Herbs grown in the garden or inside on a windowsill are both attractive to look at and useful in the kitchen. Most people confine themselves to a small selection of the most common herbs which they use on a regular basis, but it can be fun to try something different. This collection of nine little-known herbs has been complied by Tammi Hartung and I found it on the Birds and Blooms website.
For those who like to cook and garden, growing herbs offers abundant choices. Handy in perennial or kitchen gardens, herbs can thrive in a range of light, soil and water conditions. Try some lesser-known varieties and you might find the perfect complement to your garden (and your cooking).
FOENICULUM VULGARE ?RUBRUM?, ZONES 7 TO 10
Fennel has a licorice taste that?s a delight in some dishes. Most varieties are green, but this fennel has gorgeous bronze foliage that moves gracefully in the breeze. It?s a tall perennial, reaching 3 to 4 feet, with yellow flower clusters that give way to delicious seeds. Fennel prefers full sun and moderate watering. Harvest seeds when they?re ripe to prevent self-sowing.
Why we love it: The leafy parts are delicious chopped fine into green or pasta salads, and especially with tomatoes. Seeds are awesome in Italian sauces and homemade sausage, and with baked vegetables like potatoes and squash.
ALLIUM TUBEROSUM, ZONES 4 TO 9
A lovely border herb, garlic chives are perennial and very hardy. They grow in sun or shade and prefer moderate watering, but tolerate drought or excessive moisture. They reach 10 to 24 inches, with clusters of white star-shaped flowers.
Why we love it: Garlic chives taste slightly stronger than ordinary chives but are not as pungent as garlic. Chop stalks into salsa or omelets or use them as a garnish on soups and noodle dishes. Sprinkle the flowers on a green salad for some zip without overwhelming it.