Even if you don't want to grow vegetables, you can garden with herbs. An herb garden can be adapted to container culture, fairy gardens, children's gardening, decorative gardens and kitchen gardens with very little effort. Herbs prefer full sun and well-drained soil. You can grow an herb garden using annuals or perennials.
Lavender is a plant with a long history and a longer list of uses. Lavender may be made into sachets, perfume, soap, tea, or cookies. The plant has astringent qualities, and can even be stored with potatoes to keep them from sprouting. In the garden, the plant's leaves and flowers alike produce a calming smell. The flowers are produced in summer on spikes that can be dried for crafts. If left on the plant, the flower spikes will attract butterflies and bees.
Mint should be grown in containers, or in containers sunk into the ground, because of the plant's invasive nature. There is a wide range of mint varieties. Many types of mint are differentiated by their smell and taste, which ranges from chocolate to licorice-like to lemony. Mint can be used in cooking, candy-making, tea or potpourri. The smell of mint is one that can be used to increase alertness. Mint may also be used to improve digestion. Mint is easy to grow and will adapt to a wide range of soil.
Chamomile is an edible flower that can be dried and brewed into a tea that is known for its relaxing and curative properties. In the children's story of Peter Rabbit, Peter's mother makes him chamomile tea to restore his health when he becomes sick. The flower of chamomile plants--the part that is used to make tea--resembles a small daisy. The flowers produce an apple-like scent that has caused them to be called earth apples. Chamomile may also be dried and used in potpourri.
Basil is an easy-to-grow annual that can be used for cooking or aromatherapy. The plant produces a clean, fresh smell that can be detected simply by walking past. In the garden, basil comes in a variety of sizes, from small compact bush basil to tall plants with broad leaves. You can harvest the leaves to eat raw in salads or with fresh tomatoes, olive oil and mozzarella cheese. Basil produces long, white spikes of flowers that can be clipped off and dried for potpourri, or placed in muslin bags and dangled over your bathtub faucet for a refreshing bathwater infusion.