Besides flowers, herbs are great for adding colour, variety, and last but not least, fragrance to the garden. Herbs, with their natural charm, are wonderful as bunches in a vase inside, and they are also good as cures or as spices. Another benefit that experienced gardeners know about is the ability of some herbs to keep off insects when they are planted in the garden. This is an advantage of herbs that is referred to as companion planting, and people who learn that planting basil near tomatoes, for example, can keep insect off, quickly start putting the advice in practice.
The most popular herbs are basil, chamomile, lavender, rosemary, and there are many more herbs that are worth growing in the garden.
Basil enjoys full sunlight, or partially shaded spots. Its favourite type of soil is rich in nutrients, moist, well drained one, but basil can also grow in dry conditions. It is grown from seeds which are sown in the garden after the cold season is over. The seedlings should be thinned, but the herb tolerates crowding too. Basil likes general fertilisers which are added on a monthly basis. It should be watered during dry periods. The leaves and the stems are great as spice, and they also have healing properties. They should be dried and stored in a cool and dry place.
Chamomile is another herb which thrives in full sun and enjoys averagely rich soil. It can be grown from seeds which are planted in the spring, and the seedlings should be thinned. Regular fertilising and watering is essential. The flowers should be picked when they reach the peak of their bloom, and they are useful not only when fresh, but dried as well. Ground chamomile mixed with water relieves a toothache, and it is beneficial for other complaints too.
Lavender is especially enjoyable not only because of its scent, but also for the attractive colour of its flowers and for its foliage. Planting lavender plants near windows is great to provide a delightful aroma. The plant can grow up to two feet in height, and are great as indoor plants, too. Planting lavender in fully sunny spots or in partial shade is recommended, and the soil should be moist and well drained, although this plant can tolerate droughts. Planting is done from seeds, early in the season, and lavender should be fertilised twice in the season. The flowers are especially attractive to pick when they are in full bloom.
Rosemary is a herb that is especially attractive. It needs a lot of space, as it is an evergreen shrub and reaches 3 to 6 feet in height. The leaves are thin and dark green, and the flowers have a pale blue colour. It should be borne in mind that rosemary is susceptible to frost, and should be well protected against it. The herb enjoys full sun and well drained soil, but it can also tolerate drought periods. The seeds should be soaked for several hours before they are planted. Generally rosemary does not need fertilisers.