The Truth About Herbs

By Nikki Tilley | August 17, 2021
Image by uuurska
by Nikki Tilley
August 17, 2021

Herb growing doesn’t have to be hard in spite of whatever you may have heard. In fact, here’s the truth about herbs in just three words: super easy plants. And here’s why I love them.

Growing Different Herbs in the Garden

I enjoy growing herbs, and not just the culinary varieties. I grow medicinal herbs for their beneficial properties but I also grow herb plants ornamentally – did you know many of them provide lovely blooms for bees and other pollinators in the garden? I even grow herbal “weeds” like dandelions and purslane. Herbs, in my opinion and experience, are some of the most forgiving plants to grow, tolerating many conditions.

Just prior to the whole Covid mess, I had taken a number of herbalism courses. This wasn’t to learn how to grow herbs. I already knew that. It was to learn more about how to use them as nature intended – for food, medicine, beauty and so much more. (This came in handy with the toilet paper shortage“¦ I had plenty of soft, fuzzy-leaved plants on hand, like lamb’s ear, which is also one of nature’s band-aids for healing minor wounds and reducing swelling from bee stings.) I also learned about various “weeds” that are actually considered herb plants, and I had many of those in the garden too. Instead of plucking them as I used to, I now leave them, thinning as needed. If you’ve ever been bothered by weeds, you know just how easily they grow. If you come to appreciate their herbal use, then you’ve already won half the battle of growing herbs like this in the garden.

Most herb plants enjoy plenty of sun. There are some that will tolerate shade though – lemon balm, mint (which grows anywhere and everywhere), chives, cilantro. Many prefer dry conditions, such as rosemary, thyme, oregano and lavender. Others, like basil and parsley, enjoy more moisture. So as long as you pay attention to this, herb growing is easy peasy. And if you want to grow some of those herbal weed plants, take a look at where they’re already growing (and thriving) in your landscape. Then mimic these conditions in your garden.

Herbs aren’t near as picky as the people growing them really. They don’t mind being out in the garden or in a potted environment. And most can be easily propagated, so if you find one isn’t well suited to a particular area of the garden, simply take a healthy clipping to root another plant, putting this one (once rooted) in a more hospitable place. I have herbs growing all over my garden. Some are in the ground growing alongside flowers and veggies, while others are tucked in containers here and there.

The only challenging part to growing herbs in the garden is deciding which plants you want. This is probably one of the reasons why I have so many, weeds and all.

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