Like all plants, herbs come in annuals, perennials, and biennials. Herbs come in many different varieties and to learn more about specific herbs some research should be done on how to care for and use it properly. This article is to give some general information about a few common herbs.

Annuals like basil, cilantro, and summer savory will not survive a frost so they have to be replanted every year from seeds or a small plant. However, perennials like sage and winter savory can survive the colder temperatures and will return year after year.

Biennial herbs are plants that form leaves in their first growing season and flowers and seed in the second season, then die. Biennial herbs like parsley, angelica, or caraway should be sown in late spring directly into the garden. Prepare the soil first by working it to a fine texture and wet it slightly. Plant the seeds in shallow rows then firm the soil on top of them. Fine seeds can be planted in a mixture of sand which will allow them to spread more evenly. You can also cover the bed with wet burlap or paper in order to keep the soil moist during germination.

Herbs can be categorized by their use. For instance, culinary herbs are the most useful to gardens because they can be used in a huge range or recipes. Because of their strong flavors, herbs like chives, thyme, basil, sage, savory, and marjoram can be classified as culinary herbs and be used in different ways to flavor foods. Parsley is a popular culinary herb and is used primarily to garnish food.

Aromatic herbs have pleasant smelling flowers or foliage. Oils from aromatic herbs like loyage, mint, and rosemary can be used to make different types of perfumes, toilet water, or other various scents.

Parts of aromatic herb plants used intact can also be used in the home to scent linens or clothing. They can also be dried and made into potpourri which will enable them to be able to retain their aroma for a long period of time. Lavender and lemon verbena are great herbs to use for potpourri. 

Some herbs are also used for medicinal purposes. For centuries herbs have been thought to have the ability to cure the body. Present medical knowledge recognizes that some herbs are beneficial to one’s health, while others are overrated.  Herbs used for medicinal purposes should be used carefully because even though some herbs are harmless others can be dangerous if eaten.

Some herbs are not used for their flavor, power to heal or fragrance but for their beauty.  Ornamental herbs have brightly colored flowers and foliage. Many have whitish or various light colored flowers like valerian which has crimson blossoms and borage and chicory which grow gorgeous blue flowers.

Some herbs fall into more than one category. For example, mint may be used for cooking, tea, and pest control.

Whatever the reason you have an interest in herbs, by understanding herb garden plants you are able to pick the herbs that will be most useful to you. 

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