Herbs gardens are classified specifically varied. They are classified according to their usage and purpose. They could also be categorized according to their strength of flavors. And lastly, they could be categorized according to their timeframe of growth.
Gardens according to Herb Usage and Purpose
Culinary herbs are mainly used as seasonings or garnish for a lot of cuisines. Most of these herbs usually have strong taste, which is the intrinsic reason why they are used in cooking. Samples of this type are basil, sage, parsley, thyme, marjoram and mint.
Medicinal herbs, as the name itself suggest how these herbs are used. Samples of this type are basil – when crushed could be applied to warts; cannabis – used moderately by chemotherapy patients; turmeric – Hindi Ayuverdic traditional medicine; others that could aid digestive and circulatory problems are lemon grass, ginseng, dill and dandelion. Note that most herbs when not properly pruned, boiled or dried could be poisonous during successive huge consumption quantities.
Aromatic/Therapeutic/Repellants herbs are those with strong smells which usually cause relaxing the mind through the process aromatherapy. Most culinary herbs have strong smells, so they could easily fall unto this type. However, there are some herbs that are solely used for their smells and oil essences. Samples are lavender, chamomile, lime flowers and malvorosa, which is a popular deodorizer and mosquito repellant.
Ornamental herbs are not merely for decoration. However, their flowers and leaf color are visually stimulating; hence they could serve multiple purposes. Samples of these are varieties of mint, lavender, chicory and valerian.
Cosmetics/Dye herbs. Some medicinal herbs are used for addressing skin problems. Plus these herbs usually have strong pigments which are processed to extract dye. For example, pokeweed and plaintain could treat acne through topical application. Their oils could also be used as an ingredient in astringents. Other herbs of this type are pot/scotch marigold, Holy Basil and mint.
Sacred/Spiritual herbs. Some herbs are revered in some religions. The Holy Basil, Tulsi, is worshipped due to its healing effects for some Hindis. Christians have the myrrh, frankincense and ague root as the Three Magis’ gifts to Jesus Christ. Some herbs offer potency, virility, guidance, good luck and other spiritual gifts, like mint, basil, rosemary, parsley, mistletoe and verbena.
Gardens according to Herb Flavors
These herbs are all the same as the culinary herbs garden. But it would also be better to separate herbs with strong smell and taste so as the herbs could have optimized flavors.
Strong herbs are those with very intense flavors. Samples of this are rosemary, sage, fennel and perilla.
Accent herbs are those that have strong flavors but do not overpower the other ingredients. Anise, basil, caraway, catnip, leeks and dill are some of this herb type.
Blending herbs usually complement the strong taste of other ingredients or herbs they were put with. They are also great palate cleansers. Samples of these are borage, parsley, chervil, and coriander.
Gardens according to Herb Growth
Perennials are those that grow at all times of the year. They also bloom regularly. Samples of these are catnip, fennel, chives, comfrey, horehound and lavender.
Annuals have a life span of one year. During that year, they grow, bloom flowers and dies right after. Some varieties of basil, coriander, anise, chervil and borage are some of the annuals.
Biennials have two years to reach its fullest form. The first year is mainly about the strengthening of its roots, stretching its stems and growing leaves. Most of these need cold temperatures, like parsley, bristly ox-tongue, clary sage and caraway. Biennials are very limited.
Evergreens are very rich in foliage. They have leaves all year round and some species could survive even several decades. Samples of these are bay leaves, ombu, and the genus of bouvardia.
Note that some herbs would have characteristics that would fall on several of the categories given above. Case in point, the popular King of Herbs Basil: general varieties are annuals but some are annuals; it is mainly used for culinary purposes but also has medicinal and aromatic wonders; it has strong accent when included in dishes. The basil may be grown in a bed separated from other herbs in the garden simply because it has too many uses, so you have to designate a bigger space for them.
So if you want to create your own herbs gardens, you can choose and mix-match the abovementioned classifications. Just be sure to take note of how the roots of the herbs have respective needed spacing.
Who are they ? How to identify them ? What to cook with them ?
All the answers in this video. Culinary herbs ( aka Aromatic herbs ) are a perfect way to add flavors, tastes and freshness in a dish. I just love them.
Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, Coriander, Cilantro, Bay leaf, Chive, Mint, Tarragon, Oregano… Gotta love these cooking herbs.
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