Herbs and herb garden containers make great gifts for the holidays, birthdays and even wedding gifts. If you are interested in knowing how to choose herbs for a herb garden container for yourself or as a gift, here are the top choices. But first, consider the reasons friends and family enjoy herb gardening, other than the obvious which is to grow your own herbs for your soup and salad recipes. Choose right, and fresh growing herbs fill the room with a welcome fragrance. It's like having sweet air without buying a container of Glade plug-in room deodorizer. A benefit many people overlook is the farmer feeling. Putting your hands in soil and growing a garden is rewarding. No one really disagrees with the fact that it feels good to grow something. Read on for some spicy tips.
Most agree that herbs for cooking food is the all-purpose practical reason to decide on your own herb garden. It's true that when cooking in the kitchen, a supply of spices is generally close at hand. For some, the weather isn't good for year-around herb gardening outdoors. If you enjoy fresh herbs and growing your own fresh herb garden indoors in pots or jars, here is what I found out with only a little research.
A common herb that's good for indoor herb gardening is basil. It's used for extra flavor in tomato juices and pastes. Chives make a great addition to a spice garden and go well in salads, egg dishes and sauces. Two herbs that a huge number of gardeners choose for their herb garden are sage and thyme. Both of these herb gardening favorites thrive. Use them for flavoring soups, chicken, turkey and pork including sausages.
For picky chefs who have a bit more of a gourmet recipe up their sleeve, the herbs in their herb gardening containers might include borage (for salads), chervil (added to egg recipes), sweet marjoram (adds flavor to lamb entrees, fish, salad bowls and soup de jour). Sesame (can be a great flavor to add when baking crackers, bread and even cookies). Another easy-grow herb is dill (add it in certain meats when cooking a meal for Sunday dinner).
For those who might not be interested in cooking, consider growing a herb garden for the fragrance. Mint is easy to grow and smells wonderful. Mint is also practical. Use mint for cooking. Try adding mint to lemonade and other fruity drinks for a big WOW from friends and family.
Lavender is probably the most recognized scent. It's popular in sachets, because of its unique perfume aroma. Put dried lavender in a cellophane baggie, punch a couple of small holes and put your homemade sachet in a linen closet or dresser drawer. The one with light purple blooms smell delightful. If you sew, make sachet envelopes with a silky ribbon for a gift.
It's therapeutic to get your hands in the earth's rich soil. Most people enjoy digging and fussing with potting soil. I won't go into all the psychological reasons the therapists claim about getting back to mother nature. But I know from my own experience, it is a joy even for a few minutes. Personally, I like to see how long I can keep my plants alive. (I do not have a green thumb.) Surprise. Surprise. My herbs live quite a long time. Hooray for me.
Planting and potting herbs have a side benefit. Many herbs are simply beautiful to look at. They make a wonderful decoration for my home and are a conversation starter when guests visit.
No doubt you want to check the box, YES, for the mint leaves and lavender, but basil is also a keeper. Choose the Dark Opal variety: These are beautiful when used as a decoration, because they have light pink flowers and dark red leaves. Nice.
If you are interested in herb gardening or giving a kit as a gift to someone who might find growing herbs fun, add a note. Explain that you can dry grown herbs to preserve them for later use. Here's how.
First, trim off the top of leafy herbs. Then, carefully wash and hang up so the water to evaporates. Tie stems into a bunch, put inside a paper bag to dry completely. After two or three weeks, remove them from the bag, crumble and crush the leaves, place in a glass pie dish or on a cookie sheet and dry them even more in the oven. That's it! Store the dried herbs in a glass jar. Use anytime for cooking or to make sachets.
Herb gardening is fun. You get fresh herbs with more flavor than store-bought spices for your recipes. Home grown is less costly and saves on your grocery bill. [Have you noticed the price of spices lately?] Herbs smell great and fill your home with fragrance, which by the way, also reduces that grocery bill if you typically buy room deodorizers. Finally, getting your hands into the soil feels great. You beautify your home.
When you learn how to choose herbs for a herb garden container, you can be a successful gardener in more ways than one.