Herbs



Sage

You just can't overdo sage in the garden. This perennial herb earns its keep with fast-growing ways, beautiful blooms, and a flavor deer find distasteful. Once established, plants shrug off drought, although it's wise to keep plants well-hydrated through the hottest parts of summer if you want a steady supply of supple foliage.

Some gardeners pinch out flower buds to keep leaves forming, but the blooms are beautiful. If you choose to let plants flower, when blossoms fade, cut plants back to beneath where flower buds formed. Don't cut back to woody stems that have no leaves; those most likely won't sprout again. Sage plants typically require replacing every 3-4 years, as plants become woody and produce fewer leaves.

The uses of sage are beyond measure. Besides its popular use as a culinary herb, sage is also commonly pressed into service in cosmetics, perfumes, and soaps. Some naturalists rub it on their skin as an insect repellent. Hanging dried leaves among woolen clothing deters moths. Burning sage removes unpleasant odors, such as lingering cigarette smoke or cooked fish smells.

Light:
Sun,Part Sun
Zones:
4-10
Plant Type:
Perennial,Herb
Plant Height:
12-24 inches
Plant Width:
24-36 inches
Flower Color:
Flower color is typically mauve, a rose-purple blend, or white.
Bloom Time:
Blooms in late spring and early summer.
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders
Special Features:
Flowers,Attractive Foliage,Fragrant,Dried Flowers,Drought Tolerant,Deer Resistant,Easy to Grow







Thyme

Introduce scenery from the Greek Isles to your garden with lush plantings of thyme. This sun-loving, drought-tolerant herb carpets hillsides in Greece, thriving in well-drained soil. Drought conditions concentrate the aromatic oils in thyme, so the drier your growing conditions, the better. In your garden, tucking plants into raised beds or mulching them with gravel will give thyme the conditions that cause it to thrive and be flavorful.

The flowers beckon honeybees, so add thyme near vegetable gardens to assure an ample supply of pollinators. Shear plants back after bloom, cutting off about a third of stems. With dainty proportions, thyme suits containers or the tight growing quarters between stepping stones.

Thyme introduces a savory flavor to dishes, such as roasted vegetables, soups, and sauces. It is also a key ingredient in bouquet garni, fines herbes, and herbes de Provence. Use thyme to enhance poultry, beef, pork, or seafood. This herb also adds a kick to cheese and egg creations. Thyme's oils take time to be infused into dishes; add thyme early in the cooking process to release the greatest flavor.

Light:
Sun
Zones:
4-9
Plant Type:
Perennial,Herb
Plant Height:
3-12 inches tall
Plant Width:
18 inches wide
Flower Color:
Blooms are bluish-purple to pink
Bloom Time:
Plants flower in spring
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders,Slopes,Groundcover
Special Features:
Flowers,Attractive Foliage,Fragrant,Dried Flowers,Attracts Butterflies,Drought Tolerant,Deer Resistant







Parsley

Perk up your garden and your mealtimes by adding parsley to your growing roster. The only maintenance this fuss-free herb requires is planting and harvesting. Give plants evenly moist, well-drained soil, and you'll enjoy fresh green flavors in no time. Curly leaf parsley brings a crisp taste to salads, vegetables, and herb butters, and it's a key ingredient in bouquet garni and fines herbes, an herb blend used in French cuisine. Flat-leaf Italian parsley boasts a stronger flavor that holds up well in cooking, earning this herb a place in soups, stews, and sauces.

In the garden, both parsleys thrive in beds or containers. Curly leaf parsley makes a handsome edging for planting beds, particularly when paired with a contrasting foliage texture, such as upright chives or fat-leaf basil. Black swallowtail butterflies lay eggs on curly parsley. Look for black, green, and yellow striped caterpillars munching their way along stems.

Light:
Sun
Plant Type:
Annual,Herb
Plant Height:
8-24 inches tall
Plant Width:
8-24 inches wide
Flower Color:
Flowers are cream to white
Bloom Time:
Flowers mid- to late summer
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders
Special Features:
Attractive Foliage,Dried Flowers,Attracts Butterflies






Oregano

Savor true Italian flavor with garden-fresh oregano. This sprawling herb pumps up the taste in tomato sauces, pizza, and Mediterranean cuisine. An easy-growing perennial, oregano thrives in planting beds or containers. Plant it in a pot with rosemary, sage, and thyme for a flavorful quartet you can place near the kitchen door, handy for snipping and sprinkling into dishes. In the ground, plants will flower and set seed, which shortens the harvest season. Pinch flowers from stems to keep plants in top snipping form.

Light:
Sun
Zones:
5-11
Plant Type:
Perennial,Herb
Plant Height:
1-2 feet tall
Plant Width:
2-4 feet wide
Flower Color:
White to pinkish-purple blooms
Bloom Time:
Plants start to flower in summer and continue blooming into fall
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders,Slopes,Groundcover
Special Features:
Fragrant,Dried Flowers,Attracts Butterflies,Drought Tolerant,Deer Resistant,Easy to Grow