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When I planted my garden in 2014, I included a space for herbs. I called this section of my backyard paradise the Apothecary Garden. In Medieval times, the person who sold herbs for medicinal purposes were called apothecaries.
At that time, I had no idea the role herbs would play in my future life. I just knew I loved the way herbs smelled. My desire for an herbal garden stemmed from my intention to cook with fresh herbs and to dry them, creating my own potpourri, teas and skin products. (Read about the birth of my Apothecary Garden.)
Six growing seasons later, the Apothecary Garden thrives. It provides fresh herbs and brings me much joy. This year I am expanding the herb garden, adding more plants and new varieties of existing herbs.
Most herbs are very easy to grow, tucking them into the ground or in containers. Apartment dwellers can grow herbs as easily as homeowners with big yards. They simply require 4 – 6 hours of direct sun, good soil, and proper drainage.
To get you started, here are 13 easy to grow herbs.
Considered an annual, basil that is allowed to flower and go to seed produces volunteer plants the following summer. There are many varieties to choose from including one with dark purple leaves. Fragrant basil grows best in a sunny location.
Pungent and flavorful, use the leaves, yellow flowers and seeds in a variety of ways in the kitchen. Leave some plants with seeds, as they too will produce volunteer plants the next year. Grow dill in a sunny spot or tuck into a container that receives adequate sunlight.
One of the easiest herbs to grow, peppermint, spearmint and chocolate mint flourish and return each year. The plants made great ground cover in the garden. Mint does spread rapidly, so place it in an area where its growth can be controlled. Or plant in large containers. Mint grows well in partial shade to full sun.
Another low growing herb, thyme is a perennial, returning year after year. It too makes a wonderful ground cover and can tolerate being walked on. In a container, thyme trails over the edge, partnering well with other herbs in a display. Grow thyme in full sun.
With their pretty pink blossoms, chives are attractive enough to add to a border garden. Harvest the flowers or the tubular stems to add a subtle onion flavor to dishes. Grow chives in a sunny location in well drained soil, or plant in containers. This plant is perennial.
Among the many varieties, English lavender is the most popular form of this wonderfully fragrant herb. It is a perennial that prefers full sun and well drained soil. Include lavender in the herb garden, flower border or in containers.
This well known herb thrives in full sun to partial shade. Sow chamomile seeds, which can be ordered here, in late spring directly on the ground or in a container. Use the flowers fresh or dried to create a soothing tea.
This extremely easy to grow herb offers a strong lemony scent and flavor with a hint of mint. A perennial, lemon balm is another plant that can take over the garden, if not controlled. Grow in a full sun to partial shade or tuck into a container.
A perennial, bee balm, like mint and lemon balm, is simple to grow. And it too likes to spread. Bee balm’s gorgeous pink, white or purple flowers do indeed attract bees and butterflies. Use the flowers or the leaves to brew a fragrant cup of tea. Bee balm prefers full sun but moist soil, so surround the plants with a layer of mulch.
Resembling ornamental grasses, the tall flavorful leaves and tender bulbs of lemongrass are used in soups or teas. An annual in most regions of the US, lemongrass must be replanted each spring. Place in full sun and keep the soil well watered.
Sage’s grayish green or variegated leaves add rich flavor to foods and teas. The flowers are edible as well. Grow in full sun in well drained soil or in container combos. Low growing sage makes a great border plant also.
Fennel’s leaves resemble dill leaves. Very easy to grow, fennel provides a subtle licorice flavor to dishes. The dried seeds make a fragrant tea. Grow in a sunny location.
This shrubby herb can grow tall enough to resemble a small tree or train it to climb a wall or trellis. Rosemary requires a hot, dry, sunny location or it thrives in a container placed in direct sunlight. Bring rosemary indoors in the winter and replant in the spring.
Herbal plants add flavor to foods. I love walking into my garden and pinching off sprigs of fresh herbs to cook with. Actually, I enjoy walking through my herbal garden each evening, as the plants release their amazing scents as I brush the leaves.
Fresh or dried herbs are perfect for brewing health boosting cups of tea. And, as I intended, I create my own potpourri each fall, from the dried leaves and flowers.
When I planted my Apothecary Garden I did not know that in two years my life would shift drastically as I adopted a plant based lifestyle. Herbs play a huge role in keeping me healthy. As I realized the importance of these medicinal plants, I looked in amazement at my hardy and mature Apothecary Garden. What I needed for my health was already here, waiting for me to recognize the significance of my earlier actions.
How magical and enchanted life is. And how beautiful these life giving plants are.
Backyard Garden Series
Check out the other posts in this gardening series:
10 Super Easy Perennials to Grow
10 Low Maintenance Annuals to Grow
DIY Natural Mosquito Repellent
Grow an enchanting herbal tea garden, with this package of seeds. Click photo for link to Amazon.
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69 Replies to “13 Easy Herbs to Grow”
I’m really bad at growing herbs, they all eventually die on me. I love the idea of growing chamomile since is one of my favorite teas. I guess I’m going to have to give it a try and see. Great post thx for sharing!
Chamomile thrives well and seems to tolerate the heat and the cold. It never completely died back over the winter.
This is great. Thank you. I look forward to trying some of these.
I hope I get to see a photo of your garden!
Every year I try to grow a garden and every year it fails – – maybe this will be my year!
Yes! You can do it!
There is nothing like growing your own. The scent alone makes it worthwhile 🙂 I grow a lot for medicinal uses as well as personal care diy products. Most that you have listed will be going into a new herbal space this spring 🙂 Can’t wait!
I hope to see photos of your herb garden! We have much in common.
Camomile…..I had no clue that was easy to grow! now I want to find some! 🙂
It’s very easy to start by sowing seeds. And inspire of a very cold winter it never completely died back.
I have had a basil plant on and off for 5 years. Maybe I need to look into a few of the rest of these!
Basil is one of my favorites. So fragrant!
Great tips! We are definitely going to try growing some herbs this year. Starting small, in containers, and see how it goes.
What great content. Love how you have each listed
and what each can be used for. Makes me want to try growing herbs.
They are easy and so useful, besides smelling great!
So many great ideas – I need more herbs in my garden!
Me too! I think I need to dig up more of my yard…or bring in more containers.
I love all of these herbs but chives are my favorite!
And their flowers are so pretty!
OMG I want an apothecary garden right now!!!!
I love mine! It keeps expanding lol
I tend to kill off anything green in my house, but love trying to grow herbs!! Nothing like fresh basil in your dinner dishes.
Yes! I love snipping fresh herbs to add to dinner or to brew tea.
I just planted my 1st “garden” since moving to Florida and included a few herbs. This is my test garden. We didn’t want to dig up a space to plant so we are using all containers. I started small – 2 tomato plants, zucchini, peppers, cucumbers and a few herbs. We’ll see what happens.
Those should all do well in containers. Cucumbers like to vine but still do well in pots.
We love our herb garden. I’ve found rosemary is the easiest thing for me to grow.
It thrives well with little care. Love rosemary!
perfect timing for me to read this. i’m looking for some herbs to plant at our new house
Awesome! Enjoy planning your new garden.
Book marked! I’m in the planning stages of our herb garden that I’m going to grow in one of our large planter boxes on our condo terrace. So excited. All of these herbs are on my list. Thanks for sharing 🙂
The terrace will be perfect for growing herbs. And it will smell so good out there!
Love this! I’m currently trying to propagate Rosemary and Basil but they are struggling a little. Never been very good at growing but I’m working on it!
Good luck with them! Those are two of my favorites!
I was just telling my hubby that I really want to start a garden this year. Going to add a few of these to my list to grow. Thanks for the post!
Awesome! I’ll look forward to hearing which ones you grow.
I am not a gardener, but I always thought it would be great to grow my own herbs. I love to use them all the time, so that would be a lot healthier!
You can grow some in containers or even a sunny window. I love having fresh herbs available.
I love all of the herbs you listed! I have tried to grow most of them, with varying success. I’d be interested in some of your favorite recipes using fresh herbs. Thanks for the post!
I’ll be doing several herb related posts, including recipes!
This is awesome! Unfortunately I have a black thumb-I seem to always manage to kill my plants. I’m gonna try chamomile! Hopefully I can keep her alive 🙂
Chamomile is very easy to grow from seeds. It seems very tolerant of heat and cold.
I love this post. Herbs are my favourite. My husband and I grow many of these but lemon grass and lemon balm I would love to try.
Perfect! Both are so easy to grow. I have to replant lemongrass every year, in my area. But lemon balm returns year after year.
We’ve done basil and we loved it. I want to do it again this spring.
That’s wonderful! Basil is so fragrant and fills my backyard paradise with its aroma.
This is so informative! I’ve been nervous to start my window herb garden. I have all my supplies and keep putting it off.
I hope you will jump right in! You’ll love having fresh herbs.
I’ve always wanted to grow my own herbs but wasn’t sure how. This is really good. Some of these I’ve never heard before like the Bee Balm. I’ll have to try that.
I love having the fresh herbs. Bee balm comes back every year and the flowers are gorgeous. They attract bees and butterflies.
Lovely post. I love savoury in my garden both as an herb and as flowers or cut greens in bouquets. I love fennel, but don’t have a yard big enough to keep it away from the plants that don’t like it. All the rest I also have in my garden.
Wonderful! I’ve not grown fennel yet. I need to figure out where it can go!
I miss gardening! Starting with herbs is a great way to get back into it!
Yes! They mature quickly and the benefits can be enjoyed the first season.
I agree that growing herbs in your garden is more efficient than buying herbs in the market. Whenever you need it just pick them in your garden. Gonna try to plant some mint since it is one of my favorite herb. Thanks for sharing 🙂
You are welcome! Mint is a great one to start with.
What a great post! I want to start growing my own herbs.
It’s both fun and practical!
I grow all of these on my herb garden. They are the only plants the deer and chickens won’t eat.
That’s good then! I figured deer would eat anything.
I’ve grown basil before, but would love to grow mint!!
Its a great one to try. Very easy to grow and returns each year.
I love fresh herbs too and for so many reasons! They really bring a dish to life and they’re so good for you too. I love growing my own as well and want to add lavender to the bunch this year. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
Herbs are amazing! And fun to grow.
I would love to grow my own herbs! Thank you for the list!
Enjoy creating an herb garden!
You are welcome! I hope you can create an herb garden. Or grow herbs in containers.
Thanks for sharing these. We currently have a small herb garden which includes chives, sage, mint, thyme and lavender. I think bee balm would be a great addition to attract more insect life.
You have a great herb garden! Yes you’d enjoy including bee balm. It attracts bees and butterflies, has a pretty bloom and it makes a great tea!