Herbal Gardening- Ornamental Herbs

Some herbs, like many other things in this world, are valuable though they seem to have no "use" at all, other than to simply look beautiful.

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You might be wondering just what good is an herb you can't eat or use as medicine?

Well, while it is certainly true that the majority of herbs are useful, in the sense that they make a fine seasoning or provide a cure. But some things in life which are valuable have no "use" at all, other than to look beautiful and make our lives better in that way.

Many herbs are grown for their use in potpourri or as tools for the chef. Many may be beneficial, but often are visually dull. In the world of herbs there are dozens of such plants, and many that are tasty or healthful, but, there are also many that provide a pleasant view for the eye...and the heart.

Hyssop is a hardy perennial that grows up to two feet tall and blossoms with an array of blue flowers. While often used as the base of a tea, they make for a fine ornament in the garden. It doesn't hurt that they also have a lovely fragrance. Bees like them, too. There's a dwarf type that makes for a delightful variation, and there are ones that grow pink flowers instead.

Licorice may be a great treat for the tongue, but the plant makes for a beautiful addition to the garden. Light green or gray, they have fuzzy leaves and can thrive well in a basket, as well. This herb loves sun and well-draining soil, and can be brought indoors during winter. Outside they may last only one season.

There are types of Oregano that do more than just provide a great seasoning. The Dittany of Crete plant has wide, fuzzy leaves and pink flowers. Perfect for window boxes, they're easy to grow and maintain. A related type called Variegated Oregano has small, thin, bushy leaves. Not ideal for the chef, these ornamental herbs are perfect for adding a display of liveliness.

Lavender, of course, is a perennial favorite thanks to its lovely flowers and delicate scent. The leaves have serrated edges and they provide wonderful low ground cover in a garden. The soft green leaves and purple flowers add a touch of elegant beauty wherever they're planted.

Myrtle comes in a variety of lovely types, dwarf and regular-sized. The full-sized tree grows to several feet. Dark green leaves and small, white flowers give this herb a delicate smell and an equally delightful appearance. Variegated myrtle is a nice relation, with its tiny yellow and green leaves along the stem.

Chamomile is famous for its use in making a soothing tea, but the daisy-like flowers are pretty, too. The plant makes for an excellent addition to a small garden right next to the other herbs.

Basil may be used mostly as a seasoning, but the purple foliage and pink flowers make this herb a delight to the eye as well as the tongue. Easy to grow, this 1-2 foot beauty often produces white blossoms as well. There's a variety called Minette that makes a fine small bush that can fill out a garden bare spot or thrive well in a basket.

When you think of herbs, don't stop at cooking or medicine. Explore their use as colorful additions to the garden, indoors and out.

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Herbal Gardening - Ornamental Herbs
Page Updated 4:02 PM Saturday 6/28/2014