Herbs: Just for the Health of It!

Popular & versatile, herbs have countless culinary uses – fresh or dried – and offer healthy alternatives to the infamous saltshaker for flavoring foods. Are you a new or a ‘seasoned’ herb gardener? Remember – most need full sun and well-drained soil for successful growing. Here’s how to grow and enjoy your favorite herbs!


• Sun loving annual.
• Pinch back regularly; remove flowers.
• Flavor is a combination of anise, mint, citrus, and clove.
Uses: tomato dishes, salads, vegetables, pasta, omelets, and soups.

Bay Laurel, Sweet Bay

• Tender perennial.
• Full sun, moist, well-drained soil is necessary!
• Slow growing; can overwinter indoors.
• Leaves are used whole; discard from food before serving.
Uses: meat, fish, stews, sauces, tomatoes, preserves, pickles, and condiments.


• Hardy perennial with mild onion-flavored, grass-like leaves.
• Prefers moist soil and full sun.
• Edible purplish pom-pom shaped flowers.
Uses: in eggs, cheese, potatoes, sour cream, soups, salads, and vegetable dishes.

Cilantro, Coriander

• Sun-loving annual.
• Cilantro and coriander are the same plant, the leaves are sometimes referred to as cilantro and the seeds as coriander.
Uses: leaves and stems are used in Latin America and Southeast Asian cooking; the seeds are used in curries, baked goods, and Mediterranean cuisine.


• Sun-loving, cool season annual.
• Finely cut blue-green aromatic foliage.
• Harvest seeds as soon as they start to turn brown.
Uses: salads, baked goods, soups, and fish; the seeds are essential for making dill pickles.


• Perennial or annual – depending on variety.
• Full sun, good air circulation and very well-drained soil.
Uses: Dried lavender blossoms in baked goods.

Lemon Balm

• Sun-loving perennial.
• Needs moist soil and excellent air circulation.
• Bright green lemon-scented leaves.
• Grow in a container (it’s mint so it’s a spreader!)
Uses: salads, fish dishes, fruit cups, custards, ice creams, and cold drinks. Dry the leaves for potpourris.

Lemon Grass

• Annual or tender perennial.
• Full sun and moist soil.
• Bulbous lower portions for cooking. Harvest and mince or use a mortar and pestle.
Uses: Vietnamese, Thai, and Indian cuisines, and in soups, sauces, stir-fries, lemonade, marinades, and teas.

Lemon Verbena

• Annual or tender perennial.
• Full sun and moist, well-drained soil.
• Intensely lemon-scented leaves
Uses: fresh or dried for baking, teas, desserts, fresh fruit salads, and lemonade.


• Tender perennial grown as an annual.
• Full sun, moist to somewhat dry soil.
• Soft gray-green leaves impart a sweet pine and citrus flavor.
Uses: soups, eggs, meats, potatoes, mushrooms, and beans.


Perennial with an invasive habit; grow it in a container.
Full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil.
Many varieties to choose from, each with their own special flavors and uses.
Uses: fruit, teas, cold beverages, lamb, desserts, sauces, and in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking.



• Annual or perennial.
• Full sun and well-drained.
• Specialty varieties exist; each brings its unique flavor (mild, flavorful, or spicy) to recipes.
Uses: with fish, meat dishes, pizza, tomato dishes and sauces, Mediterranean cooking.


• Annual
• Full sun to light shade; keep soil moist.
• Uses: fresh or dried in soups and stews, garnish.

Pineapple Sage

• Annual that needs room in the garden.
• Sun-love; moist, well-drained garden or potting soil.
• Flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
Uses: leaves are ideal for cool drinks and fruit salads.


• Annual, or indoors for the winter month. Winter hardiness is questionable.
• Full sun, moist, well-drained soil, good air circulation.
• Many varieties.
Uses: pine-scented, needle-like leaves make great additions to potatoes, meat dishes, breads, and other foods.


• Semi-evergreen bushy perennial.
• Full sun to light shade, and moist to slightly dry soil.
• Many varieties exist.
Uses: in sausages, stuffing, condiments, pasta, vegetables, liqueurs, and many other dishes.



• Perennial.
• Full sun to part shade, and in well-drained soils.
• Leaves have a lightly sour, lemony flavor.
Uses: in soups, salads, sauces, eggs, fish, and vegetable dishes.


• Perennial.
• Full sun, well-drained fertile soil, and good air circulation.
• Fresh leaves have a delicate anise taste.
Uses: in eggs, salads, dressings, sauces, meats, fish, poultry, vinegars.


• Perennial.
• Full sun, and well-drained, barely moist soil.
• Many culinary varieties to choose from with interesting leaves and flavors.
Uses: with meat, vegetables, seafood, tea, and eggs.