Why not grow your favorite herbs this year? Plant them in pots or in the garden close to the kitchen so you can snip them as you’re cooking. Herbs are also wonderful in cocktails and other drinks.
Our first summer at the Alpharetta Community Garden we had a visitor who would come in if the gate was open and pilfer some of our mint. The thing is - he didn’t need to go to all that trouble. Mint is so easy to grow; it’s invasive! He could just as easily have grown his own as to drive to our garden to steal ours.
Here are some rules of thumb for growing herbs. Most of them like very sunny locations and very well draining soil. They do well in pots. Just don’t forget to water herbs in pots more often than herbs planted in the ground. Some of my favorites are:
Basil - So easy to start from seed, but lots of basil plants are available now at big box stores and plant nurseries. My favorite way to eat it? On this sandwich.
Chamomile - Re-seeds itself in a pot on my deck every year. Two favorite things to do with it: make chamomile tea or dry it and put it in sleep pillows (a homemade, smallish pillow stuffed with hops, passionflower, chamomile and lavender that is said to induce sweet dreams).
English Lavender - Has to be placed in a well draining location with sun. Try putting it in lemonade.
Mint - Preferably spearmint or peppermint. Watch where you put it because it wants to grow like crazy. Favorite way to have it: snipped, along with some snipped basil and mixed with sliced strawberries, blueberries and a splash of Limoncello.
Dill - This wonderful herb re-seeds itself every year in a pot on my deck. There is nothing quite like fresh dill. My favorite recipe: boiled new potatoes mixed with a bit of sour cream and snips of fresh dill.
Other herbs I’ve had good luck with: rosemary, lovage, lemongrass, lemon verbena, Italian parsley, thyme, and pineapple sage.