Growing herbs as been a popular activity throughout history dating back to the Bible. Producing herbs in ones home herb garden has always been a time tested method of assuring a constant supply on these fine flavorful plants.
This took a backdrop with the enduring popularity of convenient food stores and mass manufacturing of these ”products”, however, actually there is a strong resurgence of interest in the joy of creating and maintaining a personal home herb garden. The pleasure and excitement of growing herbs has been rediscovered and is even practiced in small apartments in urban areas.
Returning to this wonderful and practical hobby can be for many different reasons. The home herb garden can be cultivated for economical reasons, freshness and availability of the product, the scents and flavors associated with having herbs growing in your environment. There are many other reasons that can be attributed to this pastime if not simply for the sheer pleasure of seeing these beautiful plants come to life in your environment.
If you are among the newly initiated, you may have to do a little homework to start you off in the right direction. There is a large selection of different herbs to choose from when starting a herb garden project.
There are basically 73 different herbs recognized and are divided into 4 main categories classified for their individual usage. However, certain herb can be used for more than one purpose so can be classified in more than one category.
aromatic, medicinal, ornamental and culinary. The gardener can choose which herbs he will be growing by defining the usage he plans to use them for once harvested. This is a brief review of the 4 main categories.
The many usage of herbs to enhance the taste of food has been mentioned repeatably through history. So many recipes have been created and savored by the perfect amount of a well balanced mix of herbs.
Most often a small garden can provide for a family very well so the amount of space needed depending on the variety you may wish to grow. Since herbs are used in small quantity, 1 or 2 plants can will be sufficient for a normal household. Among the most popular herbs grown are thyme, basil, sage, chives, oregano, mint, rosemary and savory.
Aromatic herbs are in a class of their own. They offer great pleasure to the senses if not by their beauty then by the wonderful scent of the foliage and flowers.
If you choose to grow herbs with that intention, aromatic herbs can be a very interesting garden project. The enchanting fragrances come from their oils produced while growing and are used to produces various perfumes, toilet water and other lotions.
Once harvested and dried, you can enjoy the smell of the plants for many months. They can be used to freshen the air in rooms or spaces and even used to give a pleasant smell to clothes and linen.
Aromatic herbs that are popular ; basil, marjoram, mint and rosemary.
Before modern medicine, medicinal herbs has long been used to treat injuries and many levels of sickness. Many herbs are known and used even nowadays for their healing qualities. They play an important role in many products we by in a pharmacy, prescriptions and is used extensively with alternative natural medicine.
If you plan to grow herbs for medicinal usage, please research these herbs and capacities, They can be excellent when used in the right conditions but can be unpredictable if used randomly.
Medicinal herbs commonly used ; Ginseng, Ephedra, Catnip, Dandelion and St. John’s Wort.
Thought not always the first group of plants to be proposed when discussing landscaping, an wisely designed arrangement of ornamental herbs can be quite breathtaking by their brightly colored flowers and foliage.
They can be combined with other plants or even other herbs to create an overall exotic layout. Among the ornamental herbs that are often used for this purpose are valerian that produces rich red blossoms, lavender and chive.
Having a basic idea of the 4 classifications of herbs is a good starting point to help decide which herbs we will be growing and how they will be used. The space available is equally a deciding factor to determine the variety of herbs that you wish to grow at a given time. Of course, you may choose to beginning your journey with a smaller garden and expand later on. Once you begin growing and using herbs for any of the ways we have classified above, it will surely a part of your daily life for a long time to come.
Eustache Davenport is a gardening enthusiast and author. He lives in Montreal and enjoy teaching his gardening secrets to work groups on how to setup, optimize and maintain an amazing herb garden. For more great tips and information on creating your own home herb garden, visit http://www.herbgardeningonlineguide.com.