If you like growing herbs, chances are you already have a nice sage specimen or patch of mint on your property somewhere. You probably also have a little thyme plant, a bit of oregano, some parsley, a skoch of chives and a few basil plants rounding out your collection. There may be a rosemary shrub in your life -- lucky you. We herb lovers adore the classics, but there are still lots of worthy herbs that never seem to get into the popular lists for one reason or another. Let's take a look at 10 herbs that deserve a second look -- and maybe a bit of real estate to thrive in.
Unique Herbs to Add to Your Garden
1) Tea camellia - This camellia is relatively easy to grow in mild climates, and can even be cultivated as a house plant. It's the original plant grown for tea in the orient. Want green tea? Grow your own. Look for Camellia sinensis.
2) Fall crocus - You know about spring crocus, the early bloomer that sends up spring shoots when there's still snow on the ground. A fall growing variety has the remarkable distinction of producing the most expensive spice on earth: saffron. You can also grow the saffron crocus indoors.
4) Scented geranium - Those lush, large geranium flowers you love to grow every summer are just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens if not hundreds of geranium varieties, many of which produce exotic scents and delicate flowers. These little plants are easy to care for and very beguiling.
6) Valerian - If you want a good night's sleep, valerian can help. Valerian root is considered one of the best herbal sleep aids available, and it happens to be easy to grow. Although the root is considered the most potent part of the plant, even the leaves can produce a relaxing tea. Other sleep inducing herbs that can be grown in the shade include lemon balm and chamomile.
10) Stevia - Yes, you can grow your own sweetener in the garden, and it doesn't take a lot of space to do it. Once you have a few thriving plants, create a syrup to use in beverages and recipes. It's fun to do.
Camellia - By Pancrat (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa
Saffron crocus - By Photographer: User:Velela (File:Safrron stigmas crocus sativa.JPG) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Soapwort - By Karelj (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f8/Saponaria_officinalis_Prague_2011_3.jpg
Scented geranium - By Captain-tucker (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3APelargonium_quercifolium_'Fair_Ellen'_in_NH.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d5/Pelargonium_quercifolium_%27Fair_Ellen%27_in_NH.jpg
Evening Primrose - By Dr. Thomas G. Barnes, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/66/Evening_primrose_%281%29.jpg http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AEvening_primrose_(1).jpg
Valerian - By Christian Hummert (Ixitixel) (eigenes Foro) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Valeriana_officinalis_%28Flower%29_2.jpg
Ginger - By Venkatx5 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/Ginger_Plant_vs.jpg http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AGinger_Plant_vs.jpg
Bay leaf - By Gary Houston Ghouston 16:40, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC) (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f7/20050515-007-laurus-nobilis.jpg http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3A20050515-007-laurus-nobilis.jpg
Stevia - jpg By Gabriela F. Ruellan (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0f/Stevia_rebaudiana_%28potted_plant%29.jpg