The Herb Garden
“Here’s flowers for you; Hot lavender, mints, savoury, marjoram; The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ the sun, And with him rises weeping…” ~William Shakespeare, 1611.
I find Herb Gardening to be one of the most rewarding forms of growing plants. Herbs are any plant that is valued for either its culinary, medicinal, fragrant or spiritual qualities. Many are easy to grow, perennial, and deer resistant. I have fond memories as a child of my mother’s gardens, filled with plants that she would use in cooking, or brew a cup of tea, or merely snip for its sweet scent. One day she sent me into the garden to pick oregano and basil for a spaghetti sauce. I returned with a fistful of snapdragons. This became the family joke when I went on to major in Horticulture. My own children love the herbs in our garden, often picking mint to chew on or even sprigs of chives. The freshness they provide is a welcome connection to nature.
Medicinal – Perennial – Zone 9-11 – Full Sun to Partial Shade
I always keep a container of this amazing healing plant. There is nothing like the real thing to soothe a sunburn, insect bite, or rash.
Culinary / Medicinal / Companion / Fragrant – Warm Season Annual – Zone 9-11 – Full Sun to Partial Shade
Fresh basil on garden tomatoes in the summer is probably one of my favorite foods. There are many varieties on the market these days including some beautiful purple leafed types. I grew a miniature selection in pots this year and they thrived in our brutal summer.
Culinary / Medicinal – Season – Zone 7-9 – Full Sun to Partial Shade
This is a very pretty, slow growing small shrub that is super tough.
Medicinal / Culinary – Cool Season Annual – Full Sun
These plants do great here during our winters as long as they have excellent drainage and are in full sun. They come in orange and yellow flowers, very vivid and deer resistant.
Culinary / Medicinal / Companion – Perennial – Zone 2-9 – Full Sun to Partial Shade
In addition to their great mild onion taste, the flowers are quite attractive in the spring.
Culinary – Cool Season Annual – Full Sun to Partial Shade
Similar in texture to Parsley, this herb is the quintessential Mexican cooking star.
Medicinal – Perennial – Zone 5-9 – Full Sun to Partial Shade
Coneflowers have undergone a lot of hybridizing recently with many new colors available.
Culinary/Companion – Warm and Cool Season Annual – Full Sun
This plant is so graceful and delicate. I plant mine around my squash plants to keep the borer away.
Foeniculum vulgare rubrum
Culinary / Medicinal – Perennial – Zone 6-9 – Full Sun to Partial Shade
The bronze form is really quite stunning and will self sow.
Culinary / Medicinal / Fragrant – Perennial – Zone 5-9 – Full Sun
Okay, this has to be one of everyone’s favorite fragrant delights, and yet can be a challenge to grow in our humid climate. Try the Spanish variety Lavendula stoechas.
Perennial – Zone 8-11 – Full Sun
Excellent in Thai cooking, it is the yellow stalk at the base that you use.
Companion/ Landscape / Warm and Cool season Annual – Full Sun
Marigolds are quite colorful additions to the landscape and are great pest deterrents including nematodes.
Culinary / Medicinal / Fragrant – Perennial – Zone 4-9 – Full Sun to Shade
Chocolate mint has become my preferred choice and is not as invasive as the peppermint and spearmint varieties.
Culinary / Medicinal / Landscape – Perennial – Zone 3-9 – Full Sun to Shade
Oregano is very dependable and comes in an array of varieties from Greek, Italian, and the pretty Golden selection.
Culinary / Medicinal – Cool Season Annual – Zone 3-9 – Full Sun
This plant has great texture. Try using both the Curly and the Flat-leafed types.
Culinary / Medicinal / Landscape / Fragrant – Perennial – Zone 6-10 – Full Sun
Rosemary looks great massed! One of the easiest to grow in our area and will bloom late winter if left unpruned.
Culinary / Medicinal / Fragrant – Perennial – Zone 4-8 – Full Sun
This is one of the prettiest winter plants for pots, coming in purple, green, and tricolor varieties.
Artemisia dracunculus sativa
Culinary / Landscape – Perennial – Zone 5-8 – Full Sun
The French type can be a little challenging, and the Russian’s flavor is lacking. Try Mexican, Tagetes lucida.
Culinary / Medicinal / Fragrant – Perennial – Zone 5-10 – Full Sun
This herb has been very dependable in my garden, thriving with neglect. The variegated lemon Thyme is beautiful in the winter container mixed with orange and yellow pansies.