Since yesterday’s post was about perennial vegetables, today’s post is about perennial herbs. Not only are perennial herbs great for cooking, but they can also be used as a fragrance in the home. Whether a certain herb is perennial or not really depends on what hardiness zone you live in. An herb that is a perennial in Texas, might not make it through the winter in Vermont. Make sure to check the plant’s hardiness before planting if you want it to come back the next year. Let’s take a look at five great perennial herbs.
Sage is a very versatile herb that can be used in cooking and in homemade potpourri. It is a small plant in comparison, usually only getting about 12 – 24 inches tall. This makes it very useful as a filler plant in the garden, as it will work nicely around other plants or in containers.
Mint is a very hardy plant and will grow year round even in the toughest winters. Mint is very fragrant and is often used to ward off foul odors. Mint is very invasive and can be a handful to try and contain. It is also very hard to get rid of (I know this from personal experience). I have a spot in my yard that is loaded with mint that has been there for over ten years. The good thing about it though, is it smells great when mowing the grass.Try growing mint in a buried bucket – that will help contain it a bit. This herb can be used in cooking and desserts.
Lavender is known throughout the world for its healing properties and its fragrance. It can be used in cooking, but is mostly used for its aroma. Lavender develops beautiful lavender (who would have guessed?) flowers that will attract butterflies and bees. Give lavender plenty of room to grow, they get bigger each year. Make sure to check which lavender is best suited for your hardiness zone before planting.
Thyme is one of my most favorite herbs – I just can’t get enough of the fragrance. There are many variations of thyme – from lemon thyme to cinnamon thyme. It can be used in many recipes and goes well with poultry and seafood dishes. Use creeping thyme to go between walkway pavers for a delicious aroma every time you walk down the path. Thyme will grow in just about any garden, and doesn’t mind dry, sometimes poor conditions.
Rosemary is another herb with a powerful, yet warming fragrance. Rosemary is known for its therapeutic effects. It can grow into a six foot tall shrub. Its piney, minty taste is exceptional for cooking, and goes well with poultry, pork, seafood, eggs, cheese, and lamb. The rosemary branches can be used as skewers to give ka-bobs an added pop of flavor. Rosemary shrubs are sometimes used as a Christmas tree and decorated. Talk about some great Christmas smells with that in the home!
There are many more perennial herbs that can be planted for years of herbs, these are just my top five. Please feel free to give your favorite perennial herb!