garden.
If you enjoy Italian cooking, use fresh oregano instead of dried oregano, and you'll immediately taste the difference. Oregano is a foolproof herb; it grows with little care and will return annually. It offers extensive kitchen uses as a key ingredient, including in sauces, pasta dishes, homemade pizza, ground steaks, and other meat dishes. As with any herb, you can dry it in the oven and grind it if you have more fresh oregano than you can handle.
Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is an annual herb with the best flavor planted each late spring. It will proliferate once the weather turns warm. The flavorful, fresh leaves are added to Mexican and Asian dishes. The seed from cilantro is called coriander and has a very different flavor. It is an essential ingredient in hummus. Once cilantro flowers, it will go to seed and die. You can allow this if you wish to collect the seed as a flavoring or to plant the following year—plant seeds at two-week intervals to keep fresh cilantro leaves coming all summer. Cilantro is not fussy about soil surface and will grow in full or partial sun. Do not fertilize the new plants of cilantro.
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are members of the onion family. They are hardy to USDA zone 3 (aff) and can be grown as a perennial. Start chives from seed or divisions. Chives are not particular about soil conditions or well-drained soil and prefer a sunny position in the garden. The attractive blooms, as well as the strappy leaves, are edible all growing season. They have a milder flavor for those who prefer a slight onion taste. Chives retain their flavor best in their raw form for their culinary uses. Chop them up and add them to salads. They are very ornamental in the herb or vegetable garden. Plant the young plants around other edibles to discourage insects.
Grow nasturtiums (Tropaeolium majus) from seed in spring. They can be directly planted once the threat of frost has passed. They have a vining habit, so plant them on a wall, slope, or trellis. Nasturtium will grow in full or partial sun. The perfectly round leaves are edible, as are the attractive flowers. They both have a spicy, peppery taste. These plants will continue to bloom all summer long. Many old varieties are in shades of orange, but new varieties come in red, cream, salmon, and yellow. One popular variety, Alaska, has creamy variegation in the leaves.
The Best Herbs To Grow Together As Companion Plants
Proper design and planning are the first steps to a thriving herb garden. With the plethora of herbs available and their many uses, it's easy to get carried away and create a design that needs to be more complex to maintain. Planting herbs that share growing needs allows all neighboring herbs to thrive harmoniously.
Drought-Tolerant Different Varieties Of Herbs
Grouping herbs with different water needs will undoubtedly lead to the death of some. Plant drought-tolerant herbs together, and be sure not to overwater them once they are established. Herbs that can withstand and even thrive in dry conditions are aloe “Aloe vera,” borage “Borago officinalis,” chicory “Chichorium intybus,” feverfew “Tanacetum parthenium,” lavender “Lavandula,” rosemary “Rosmarinus officinalis,” and thyme “Thymus vulgaris.”
Moisture-Loving Herbs For Your Kitchen Garden
Herbs that need water are often most conveniently planted near a water source or in a garden where water naturally runs or pools. Adding mulch to the tops of these herbs can help them retain water. Plant basil “Ocimum,” chives “Allium,” cilantro “Coriandrum sativum,” dill “Anathum graveolens,” fennel ” Foeniculum vulgare,” marjoram “Origanum marjorana,” mint “Mentha,” and viola “Viola” together.
Herbs For Partial Shade
While most common culinary herbs prefer full sun, some must be shielded from sun rays. Utilize the shady parts of your yard by planting shade-loving herbs under trees. These include sweet woodruff “Galium odoratum,” anise hyssop “Agastache foeniculum,” wild ginger “Asarum canadense,” shiso “Perilla frutescens,” and spicebush “Lindera benzoin.”
Salt-Spray Tolerant Herbs
The Mediterranean herb Rosemary is native to the warm weather and the Mediterranean coast and is tolerant of salt spray.
For people living in warm climates and the coast, tolerance to wind and salt spray will play a role in which herb plants fare well. These include aloe “Aloe vera,” bay “Laurus nobilis,” germander “Teucrium fruticans,” lambs' quarters “Chenopodium,” lemon balm “Melissa officinalis,” juniper “Juniperus,” rosemary “Rosmarinus officinalis,” sage “Salvia,” and yaupon holly “Ilex vomitoria.”
The vast and diverse world of herbs offers many possibilities for creating a thriving garden. Whether you're a culinary enthusiast, a wellness advocate, or enjoy the beauty of greenery, our guide has highlighted the essential herbs to plant in a garden. Elevate your gardening journey and savor the joys of cultivating a fragrant, flavorful, vibrant herb haven at your fingertips. Start growing, nurturing, and reaping the rewards of a bountiful garden filled with nature's finest herbs.