Herb Garden Plant Information

Overview

Herbs are part of every cottage garden, and most plants contribute lovely flowers and foliage to any type of garden. Start your own herb garden with the plants you intend to use most in your cooking.

Sweet Basil is a useful cooking herb and produces pretty blue flowers. image by "Basil (Ocimum basilicum)" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: The Marmot (Cliff Hutson) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Identification

Herbs are fleshy-stemmed plants that die back at the end of a season. Herbs are best-known as aromatic plants used for seasoning or medicinal purposes.

History

Ancient Abyssinians, Greeks and Romans grew such herbs as celery, laurel, dill, chives, mint and mustard. Herbs have been used in Europe and Asia for centuries for medicinal, aromatic and ceremonial purposes. Early Americans used herbs as medicinal remedies and to preserve foods.

Types

Herb garden plants are most popular as culinary or aromatic ingredients but are also used ornamentals. Native Americans grew herbs for dyeing cloth and tanning leather, as well as for cooking.

Requirements

Most herbs do best in full sun and in sandy loam. Most never need fertilizer. You can easily grow annual and perennial herbs from seeds or nursery plants. Pinch kitchen herbs back to encourage branching; blooming plants are making seeds and will stop growing.

Expert Insight

Choose plants you will use. Use herbs as companion plants in vegetable gardens, backgrounds for flower gardens or in a kitchen herb garden. Basil, parsley, lavender and mint are popular herbs with which children can easily help.

References

  • American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language; 1969
  • West Virginia University Extension

Who Can Help

  • Herb Society of North America
  • Penn State herb dictory
  • Herb garden information
Keywords: herbs, garden, taste, plants

About this Author

Laura Reynolds began writing professionally in 1974. She has worked as author and editor in nonfiction, professional journals and newspapers. Reynolds has also served in numerous appointed and elected local offices. She holds a Bachelor of Science in education from Northern Illinois University.