Herbs to grow in your garden? There are plenty! Whether you use them for flavoring dishes or medicinally, they’re a great addition to your garden. Herbs are—generally speaking—easy to grow, good looking (hello, subversive gardening!), and are often attractive to bees. The list below is by no means comprehensive, but the links I include here will give you a good start deciding which herbs to grow in your own garden.
Once upon a time, an older gentleman gave my boys dating advice: “When you go to pick a girl up for a date, tuck a bunch of basil in the backseat. Nobody can resist that fragrance!” While they’ve yet to use this method of enchantment, I do grow basil – lots of it. Here’s how I harvest basil to keep the fresh leaves coming all season long. The bees love it, too.
Calendula flowers can benefit soil and repel pests. They’re great for healing, too. Calendula has powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties, and is often used to soothe a long list of skin ailments.
Related to onions, garlic, and leeks, chives are a great addition to a culinary herb garden. But don’t stop there – Amy at Tenth Acre Farm gives you five good reasons to plant chives. Here’s how to divide and pot up chive plants (a great way to share with friends).
A favorite of butterflies, purple coneflower is a sturdy plant that holds up well in the heat of summer. It’s also the source of medicinal echinacea. Melissa over at Ever Growing Farm covers the basics of sowing, growing, and harvesting echinacea.
Quinn over at Reformation talks about feverfew and other medicinal herbs that can handle the shade. If you’re struggling with growing edibles in a shady location, these herbs will go a long way toward making you feel a bit more productive.
Colleen over at Five Little Homesteaders gives you TEN ways to love lavender. There are many varieties of lavender, each with different characteristics. I happen to be a fan of Lavendula Angustifolia ‘Munstead’ because of its compact growth and tidy flowers. Growing 12″ to 18″ high, it’s lovely in flower borders.
The fragrance of lemon verbena is very refreshing to most people, but planting one near your door can help keep mosquitoes at bay says Chris over at Joybilee Farm. This means you’ll be able to sit outside on a breezy summer evening to enjoy sipping on lemon verbena tea without getting all bit up.
This clumping grass is easy to grow, but if you live in cooler climates, you’ll need to overwinter your lemongrass inside. It looks great in pots on the patio. Add it to soup and curries, or use it to brew lemongrass tea.
Quite possibly the easiest herb to grow, mint is an herb with a sweet flavor. It’s perfect for tea, great in mojitos, and imparts a fresh flavor to myriad dishes. It can be invasive, but don’t let that prevent you from growing it. Here’s why.
This pretty herb attracts bees in the garden. Hyssop has an unusual minty licorice-like flavor. It’s easy to grow and makes a great tea to fight coughs and congestion.
A perennial herb, oregano tends to kind of take care of itself. It’s hardy and likes the heat. Use it in Italian dishes for a pop of flavor. Medicinally, oregano is considered an antibiotic herb.
A sturdy shrub, rosemary comes in varieties ranging from low-growing ground covers to upright bushes, making it a desirable landscape plant. No matter its size or shape, though, rosemary scents the air when it’s disturbed and adds a distinct flavor in the kitchen. Try using several stems banded together to baste chicken as it’s grilled.
A perennial herb that is probably best known for flavoring your Thanksgiving stuffing, sage is a one of the must-have herbs to grow in your own garden. A simple sage and butter sauce is an easy way to flavor your favorite cheese raviolis.
A common herb, thyme is easy to grow and comes in a variety of flavors and sizes. Creeping thyme stays low and is great between pavers. It’s easy to grow, too.
Okay, it’s not an herb. But this bright yellow rhizome is great for both medicinal and culinary use, just like its herby counterparts. Use turmeric in curries or toss some into your favorite smoothie for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Yarrow is edible, but it’s not commonly used in cuisine. It’s used are more commonly as a medicinal. Yarrow has also been used to clean up lead-contaminated sites. It’s good stuff!