I have learned my lesson. After months of keeping finicky plants alive only to find out no one in my family likes it, our plants now have to pass a multi-use test! Herbs, on the other hand, are just plain lovely to have around, although I like them to be multi-talented, too. Here are my top seven (in alphabetical order), and why I grow them.
CHIVES : Let's start with, the bees love chives. The flowers are lovely and are constantly visited by pollinators. As far as culinary uses, we put it in Lime Chive Butter (great on corn), as well as in mashed potatoes, breakfast casserole, and when I roast whole chicken.
DILL : We need it for pickles, and it can be difficult to buy a handful of dill stalks. I also put it in potato salad. I love the smell, too; it's very aromatic if you brush by, and it just smells like summer.
PARSLEY : Easy to grow, very hardy, still growing around here well into the cold season. Our corn chowder, and mac n cheese, just would not be the same without it. And we feed it to our lizard!
ROSEMARY : Well, rosemary is really only a two-trick pony but considering it does not take up much space, it is worth the money. It goes in a chicken dish everyone loves and mmmmmm focaccia.
SAGE : I've told you about my sage before. Like many of these little green darlings, it's just so nice in the garden. Last year, I neglected to cut it back early and had some beautiful blooms, but this year it's already got a crew cut. But to round out my description here, we put it mostly in scallop potatoes. YUM.
THYME : We have lemon thyme and common culinary thyme. This year, I pulled up the common thyme plant, which is in the way of my new garden path. I chopped it into several pieces, and planted it in a few new places. It's a great ground cover, aromatic, and we put it in things like mac n cheese and roasted chicken. The lemon thyme smells wonderful to crush in your hands.
We also have grown oregano - I'm still pulling that out every year, and mint - which I like in my tea but it only gets to visit in pots.
So tell me, what is your must-have herb or garden item?