Gardening With Herbs

Published On: June 12th, 2018

There is a certain romanticism in growing and gardening with herbs. Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Stepping out your back door and snipping a few fresh leaves off your own herb plants to add to your home-prepared meal.

Herbs are easy and rewarding to grow… a sprig of fresh mint in your cool summer drink… dress up your homegrown salad with a garnish of beautiful, tangy Nasturtium… whip up a batch of delicious Pesto from your own Basil… the list goes on! After reading about herbs for your garden, learn some herb recipes.

Perennial Herbs


  • Chop leaves to flavor salads and for use in fish and potato dishes
  • Add decorative lavender globe flowers to salads
  • Self-sows abundantly if not deadheaded


  • Comes in a variety of “flavors” (Peppermint, Spearmint, Chocolate Mint, Apple Mint, etc.)
  • A refreshing addition to summer drinks & salads
  • Dry for use in tea
  • Colonizing Perennial


  • Highly fragrant silver foliage is used in potpourri as well as in baking & teas
  • Intolerant of wet winter soil conditions (requires well-drained soil)


  • Fragrant silvery foliage
  • Use in sausages, stuffing, tea
  • May overwinter outdoors with protection (we also have the more tender but very ornamental ‘Tricolor’ Sage)


  • Use leaves fresh in salads or cooked in soups or sauces
  • Hollow stems make great Bloody Mary straws!


  • Used to flavor marinades, vegetables, meat dishes & fish dishes
  • Tiny, strongly aromatic leaves
  • Use for ornamental or culinary purposes


  • Use fresh or dried in Italian, Greek, and Mexican dishes.
  • Edible flowers in summer
  • Colonizing Perennial

Lemon Balm

  • Pollinators love the flowers and honey produced is exceptionally flavorful with hint of lemon
  • Strongly lemon scented & flavored foliage used in teas, fruit dishes, candies and as a mosquito repellent
  • Colonizing Perennial

Winter Savory

  • Use for flavoring salads, dressings, stews & stuffing
  • Slightly more bitter flavor than Summer Savory


  • Foliage smells like apples; Dry the small daisy-like flowers for use in teas
  • Roman Chamomile is perennial. German Chamomile is a self-seeding annual

French Tarragon

  • Anise flavored foliage
  • Clip leaves into salads or soups
  • Particularly good with shellfish, fish, and poultry


  • Highly aromatic needle-like foliage
  • Use in Mediterranean dishes
  • Excellent with roast potatoes & meats
  • PERENNIAL grown as ANNUAL (winter inside in bright window)
gardening with herbs window garden herb
gardening with herbs chive blossom
gardening with herbs herbal tea
gardening with herbs window garden herb

Annual Herbs


  • Feathery foliage has Anise/Licorice fragrance & flavor
  • Eat the bulbous stem base of ‘Florence’ variety as a vegetable
  • The plant is a favored food source for several butterfly species

Cilantro / Coriander

  • Fresh leaves and stems (CILANTRO) are used extensively in Asian and Mexican cuisine.
  • The seeds (CORIANDER) are used in whole in pickling or ground as a flavoring.


  • Excellent in fish dishes, salads, omelets, and herb butter
  • Essential for pickling!
  • Beloved by beneficial insects (preferred host plant for immature Swallowtail Butterflies)


  • Pungent, spicy flavored leaves and flowers for use in fresh salads and stir-fries.
  • Book young leaves and serve like spinach.


  • A natural sweetener that is calorie-free and 150 times sweeter than sugar.
  • Use fresh leaves in iced tea, lemonade, or other sweet drinks
  • Crush dry leaves and use as is, or to make a sweet syrup
  • Perennial grown as ANNUAL


  • Green leaves are used in sauces, butter, dressings & stuffing.
  • Varieties include Plain Italian and Triple Curled (Curly Parsley is most popular as a garnish)
  • Learn more about parsley.

Lemon Verbena

  • Strongly lemon-scented foliage
  • Popular for use as tea

Lemon Grass

  • Strongly lemon-scented foliage contains essential oils that act as a natural insect repellent
  • Asian cuisine, teas, soups & curries


  • Edible petals for use in salads or dry them to make a natural dye
  • Historically considered a sacred flower and used in ceremonies as well as a culinary and medicinal herb


  • Highly decorative in containers
  • All parts are edible
  • Tangy flavor similar to radish or watercress
  • Use leaves & flowers in salads or as garnish

Summer Savory

  • Use in soups, stews, gravies, stuffing & salad dressing
  • More delicate flavor than Winter Savory


  • Extremely fragrant & flavorful leaves
  • Rich in essential oils
  • Use in Pesto, tomato-based dishes, salads
  • Very cold sensitive so do not put outdoors until after last spring’s frost
gardening with herbs genovese basil

Types of Basil

Genovese Basil

  • Considered the premier Basil for Pesto & “insalata caprese,” (tomato slices topped with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves)
  • An Italian variety prized by chefs because it retains its sweetness even when cooked for long periods

Thai Basil

  • Anise/Licorice flavored foliage
  • Widely used in the cuisine of Southeast Asia

Lemon Basil

  • Zesty lemon/citrus flavor
  • Excellent for fish & chicken dishes, steamed or grilled dishes, and salads
  • Popular for Indonesian dishes such as curries, soups & stews

Minette Basil

  • A miniature Basil, excellent for pots or decorative planting
  • Attractive compact ball-shaped plant with tiny leaves

Lettuce Leaf Basil

  • Huge, heavily textured leaves resemble lettuce.
  • Use in place of lettuce on a summer sandwich. YUM!

Learn some of our favorite herb recipes.

gardening with herbs genovese basil
gardening with herbs lemon basil