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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Photo gallery: Know your herbs

The News-Sentinel stopped out to speak with organizers of the Settlers' Herb and Perennial Sale to get a sneak peek at the varieties of herbs and to learn more about their growth patterns and common uses. 


Sweet basil is one of the most popular types of basil, but the Settlers sale also features lettuce leaf basil, red ruby basil, cinnamon basil and more.
If you have basil plants that need to be picked and you can’t use them right away, just place the basil in water and it will root. When you pick one leaf of basil, two grow back. This herb needs to be picked frequently for best results.
If you have a cat, catnip is a lot of fun for your furry friend.
Catnip is considered an ornamental herb. While it’s not seen as a culinary herb, some people like it for tea and other infusions.
Cilantro is a must for any Mexican or Asian dish.  However, some think cilantro has a soapy flavor.
Cilantro tends to grow very quickly in hot weather. You have to pick it often to keep the plant going. However, once cilantro goes to seed, you have coriander.
Fennel is very prolific. It will go to seed and spread all over the garden, which makes it a nice ornamental ground cover.
Fennel is more for a specialty garden because of its unique taste of licorice.
From lavender-infused sugar water to lavender cookies, this traditional herb can be used in various ways. It is also a natural bug repellent. While lavender is great for drinks and treats, it also can freshen up a room or linen closet. Just gather a bouquet of lavender and tie it with a string to store in linen closets or bathrooms.
You have to be very careful with mint because it spreads so easily. Many recommend putting it in a container. Mint also repels ants.
Oregano is one of your basic Italian herbs, which is good to use in homemade sauces.
If you wash and strip the leaves off the wood and chop up a few sprigs, oregano makes for a surprising flavor additive to any fresh salad.
Parsley is the original breath freshener, which is why you will see it as a garnish on dishes at restaurants.
You can keep parsley in the refrigerator in a sealed glass jar for a long time because it keeps its own humidity.
Here is prostrate rosemary, which is different than the traditional bushy rosemary. It’s great to use for topiary.
Rosemary is great to use with meats. You can even use the rosemary wood as a skewer for kabobs.
Sage is a perennial and it does get very leggy, so you need to keep using it and cutting it back.
Many people think of sage as a Thanksgiving dressing, but it has many uses. If you take a bouquet of sage and chop it finely and fold it into cream cheese, it’s a great dip for entertaining.
Thyme is great for everything from meats to cookies. Thyme is very easy to grow, and you can use it as a stepable ground cover in your yard.
The stem of thyme is very woody, so make sure when you are using it to hand strip all of the leaves off the stem.