One of the things I enjoy most about gardening is the variety of culinary herbs that can be grown. Have you ever visited a formal herb garden? I have, a couple of times. They left a lasting impression. I imagine one day having a huge herb garden in my own backyard that includes every herb imaginable. Of course, that might take a long time to get there...
Every year I try to grow 2 or 3 new hardy, perennial herbs from seed to add to my garden. Last year I grew lots of chives, lavender and thyme, and this year I grew sage, oregano and rosemary. Except for the rosemary, they are all hardy to Zone 5, so happily, they will be coming up year after year! The rosemary, though, has to come indoors in autumn and goes out again in May.
I also grow from seed basil, dill, parsley, and cilantro in my vegetable garden and in pots. I think these plants are beautiful - all of them! I admire their delicate leaves, tiny purplish and white flowers, and seed heads. They are so interesting to look at, and so pleasing to the eyes - as well as to the nose and taste buds. For weeks now, I have been clipping the chives, rosemary and thyme and adding them to whatever I'm making for dinner.
I am also experimenting with chamomile this year - both annual and perennial. I think it would be fun to dry the flowers for tea. I planted the chamomile in with the thyme, sage, rosemary and chives, where it looks very pretty. This little herb garden is rapidly expanding!
One thing that I haven't added to this garden is MINT. About 3 years ago, I bought 2 little plants from a garden center. One was a spearmint plant and the other was a peppermint plant. I planted them near a rosebush and some oregano that I had been growing for over 15 years. The oregano looked quite beautiful with the roses when they were both in bloom.
Well, the following year, those two tiny mint plants pretty much took over the entire bed, and they wiped out the oregano. Never. Again. I have to admit that I love to pick it and smell it and add it to whatever I'm cooking. However, I am constantly ripping it out, as it wants to take over my entire yard!