No matter where I have lived, I have always had herbs growing. Even in dismal cramped apartments I found ways to have life near me. It is what the hippies would have called Earth Grounding. That you can easily touch a living plant, and feel right with the world, inside or outside. Now then, I grow all my herbs outside these days, in the ground and in pots, spread across our land. Some of these cross the line between herb and flower, but all have medicinal or culinary purposes, and all but one is bee and pollinator friendly.
Most are easily started from seed, and once in the ground can be ignored outside of watering and trimming periodically. Many herbs are animal resistant, due to the bitter essential oils in them. Now then, a really hungry deer or rabbit will eat some to the ground if the winter is harsh. But often the plants will still survive, as the roots will generate once again.
If you are looking for seeds or starts, start at Strictly Medicinal Seeds. This is all they sell – herbs, flowers and more, all for the herbal lover. Great company to do business with.
In no order…..
Stinging Nettles. You might have these growing wild if you have a damp area, such as near a pond, lake, stream or even a well head. If not, you can purchase seeds. Unlike many of the herbs here, this one does need good watering.
Rosemary. In most areas rosemary is a durable evergreen herb, with woody stems. Its purple flowers are delicate and attract so many pollinators.
Helichrysm. Also known as the curry plant, due to its unique smell. The herb has a couple varieties, some can pass for lavender due to the bushy look at first, others are more sprawling. They produce button like yellow flowers, and often bloom even in winter, in warmer years.
Red Dock. If in a good sunny area, this can actually get pretty good in size. Otherwise, it is a small plant.
Feverfew. It is the one that bees don’t care for. The flowers are about the same size as chamomile. Feverfew grows tall. Deer ignore it.
Bee Balm. It has tall spikes with purple/pink flowers. For us it comes back, in cold areas it may not. It may need bracing, so it doesn’t flop over.
Marshmallow. The one plant deer mow to the ground here. The pastel flowers attract pollinators, the roots are what the plant is grown for. Marshmallow grows quite tall, a number of feet.
Echinca. It can be harder to start from seed, but once going is a sturdy short plant to add to the herb bed.
Chives. Plant once, have a million free starts for life! The flowers are always covered in pollinators.
Sage. Hardy and outside of rabbits not much likes it. If left be, it will grow to be a strong, woody plant. The purple flowers are quite pretty and bees love them.
Lavender. The drier and rockier the soil, so much the better. There are two types of lavender. Some you can grow from seed, and it is quite easy to do. Other types, which you are more likely to see for sale as plants, are started by rootings.
White Sage. Growing by seed is extremely hard, it takes a lot of effort to get it to germinate. There are tricks, such as using fire. However, if you can find a nursery that sells starts, go this route. When it produces long runners that flower, bask in it. They produce seeds!
Thyme. The pretty, tiny flowers bloom even into winter in mild areas.
And to not forget….all the many forms of Mint, from Peppermint, Spearmint and so many others. But always grow them in a pot, as they will take over your garden in a year’s time.