An indoor herb garden is an opportunity to have a stock of fresh, ready-to-use herbs and seasonings, whenever you want or need them. Herbs are expensive to purchase in the store, but for a fraction of what you will pay for a handful from the fresh produce section or bottled seasoning aisle, you can start your own collection. Herbs are hardy and long-lasting, providing fresh trimmings for several weeks to a whole season.
In Place of Houseplants
Consider using herbs in the place of decorative houseplants. While most people keep herbs in the kitchen where they are immediately available to toss into the cooking pot, there is no reason that you can't keep your collection elsewhere in the house, especially if another location has better light or more space. Your office will smell lightly of the savory aroma of herbs and each room can boast the cheer of their varied foliage. As an added benefit, herbs have fewer maintenance and pest problems than many far more finicky traditional houseplants.
Consider your family's use of herbs to create grouped plantings. Those who prefer savory meals may want to try a range of herbs suited to that palate, growing items like thyme, basil or tarragon. If you prefer teas, try chamomile, a variety of mints and lemon verbena. For a collection of foliage types, dill is airy and light, growing on tall stalks; while sage has an almost furry leaf with silvery tones and rosemary has spiky leaves on woody stems. Thai basil has an ornamental appeal, with reddish flower heads; yarrow has lacy leaves and small, cheery white flowers; and lavender has a remarkable scent and attractive purple flower spikes.
Try a collection of herbs in small container gardens. This will allow you to match several herbs with similar soil, water and light needs in one location. Such groupings may provide you a good selection of herbs for daily use and extra to dry and store for later. Another option is to focus on several varieties of one or two herbs that you use on a frequent basis. If you like sage, grow a collection of typical sage, pineapple and white sage. Basil also comes in a wide variety of flavors and scents, including types from lemon to cinnamon or licorice. Basil leaves are decorative, running the gamut from variegated to purple or emerald green. If you have pets, consider a small herb garden with wheat grass or catnip for them to enjoy safely.