SageNative to the northern Mediterranean, gardeners are growing sage for its many culinary and medicinal uses.

Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
Maturity: 70-75 days from transplant, 90-100 days from seed
Height: 12 to 30 inches
Spacing: 18 to 24 inches apart, 2 to 3 feet between rows

A member of the mint family, culinary sage (Salvia officinalis) is a highly aromatic herb with a subtle, earthy flavor. It works especialy well with meats such as pork, lamb and poultry, and is often used in dressings or holiday stuffings. Use sparingly, as sage can be very strong and easily overpower a dish.

Sage is also highly regarded as a medicinal herb where it has been used over the years to cure a long list of ailments from broken bones and wounds to stomach disorders, shortness of breath and loss of memory. Pliny the Elder (23 – 79 AD), a Roman naturalist and philosopher, recomended using sage for intestinal worms, memory problems and snake bites. (more…)


RosemaryRemarkable for its fabulous flavor and good looks, rosemary is easy to grow in containers from cuttings.

Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
Maturity: 60-75 days from transplant, 90-120 days from seed
Height: 12 to 48 inches
Spacing: 2 to 3 feet apart, 3 to 6 feet between rows

Native to the Mediterranean and favored by many home gardeners, growing rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is popular for its many culinary qualities. The aromatic and pungent leaves may be used fresh or dried and are traditionally paired with poultry, game, lamb and stews.

As an ornamental shrub, rosemary’s rich aroma and beautifil blue-green, needle-like foliage make it a perfect addition to borders or walkways. Plants grow well in containers with good potting soil and can be brought inside during winter months. Tender perennial shrub grows 1-4 feet tall. (more…)


ParsleyMore than a table garnish, highly nutritious parsley is easy to grow, even indoors.

Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
Maturity: 65-90 days from seed
Height: 10 to 20 inches
Spacing: 6 to 12 inches apart, 1 to 2 feet between rows

When growing parsley, home gardeners often select between two common varieties; flat leaf and curly-leaf. Which type you choose depends on your taste:

  • Flat leaf or Italian parsley (Petroselinum crispum neapolitanum) is similar in appearance to cilantro and offers a robust, full flavor. It is the preferred variety for cooking and is often used to add flavor to soups and stews.
  • Curly-leaf (Petroselinum crispum) is coarse with a dark-green flavor and chlorophyll kick. It is often used as a garnish or chopped and added to salads.

This popular culinary herb is an excellent source of vitamins A, E and C, and includes many minerals like iron and calcium. Parsley is also used as a natural breath freshener. Hardy plants grow 10-20 inches tall and make a remarkable border around gardens. (more…)


OreganoBoth culinary and decorative, oregano is one of the most rewarding herbs to grow.

Sunlight: Full sun
Maturity: 80-95 days from seed
Height: 18 to 30 inches
Spacing: 12 to 18 inches apart, 1 to 2 feet between rows

Available in several varieties and cultivars — with each offering its own unique flavor — growing oregano (Origanum) is popular with many home gardeners. Native to the Mediterranean, these attractive plants do well tucked in rock gardens and terraces and thrive in containers or pots.

Culinary oregano has a nice earthy flavor that makes it the perfect addition to many Italian, Spanish and Mexican dishes. Perennial plants grow 18-30 inches tall and are hardy to zone 5. (more…)


MintCool and refreshing, mint is an easy to grow perennial with a multitude of uses.

Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
Maturity: 75-90 days from seed
Height: 12 to 30 inches
Spacing: 12 to 24 inches apart, 1 to 2 feet between rows

Stand back! Mint (Mentha) produces quickly and can take over in ideal conditions. As a result, many home gardeners prefer growing mint in containers to keep it… well, contained. The plant is easy to grow and perfect for the beginning gardener.

One of the most popular of all herbs, mint — spearmint and peppermint — is known by its square stems, aromatic leaves and refreshing flavor. Plants are hardy perennials often attaining 3 feet in height.

Fact: The US produces 70% of the World’s peppermint and spearmint supply with almost half of the mint oil production being used for flavoring chewing gum. (more…)


MarjoramMagnificient marjoram, with its aromatic leaves and warm flavor, is easy to grow and available in many varieties.

Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
Maturity: 70-90 days from seed
Height: 12 to 24 inches
Spacing: 8 to 12 inches apart, 8 to 12 inches between rows

Herb gardeners growing marjoram (Origanum majoricum) enjoy its fragrant and flavorful leaves which are highly esteemed for seasoning. The aroma and flavor is similar to mild oregano, but noticeably sweeter.

Marjoram grows 1-2 feet tall and has square stems, gray-green leaves and small white flowers borne in clusters. Plants make an attractive ground-cover in the summer and do well indoors during winter months. Tender perennial, often grown as an annual. (more…)


LovageA hardy perennial with dark green shoots and a big, bold flavor — tastes like celery!

Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
Maturity: 85-95 days from seed
Height: 4 to 6 feet
Spacing: 24 to 36 inches apart, 3 to 5 feet between rows

Native to southern Europe, growing lovage (Levisticum officinale) is easy! The leaves, stems, roots and seeds of this old-time herb are all edible and taste a lot like celery, but stronger. Perennial plants are large — up to 7 feet tall — and very hardy, no trouble to maintain.

Beloved during the Middle Ages, lovage could be found in almost every kitchen garden where it was cultivated for medicinal and culinary purposes. Today, the herb’s most popular usage is in soups, stews and salads, similar to celery. Lovage may also be useful for relieving abdominal pains due to gastrointestinal gas when consumed as a tea. (more…)


HyssopGrown in containers or as a border plant, Hyssop is extremely attractive to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
Maturity: 75-85 days from seed
Height: 12 to 24 inches
Spacing: 12 to 24 inches apart, 2 to 4 feet between rows

Home herb gardeners are growing hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) for its dark green leaves which are used to flavor salads, soups, liqueurs and stews. Attractive plants have woody stems, small pointed leaves and spikes of pink, red, white and blue-purple flowers. Hardy perennial grows 2-3 feet tall.

Native to southern Europe, Hyssop was used as early as the seventh century as a purifying tea and for medicine. The ancient herb is said to cure all manner of ailments from head lice to shortness of breath. (more…)


Organic FennelThis attractive, licorice-flavored herb is easy to grow in the home garden.

Fennel may resemble dill but its taste is something different. The anise-flavored bulbs, fronds and seeds, suggesting licorice, make fennel a unique, even unusual seasoning. Every kitchen garden should be graced with a fennel plant or two, both for it’s beautiful wispy leaves and crunchy, flavorful bulbs.

Fennel is a mainstay of home-style Italian cooking. It’s especially wonderful as a grilled accompaniment to fish or grated raw onto a salad. The leaves make for a beautiful garnish. The seeds are a wonderful addition to salad dressings. Fennel bulbs can be eaten like celery — they’re wonderful scoops for dip — and are braised and roasted to be served aside chicken and other poultry (especially game birds). (more…)


DillAttractive and flavorful, dill is an easy to grow aromatic herb with feathery green leaves and a pleasant, sweet taste.

Sunlight: Full sun
Maturity: 40-65 days from seed
Height: 3 to 4 feet
Spacing: 12 to 18 inches apart, 2 to 4 feet between rows

Home herb gardeners are growing dill (Anethum graveolens) for its flat, light-brown seeds and feathery foliage commonly used to flavor fish. Its large fragrant heads add a sweet, citrusy flavor to pickles and are perfect for spicing up many summer salads. Foliage is abundant and long-lasting and can be used in soups, dips and egg dishes. The graceful plant makes a unique filler in cut flower arrangements. (more…)

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