When you think of herbs you probably think of parsley, mint, basil and sage growing to 18 inches high or thyme and oregano, which spreads and is only 6 to 8 inches high. Some herbs like lavender, borage and lemon balm reach 2 feet high. There are also the giants of the herb world, which grow to 4 feet or more.
Dill grows to 4 feet. It has the distinctive "dill" pickle taste. The leaves are feathery. The flowers are grouped in flat heads of many single tiny blossoms. The flowers look like Queen Anne's lace or parsley flowers. Chop the leaves and use fresh in marinades for fish, salad dressing or mixed in sour cream for potatoes or dip. Dry the seeds and use the same way you would the leaves. Leaves may be dried as well.
Fennel resembles dill in both the leaves and the flowers. However, it grows to 6 feet. The flavor of fennel is similar to that of anise or licorice. Use the leaves fresh or dried. The seeds are used in Italian cooking and the base of the plant is bulbous. When it is young and on the small side, about the size of a baseball, use it as a vegetable, either raw or cooked.
Lemon verbena is a perennial and a native of Peru. It is frost sensitive. Bring it inside during the winter. In its natural habit, it grows to 15 feet tall. It reaches 5 feet in a growing season. The flavor is intensely lemony. The leaves are long and narrow. Use it in teas, marinades, drinks or any place you want the tang of citrus.
Sweet bay reaches 8 feet and has been grown in the United Kingdom from the 11th century, according to Charlie Ryrie, author of "The Country Garden." You probably know it as bay leaf. It's used in stews, soups and seasoning for meats and poultry.
Rosemary has an intense resinous flavor. A little goes a long way. The herb has two varieties: upright and spreading. The upright variety reaches 4 feet. The stems are too woody for cooking, so the leaves must be removed before using. Or, the herb is used in a bouquet garni, which is removed before serving.