Tis the Season for Herbs

Italian Parsley & Cilantro

“There’s a few things I’ve learned in life: always throw salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for good luck, and fall in love whenever you can.” – William Shakespeare

Ever since I started having herbs in my garden it has made all the difference in my cooking. Being able to walk out the door and snip a few sprigs of oregano or a few sprigs of rosemary as opposed to getting in a car to buy a bundle makes me search for reasons to cook with fresh herbs.

Rosemary, Thyme & Sage

What types of herbs to plant in your yard or in a pot on your back porch can take a little bit of “trial and error.” Figuring out which herbs you actually use or which ones grow fairly easily in your yard can take a few seasons but it’s worth the effort.

If I could only choose one herb to plant, I would choose rosemary. The deer won’t touch it, it’s fuss-free and it has endless uses. An herb workhorse, indeed.

The herbs that I use year-round and that usually make it through the winter in pots are: rosemary, thyme, and oregano. I also plant sage but I don’t find that I use it very often.


The herbs I plant in late spring that will last until late fall are: Italian parsley, cilantro (lots of it) and lemon verbena only because I love how delicious it smells.

And then later, when it warms up a bit, a pot of basil. No herb garden should be without.

Just curious, what are your favorite herbs to plant in your yard? If you could choose only one, what would it be?

PS: I had a few friends asking me about keeping herbs in pots watered. I have yet to set up any kind of drip system and the self-watering pot inserts that I’ve tried haven’t worked very well but I did stumble upon these “hydro-mats” last season and it made a huge difference in cutting back the amount of watering I had to do during the summer. I used it for my herbs as well as for my flower boxes.

All original text and photographs copyright: Carrie Minns 2009-2011