Herb gardening is a fantastic gateway into gardening for those who are new to growing their own.
There are many herbs you can easily grow even if you don’t have a garden at all. All you need is a sunny windowsill.
But herbs are also important for established gardeners. Incorporating a range of perennial herbs in your growing areas can help you garden organically and create a balanced and productive garden ecosystem.
Why Grow Perennial Herbs at Home?
No matter where you live, and how and where you grow them, growing perennial herbs is a great idea. Here are just some of the reasons why you should consider growing some at home:
- Perennial herbs, unlike annual ones, can be planted once and provide you with a yield not just for one season, but for a number of years.
- Many perennial herbs are very easy to grow, and need minimal input from you, as a gardener.
- Herbs can often be great for pest control – helping to repel, confuse or distract a range of pests.
- They can also be great for attracting beneficial wildlife – such as pollinators and predatory insects.
- Numerous perennial herbs are excellent for culinary use. They can add depth of flavour to a wide range of dishes.
- A number also have medicinal properties, and can be used to create a range of herbal remedies.
- You can also use perennial herbs in a range of natural cleaning and beauty products, and for other uses around your home.
This exquisitely scented plant with purple-blue flowers doesn’t like wet feet, so make sure soil is well-drained. Its delicate flavor shines in salads, herb butters, scones, and shortbread. Delish! Alternatively, you can dry for sachets and tuck into your dresser drawers.
Mint has many different personalities: Spearmint tastes fresh and clean. Chocolate mint tastes sweet. Pineapple mint, well, you get the idea. If you don’t want it to take over the garden (and it will!), plant in a pot sunk into the ground to contain its spread. Add a sprig to lemonade, or chop and toss with home fries. Bonus: Mint is one of those plants that naturally repels mosquitoes.
Slightly soft and fuzzy, sage can be pale green, tricolor, purple, or variegated. It’s hardy, surviving even the most severe winters. Use as an aromatic to stuff poultry or to season pork dishes. You can also lightly fry whole leaves to top dishes such as pumpkin ravioli.
This herb has rounded, almost heart-shaped leaves and small white flowers that aren’t that impressive. But the plant does have a very pleasant scent. Use leaves for a mild citrusy flavor in fruit salads or herb butters.
Parsley is biennial, so it’ll be two seasons before they flower. Buy plants; you’ll lose patience waiting for seeds to sprout. It takes three to five weeks to germinate! Some cooks think Italian flat-leaf parsley has more flavor. Use it in salads, soups, sauces, and potato dishes.
Piney-scented rosemary is a fairly sturdy plant. It’s hardy in mild winters but can survive for years in cold climates if planted in a pot and brought indoors in winter. The tiny purple flowers are quite pretty, and dwarf or trailing varieties make a great addition to the garden. Chop up and top sauces, pasta dishes, and roasted meats.