11 Reasons to Start an Herb Garden will show you why growing herbs in your garden will enhance your life by adding zip to your recipes, crafts and, adding beauty to your home.
The more I garden, the more I appreciate herbs. What started off as a few pots filled with herbs, has now blossomed into turning my yard into my own mini herb farm.
I have two shelves in my bookcase devoted to herb books because I love them so much. I think growing herbs is something you dip your toe in, and then you throw caution to the wind and emerge yourself to all the ways these plants add to your world.
In Colonial times, a wonderful gift to give a bride was the starting of an herb garden. They used herbs so much for cooking and medicine, it was considered a thoughtful and practical present.
“I like to encourage people interested in gardening or planting to begin with a simple herb garden. Even if you live in a small apartment, you can have some herb pots.”Anna Getty
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Here are the 11 Reasons Start an Herb Garden:
1. Herbs are easy to grow.
When I first started out gardening, herbs and flowers were the first things I planted. Most of the herbs survived, even though I really didn’t know what I was doing.
Even a beginning gardener can harvest a bountiful crop of herbs the first year.
Most herbs are not-too-fussy about soil, need 5 to 6 hours of sunlight, and are pretty hardy.
Some herbs are easier to grow than others. Chives, mint, parsley, thyme, oregano, lemongrass, cilantro, rosemary, and sage are just some of easier growing herbs.
2. Herbs don’t take up much space
If you have a small garden, you’ll love growing herbs. You can tuck them in amongst your other plants, or even place them in pots on a balcony.
Vertical gardening is also a way to take a small space and optimize every square inch. Here’s an article on the 16 Best Vertical Gardening Ideas for Small Gardens.
Even if you live in an apartment, you can still grow an abundance of herbs.
I love to tuck herbs in my garden art. Metal teapots house pots of thyme, my half wine barrels showcase all they different types of mint I grow, and my little rustic Tonka dump trucks carry a herb load.
If you have a windowsill, it gives you enough space to grow your favorite herbs.
3. Herbs turn food and drinks into culinary delights
There’s a trend in restaurants that doesn’t appear to be slowing down. The trend is using herbs as the star of a dish versus being used as just a garnish.
Cooking with herbs makes food taste so much better. Adding herbs to drinks and cocktails is also a fun way to get the most out of your herb garden.
There is a restaurant near Seattle called The Herbfarm. It’s not easy to get a reservation there, it’s usually a year-long wait.
The restaurant has 9-course meals, paired with wine featuring herbs. Before you begin your dinner, you’re able to stroll through their herb gardens.
They serve a seasonal menu with items like Mustard-crusted King Salmon with spring mushrooms and green garlic and a Trio of Mini Herbal Macarons.
Getting a reservation at The Herbfarm is on my bucket list. But…why wait, when you can practice making dishes at home that feature herbs?
Desserts are even featuring herbs. Anything from basil ice cream to rosemary shortbread cookies are making their way into cookbooks.
When you are surrounded by herbs, there’s no excuse not to use them more in your cooking. When you think about home cooks in France and Italy, you know they are creating flavorful meals using fresh herbs.
I throw fresh herbs in my salads, scrambled eggs and to add zip to my marinades.
Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter. I will be featuring recipes using herbs, so you don’t want to miss out.
This book is available on preorder on Amazon. It comes out June 18, 2019.
One of the easiest ways to add herbs to your life is instead of drinking plain old water, add a little excitement to your refrigerator by making infused water.
Infused herbal water fills my refrigerator. It’s so much fun to try different combinations of herbs and fruits and vegetables.
Here are a few infused herbal water combinations to try:
I found this gorgeous cookbook on creating your own herbal cocktails on Amazon.
4. Many herbs are perennials
It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Once you buy a perennial herb and give it the love and attention it needs, it will reward you by providing a harvest, year-after-year.
How many times have you gone to the grocery store and picked up a small bundle of herbs, and the price shocked you?
Why not spend that same amount of money on a pot of herbs, and never have to shell out cash for herbs again?
You can also grow herbs indoors, so winter won’t stop you from enjoying your favorite types of herbs.
By drying or freezing your herbs, you will be able to have herbs adding flavor to your dishes year-round.
You will want to pick your herbs in the morning after the dew has dried on the leaves of the plant.
How to Dry Herbs
Hanging your herbs to dry – tie bunches of herbs together with string in small bunches. Hang upside down in thin brown paper bags to keep out dust and catch fragments from falling on the floor.
It usually takes seven to ten days to dry. Your herbs are ready when they have a crispy feel.
How to Freeze Herbs
Use freezer bags designated for freezing. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, use a straw to take out the air in the bags.
You can also freeze the herbs in olive oil or water in ice cube trays.
5. You can make crafts from your herb garden
Herbal crafts are one of the best ways to use up extra herbs. The possibilities are endless.
Herbal bath salts, herbal soaps, herbal shampoo and conditioner, herb-scented candles, and herb infused simple syrups are just some of the craft ideas to make with your herb garden.
6. Herbs add amazing fragrance to your home and garden
The scent of herbs is one of the best benefits of being surrounded by herbs. I love brushing up against one of my herb plants and getting a whiff of its fragrance.
I love to make bouquets of herbs and place them in small Mason jars or vases and placing them throughout my home.
Another idea is to make a living herbal wreath for your front door.
You can also tie up a bundle of fresh herbs and tie them from your tub spout, to enjoy the fragrance while you enjoy a bubble bath.
Let’s not forget the aroma of the herbs when you add them to your cooking routine.
Learn how to plan your own Aromatherapy Garden with this newly released book.
7. Herbs add beauty and charm to the garden
I’m in awe at how much elegance herbs bring to my garden. I have lavender plants that are 15 years old that I planted myself that greet visitors every day.
Every time I make a trip out to my mailbox, I pass by my lavender bushes and sigh. I even have pink lavender plants!
Herbs are placed all over my garden, in between flowers, vegetables and ornamental grasses. Each plant has its own special beauty that elevates each section of the garden that it graces.
Some herb bushes can be sculpted into topiaries and others into sculptures. Herbs such as rosemary can be trimmed into mini Christmas trees.
You can also place herbs like thyme in between stepping stones, to create a pathway that looks beautiful and smells amazing at the same time.
8. Grow your own herbal tea garden
You read that right. Most people don’t realize how easy it is to grow your own teas right outside your door.
I wrote an entire post on How to Grow Your Own Tea Garden. You can find that post here.
Here are my favorite books on growing your own tea from Amazon:
This book teaches you how to grow tea plants from seeds, cuttings, or small plants. You also learn what part of the plants are used to make tea.
What I love about the book is it really goes in depth on each plant you can add to your tea garden and the variety of plants available.
I love the tea garden plan options that will help you plant the garden of your dreams.
Fun themes like a Tea Relaxation Garden, Cough, Cold and Flu Garden and a Tea Shade Garden are included.
Master herbalist Sarah Farr offers 101 original recipes to benefit your body.
I’ve been making my own tea for years now and I absolutely love knowing that the ingredients were grown with love.
Who wouldn’t want a couple cups of love everyday?
9. Herbs protect other plants and your home from critters and bugs
Herbs can be a homeowners best friend. They are one of the best ways to keep unwanted pests from your garden and inside your house.
Here’s some examples of how you can use herbs to naturally repel bugs and critters:
Mint – mice and rats hate the smell of mint. Stuff cheesecloth with mint, tied together with string and place them throughout your home to deter pests from entering your home.
Spiders, mosquitos, ants and flies also avoid mint. Create your own natural bug spray that keeps the bugs away and leaves your home smelling fresh and clean.
Rosemary – place pots of this fragrant herb among your other plants as a deterrent for insects that like to munch on all your hard work.
Dill – besides being able to make your own homemade pickles, dill repels aphids, tomato hornworms and squash bugs.
10. Herbs make the perfect gift
There’s an abundance of gifts you can make for friends and family.
Just a quick Google search brought up lots of different options you can wow gift recipients with:
Herb Infused Vodka, Herb salt, Herbal Infused vinegar, Herbal Infused oil, homemade tea blends, Herbal lotion, Herbal salves, Bath tea and salts, Herbal Infused honey, spice mixes, herbal cough drops, fragrant fire starters and homemade herbal paper.
11. The variety of herbs you can grow
Finding the perfect herbs to grow in your garden is easy because there are so many different plants to pick from.
Here are just some of your choices available:
Aloe Vera, Angelica, Aralia, Basil, Bee Balm, Borage, Burnet, California bay, Calamint, Calendula, Caraway, Catnip, Comfrey, Chamomile, Chervil, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Fennel, French Sorrel, French Tarragon, Feverfew, Garlic, Ginger, Gingko Biloba, Horseradish, Laurel,Lavender, Lemon Balm, Lemongrass, Lemon Verbena, Licorice Root, Lovage, Marjoram, Milk Thistle, Mint, Nettle, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Scented Geraniums, Sorrel, Stevia, Sweet Bay, Sweet Grass, Sweet Marjoram, Thyme, Turmeric, Witch Hazel, Woodruff, Worm Wood and Yarrow.
Every herb has medicinal benefits as well. You can find out more about the Benefits of Lemon Balm here.
You’ll never get bored growing herbs.
We’ve reached the end of 11 Reasons to Start an Herb Garden. I hope you enjoyed reading it.
Let me know in the comments below if you have your own herb garden and what your favorite plants are.