Herbs are an extremely diverse group of plants that have been in use for thousands of years for a variety of purposes including culinary, medicinal, perfumes and potpourri, and as a natural insect repellant.
Herbs are among the easiest plants to grow for novices and experts alike, and can be grown in the garden, in pots on a sunny kitchen windowsill or in patio containers.
Herbs are a wonderful addition to the garden. Over the years, they have played an important role in medicinal, ornamental and culinary fields, but please note: Our selection of herbs in the Homegrown Gourmet line are NOT intended for any medicinal purposes. Although we have taken care to provide a wide selection of herbs, their main attractions are their decorative, aromatic and culinary additions to your garden and cooking. New research is constantly updating which herbs are safe for human consumption and which are not. When in doubt, always investigate before ingesting any questionable plants.
Although many herbs are great for cooking, some are also good in the garden simply because they provide a nice aroma. The herbs that have a nice aroma in the garden are listed under the "aromatic" category, even though the mints, lavender and lemon balm can be used in cooking also.
Culinary vs. Aromatic -
Culinary- Arugula Rocket, Basil Boxwood, Basil Genovese, Basil Lemon, Basil Sweet, Chamomile German, Chives, Coriander/Cilantro, Dill, Dill Fernleaf, Nasturtium, Oregano, Oregano Greek, Parsley Curled, Parsley Flat Italian, Rosemary, Sage, Sage Golden, Stevia, Sweet Marjoram, Tarragon, Thyme
Aromatic - Catnip, Lavender Munstead, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Rue, Spearmint
Culinary herbs such as chives, basil, rosemary, and thyme can be used to add spice to any recipe. Aromatic herbs like lavender, mint, and varieties of sage and thyme are useful in creating home made potpourris or your own aromatherapy spa. Some herbs, including chamomile, peppermint and spearmint are ideal for steeping to make delicious and nutritious teas.
Herbs have been around since the prehistoric days. Ancient Roman and Greeks used them to crown their heads. They have been used to preserve meat, season food, mask the odors of people who did not bathe regularly (Middle Ages), and American Indians often used them for tanning and dyeing leather. All medicines in ancient times (and even today) were made from some type of herb.
In the olden days, herbs were used for many other purposes, such as warding off witches and spirits, creating love potions, curing baldness and freckles, and increasing your luck before gambling!