I don't remember when I fell in love with herb gardening. What I do know if that for a very long time, herbs have been one of my favorite types of plants to grow. Perhaps that's because growing herbs was one of my first gardening successes.
When I had a yard that got mostly full sun, I had the luxury of having my very own herb garden. I played around with all types of different varieties, tested them in recipes and preserved them for use when summer was over. I even found some beautiful pewter garden markers for some of my favorites.
When we moved to the woods I had a very shade-filled yard and not much time in my busy schedule. So instead of tending to a big herb garden, I grew herbs in my favorites in pots and planters on my deck. I grew just enough for us to use throughout the summer. Having the herbs on the deck ( which was just off of our kitchen) means that I can just grab what I need while cooking or serve a few sprigs with dinner.
Herbs make great container plants. They love lots of sun and well-drained soil. You can really get creative and not just grow them together in their own containers but add them to your floral containers as well. In the past, I've used chives instead of spikes for height in the center or back of larger container. I've also added trailing herbs like different varieties of thyme to the front of containers.
So why should you grow herbs?
1. There are quite a few herbs that are very easy to grow so if you're a beginner you can have great success with them.
2. Whether you have lots of space for a big herb garden or just enough room for a few containers on your deck, you can grow herbs
3. Herbs have lots of uses - culinary, medicinal and fragrant. My favorite is to use them in cooking. Nothing beats adding a few herbs that you grew yourself to a new dish.
Whether I'm growing herbs in a big garden or containers on my deck there are a few that I always plant. And the bonus here is that they are all easy to grow.
Here are my top 8 must have easy to grow herbs for you to try in your garden.
While there are lots of varieties like thai basil or purple basil available my favorite is still the traditional one shown above. There is nothing like a caprese salad of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil as a starter for a summer dinner.
I love the pungent order of this herb and it makes a great addition to soups and stews. But, my favorite thing to do with rosemary is to toss it with butter and new potatoes and roast them in the oven.
I find the flat-leaved variety shown here to be much more flavorful than curly parsley. This herb makes a wonderful garnish for almost any dish.
My sole reason for growing this herb is to add the chopped leaves to corn bread mix. The pungent taste and smell liven up my favorite muffins and make a welcome addition to any dinner.
The tiny leaves add lots of flavor to soups and stews. Bundle the stems together and use as a brush to add sauce to your favorite grill meat.
Serve the chopped stems with sour cream for your baked potatoes and add the edible blossoms to your summer salads.
Make a yummy sauce for chicken or salmon or chop and add to potato salad. Be sure to cut off flowers as soon as they appear or the plant will 'bolt' - go to seed and stop producing more leaves.
The perfect addition to tomato sauce and wonderful garnish for freshly made pizza.