Years ago I received “The Complete Book of Herbs A practical guide to growing & using herbs” by Lesley Bremness as a Christmas gift. Totally loved it. I see that it is still available online. It offers so much information in an easy to understand, practical format. Man has relied on herbs for our very life since recorded history.
The book starts with garden planning and designs, goes right to the herbal index which lists various popular herbs with great color photos of each plant, but not in any specific order. Included for each is a short explanations of cultivation, and their various uses. After the herbal index the information is broken down to specific projects and recipes for decor, cooking, medicinal, health and beauty. To name a few, the book includes recipes, how-to’s for making garlands, herbal papers, soaps and floral waters. The back of the book goes into more specifics regarding cultivating & harvesting herbs.
Most herbs are annual or perennials. Beware the biennial. They are a strange breed of plant. Can’t figure out why they only last a couple of years and don’t fruit or seed the first year and die off after they do this during their second year of life. You will have to be patient to be willing to wait til next year to use it and take proper care of the area it is in so it returns to complete its maturity. So you will only get one year of production, the second year, then will need to replace it and wait for another year again. If you wished to have a yearly crop, you would have to plant these every year.
Many modern gardeners try to keep a super neat garden pulling out and chopping down everything once they die back. Leaving some plants, like the grasses, adds beauty to the winter garden and gives the birds nesting materials in any season. It is one thing to efficiently weed, but try not to uproot your perennials and biennials during fall or spring garden clean up. Before I was experienced, I would accidentally take out part of my perennial’s roots after they died back trying to clean out after the plants had died back.
To sum it up, growing herbs in the garden is a good idea for many reasons. Saves you money, you control the way it is grown, and it gives you a much larger. I never use the stuff. I would rather go out and hand-pick bugs off my plants and squish them before I would add a poison to my plants to kill them, and slowly kill myself. Speaking of poison, please be careful when ingesting any herbs you are not familiar with. Some people can be sensitive to certain types of plants and not be aware of this until they eat it. Severe reactions are rare, but try anything in moderation first. Always use moderation ingesting well known culinary herbs. Some can be toxic in large doses, such as sage. Currently there is a lot of information from so-called experts online, in books and on television regarding taking all kinds of herbs fresh or in suppliments that most have never heard of. I cannot address these types of claims regarding relatively unknown substances. Some culinary experts make claims to eat various things, that I was previously advised are not edible. Just be careful and do your research. Do not throw in some herb seeds and start eating anything that grows up from that general area. Be sure of any plant before you ingest it.