Self-reliance.... In a lovely little perennial herb garden
Imagine, right outside your door, a lovely little perennial herb garden for you, your family, and your neighbors to enjoy.
Once established, many herbs grow and spread easily and don't require much in the way of water and fertility. They also tend to grow densely and out-compete weeds more easily than annual plantings.
For many medicinal herbs, the only way to easily access them is by growing them yourself. Unavailable at the grocery store, and completely unavailable fresh, you simply can't replace herbs grown right outside your door. Many medicinal teas are best made from fresh leaves.
Many common herbs are in the lamiacea plant family, including basil, mint, rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, hyssop, thyme, lavender, licorice mint and perilla. When they flower, flowers in this family are structurally very attractive to a diversity of pollinators and beneficial insects. These flowers are small and shallow so the pollen and nectar are very easy for a diversity of insects to access.
Fragrance and Beauty
Herbs are beautiful and fragrant!
Tips for starting your perennial herb garden
Learn about germinating the seeds
For many herbs, germination inhibitors have not been fully bred out of the seeds and can make germination difficult. Planting a good amount of seed can help, but learning about the perfect conditions for germinating the species is best. Some herb seeds like marshmallow and sage benefit from scarification. Some seeds like catnip benefit from soaking in water. Some seeds like bee balm require cold stratification. Also, make sure you are planting in the correct temperature range for good germination.
Plant perennials in the ground, not in containers
It's tempting to plant your perennial herb garden in pots or containers, but being above ground leaves the roots exposed to deep cold in the winter. Many will not survive the winter as they would in the warmer ground.
Water transplants well, then gradually taper off
Many perennial herbs do very well on low-water once they are established. Make sure to water them well in their first year though, to get them off to the right start.
Keep leaves picked
If the leaves of a plant are the part you are using, like with sorrel, keeping the leaves picked helps the plant stay in a vegetative, pre-flowering state longer.