It’s a fun undertaking that can result in some very tasty rewards, but herb gardening offers a lot more for its practitioners than simply recipe plants. These natural wonders have many uses and some plants even have multiple functions.
No matter where a person lives, a lot of herbs can be grown indoors if they’re given the right lighting conditions, which makes them a great choice where versatility is important. Whether a gardener creates a small herb garden, a window box or designs an elaborate garden with every herb under the sun for recipes and more, these plants tend to do well both indoors and out. What will grow well outdoors will depend on climate, but in general most herbs can also thrive inside if conditions are created to promote growth.
Herbs are a longtime favorite of many indoor and outdoor gardeners for a number of reasons. One of the biggest reasons, of course, is the fact they’re very useful.
Herbs in general can be broken down into different categories for usefulness. Some herbs fall into more than one of the major categories, but all are considered pretty useful for one reason or another.
The main reasons why people grow and use herbs include the fun involved in the process, the beauty of the plants (they really do look great in gardens) and the functionality of the plants themselves. The main classes of herbs include those for aromatic purposes, culinary, medicinal and ornamental.
Let’s take a look at each class. Keep in mind, some herbs fall into several classes, making them extremely useful.
Aromatics: These are great for flower vases or in arrangements. They are grown for use in perfumes, candles and more. Examples include mint and lavender.
Culinary: What is a gourmet meal with fresh herbs? Not a gourmet meal! Chives, dill, garlic and so on are favorite herbs for culinary uses.
Medicinal: There’s little doubt that some herbs have curative and healing properties. Proof of this goes way back in time. Garlic, for example, is known to help lower cholesterol and work as a natural antibiotic, and ginko biloba can help enhance memory. The list goes on and on.
Other uses for herbs include ornamentals, which are grown for their beauty and used in arrangements.
These little plants are pretty easy to grow and serve so many purposes, it’s no wonder people have treasured their own herb gardens throughout history.