Herb gardening is fun and very rewarding. There are
three types of herbs you can plant in your herb garden,
culinary herbs, ornamental herbs and medicinal herbs.
Herb gardening has been around for centuries and the
joys of an herbal garden is well know to many gardeners.
Even beginner gardeners can have a high quality of
success by starting with the basics and working their
way up to a more complicated herbal garden. You can
plant a container herb garden or an indoor herb garden.
There are three categories of herbs that can be grown in
you herbal gardens, culinary herbs, ornamental herbs, or
Culinary herb gardening's purpose is to add spice and
flavor to your cooking. Culinary herbs are the herbs
that use fresh or dried leaves in cooking. Some of the
classic culinary herbs are parsley, oregano, rosemary
and basil. You may even want to plant some sage and
thyme. There is a difference between herbs and spices.
Spices are seeds, roots, fruits, flowers, and bark
while, as mentioned above, culinary herbs are fresh or
When considering your culinary herb garden your most
important decision is the location. You will need a
sunny spot with at least six hours of sun. The more sun
the herb garden gets the more flavor will develop in the
herbs. Try to place your culinary herb garden as close
to the kitchen door as possible. This will ensure that
the herbs will be used daily.
A simple and delicious way to use basil is to slice some
juicy ripe tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Overlap them
on a plate, sprinkle on some extra virgin olive oil and
chopped basil. It is also good with a squeeze of fresh
lemon. Anyone that has grown a culinary herb garden and
used the fresh herbs will tell you that the fresh herbs
are superior over the dried herbs.
Ornamental herb gardening can make your gardens not only
practical but beautiful too. By "ornamental" we mean
that the primary current usage is purely decorative.
Some of these ornamental herbs have a long history of
medicinal or culinary usage. Pots of ornamental herbs
add color and texture to balconies or patios. They are
perfect for lining your flower beds.
A good example of an ornamental herb is Dittany of
Crete, a favorite oregano herb of many herb gardeners.
It will form a low mound and produce leaves with fine
silvery hairs. You would never want to use this in
cooking, it is strictly for show.
Rue is another good choice for garden borders. Its
unusual blue green color offers contrast to bright showy
blooms. The rue leaves can be used as a garnish but
because of its bitter flavor does not work in cooking.
Ornamental herbs are just what they say, ornaments for
your gardens. Ornamental herb gardening will add texture
and interest to your flower beds.
Now we come to medicinal herbs. Before the 1900's
medicinal herbs were used widely in the United States.
Somewhere in the 1960's herbs used as medicine dwindled.
Now, many doctors are prescribing medicinal herbs as
well as mainstream medicine.
There are three ways that the medicinal herbs work on
the body. Medicinal herbs have been known to strengthen
an organ so that it can heal itself. Some medicinal
herbs purge the body of toxins and illness, while others
build up the immune system which will help in retarding
There are many ways to use medicinal herbs. A few are
infusions, herb vinegars, ointments, teas and tinctures.
For example, to make a healing herbal tea, boil water
and pour over the fresh herbs in a cup. Let it steep for
5 minutes but no longer then 10 for it will get bitter.
The medicinal herb stevia can be used as a natural
sweetener and is easy to grow in an herbal garden. It
also decrease tooth decay and gum disease if used as a
Before starting any course of medicinal herbs, be sure
to notify your Doctor to see if they will interact with
any medicines you are currently taking.
These are some of the basics of the three herb groups.
Plan your herb garden, pick a bright sunny place and
plant your herbs. Remember you can plant an herb garden
in the ground, as a container garden or an indoor herb