Though many of the herbs you use in the kitchen are green and leafy, others bloom with beautiful flowers during certain parts of the year. Flowering herbs are nature's double-duty plants: Not only are they lovely to incorporate into your garden, but many also have a variety of uses in cooking, aromatherapy and more. If you're interested in dedicating part of your garden to flowering herbs this year, take a look at some of the top candidates:
Unlike the sweet basil you may already be growing in your garden, Thai basil is a little spicier, smells like licorice and boasts gorgeous dark purple or reddish purple blooms during the spring and summer (sweet basil also flowers – you may have noticed small white blossoms on yours). Thai basil leaves are use often in – you guessed it – Thai food. If you use your Thai basil for cooking, you may want to pinch away some of the earlier flowers to allow the plant to grow more leaves.
Lavender is one of the most commonly used herbs, since it's used for aromatherapy, medicines, cooking, and even in cut bouquets. Lavender blooms during midsummer, growing the small and pretty purplish-blue blossoms that are so recognizable (both by sight and by their unique, sweet scent).
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Starting in summer and throughout fall, feverfew blooms with delicate-looking yet hardy white and yellow blossoms. The flowers are actually somewhat similar to daises in appearance, though much smaller. Feverfew isn't only nice to look at, though – it actually has several medicinal uses. Feverfew is most commonly used to treat migraines and headaches.
If you don't already grow rosemary yourself, you may not have known that the popular cooking herb blooms during the early summer. Rosemary is often used to season chicken, and the plant's flowers are delicate looking and most often either white or soft purple in color. If you're adding this herb to your garden, start with seedlings instead of seeds for the best results.
Catmint is a less common herb because it doesn't have very many purposes other than being beautiful in gardens and cut arrangements. However, as the name suggests, cats love this beautiful flowering herb, so you may have some feline visitors if you start growing it. Expect rustic-looking purple blossoms that grow in cone-shaped clusters when your catmint blooms during the summer.