All of our herbs have been selected for their suitability to our area. Additionally, most of them are annuals unless they’re identified as perennials.
Ashwagandha, also known as “Indian Ginseng” or “winter cherry”, is a gentle, calming adaptogen that has been highly esteemed in Ayurvedic medicine for millennia. It is a shrub with green flowers that eventually transform into orange berries. Its roots provide a powerful nervine tonic that strengthens the body’s response to stress. In Sanskrit, Ashwa means "horse" and gandha "sweat" or "smell of perspiration,” implying that the ashwagandha herb builds stallion-like strength. This, in turn, increases energy levels, improves sleep as well as cognitive function. It has been found to have anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antioxidant, immunomodulary and hemopoietic properties. New research has shown its ability to protect the brain against damage. Roots can be harvested within the first or second year and prepared by carefully digging up, washing, cutting into small pieces and placing in the sun to dry. It is typically integrated into the diet as a powder, tincture, tea or capsule. Sow in full sun to partial shade; avoid overwatering. Ashwagandha is native to hot and arid climates but does well in North American gardens if started early indoors. Prefers neutral to slightly alkaline soils.
Uses: Medicinal, Culinary
Agastache, also called hyssop, is very easy to grow! Once established, this rugged sun-loving perennial herb blooms its head off throughout the summer, even during periods of heat and drought. Its colorful, nectar-rich flowers are also a favorite with hummingbirds and butterflies. Provide good drainage as they do not like wet feed and won’t thrive in damp, heavy clay soil.
Can be grown for insects, salads, tea or simply for an ornamental.
Uses: Culinary, Beverage, Aromatic
The most popular culinary basil loved for its large leaves and sweet, mildly spicy flavor! Sweet, large-leaf variety sourced from Genoa area of Italy, the pesto capital of the world! Great culinary variety as it does not bolt as quickly as other types. It also retains its flavor well as it ages. Perfect for pesto salads, and any dish calling for a large leaved basil. Basil is a warm weather annual that thrives in well drained fertile soil in a full or partially shady location where it will get 6-8 hours of sun per day. Basil grows best when it is guaranteed adequate drainage which is why they do best in pots or raised beds. In order to encourage a more branched and bushy plant, prune to just above the second set of leaves after they have produced their first 6 leaves and keep pruning back to their first set when each branch reaches 6-8 leaves. Continue to pinch buds and harvest leaves regularly to encourage new leaf growth. Harvest in the morning when leaves contain the highest concentration of aromatic oils.
Spectacular basil from Germany. Has lush green foliage topped by red-purple flowers in late summer and a strong tall upright growth habit. Its sweet and spicy flavor and aroma will surprise and delight, and we would not be surprised if this basil becomes the new must-have basil among top chefs and home gourmets. Gardeners and commercial growers will love it too as it is tolerant of disease and cold and is reported to yield up to 7 tons of fresh herb per acre. Ht. 24in.
(Krishna tulsi) The true sacred basil grown in houses, gardens and near temples all over India. Mildly intoxicating clove-scented leaves are used in salads and other cold dishes. Attractive purple leaf form of sacred basil. This purple-leaf form is widely grown throughout India.
Note that much of what is sold as ‘sacred’ or ‘holy’ basil is actually spice basil listed separately.
This Roman chamomile cultivar is an old variety grown commercially in England for tea and medicinal use. Prolific and self-seeding, double chamomile is conventional and easy to grow. White flowers are fragrant and should be harvested as they open for the freshest brews, creams, and extracts. Creeping, mat forming growth habit which makes it a good lawn replacement and border option. Water sparingly as it prefers hot dry sunny areas.
Ht. 5in. Perennial (hardy in zones 5-8)
Flat leaved variety from Japan. Irresistible combination of garlic and chives. Has become popular wherever regular chives are used. Showy white flowers. Perennial (hardy in zones 3-9)
(Bible leaf) The sweet-scented leaves may be used for tea or in herb pillows. Fresh leaves, picked before flowering, used in salads, sauces, soups and in cold drinks where a little goes a long way. Perennial (hardy in zones 4-9)
(Red-veined dock; Bloodwort) A British native with rosettes of striking light green leaves marked with bright maroon-colored veins. Very interesting new salad green! Young leaves are used like spinach, fresh in salads or blanched a few seconds in boiling water. Has been used medicinally for cancer and for various blood diseases.
Perennial (hardy in zones 4-9)
Tibetan gojiberry, (Hei guo gou qi) A promising superfood! A little-known species of gojiberry with amazing health potential. The black berries are very rich in oligomeric proanthocyanins (OPCs), a class of compounds that is thought to give red wine, grape seeds and blueberries their powerful antioxidant effects. They are also rich in vitamins A, C and E. And what is highly unusual for fruits, they are rich in essential fatty acids. This combination of protective, healing and nutritive constituents helps explain the many benefits of this plant. It is traditionally used to treat diabetes, anemia, heart disease, impotency, abnormal menstruation, menopause and problems of the liver and kidneys. It reduces cholesterol, helps regulate blood pressure, and improves circulation. It also improves vision problems and dizziness. In Kashmir it is used to treat blindness in camels. Studies have shown that black gojiberry protects against radiation and may help reduce the side-effects of radiation therapy. As well, the berries boost the immune system and help prevent or slow the growth of cancer. Black gojiberry is a spiny shrub found in dry areas from Turkey and Armenia to Tibet and northwestern China. Based on its natural range we believe it is hardy to at least zones 4 to 7. It does well in dry, well-drained soils, and requires full sun.
(Night-scented jasmine; Queen of the night) Shrub, spectacular for its intensely fragrant creamy-white flowers which emit waves of perfume at night. The fragrance has been described variously as “resembling orange blossoms” and “sweet musk mingled with heliotrope.” Will bloom repeatedly throughout the year if well-fed and watered. Can reach 8ft in height if not pruned back.
Leaves add strong, spicy flavor to soups, sauces, stuffings, stews. Rubbing with fresh leaves before roasting improves all strong meats. Adds special flavor to sausages and meatloaf. A must in German potato soup. Use plant tops to dye wool in shades of yellow, orange, brown and gray.
Cheers to you! A big bold lime-scented mint for your next margarita. This hybrid is a beauty, with lots of physical definition as breeder Jim Westerfield put it. And so it does, with perfectly shaped, grooved leaves, and a hint of dark bronze at the tips at times. This mint means fun. Does not spread by underground rhizomes like most mints, but it still gets around by above ground runners. Perennial (hardy in zones 5-9)
Cuba’s famed mojito cocktail, once a daily favorite of Ernest Hemingway, has enjoyed a meteoric resurgence in popularity ever since James Bond drank one in the movie Die Another Day. The mojito, made with rum, sugar, lime juice and Cuba’s unique mojito mint, is now an essential staple of cocktail lounges everywhere. While recipes call for any available variety of spearmint, the real mojito can only be made with the true mojito mint. This mint was impossible to get in North America but thanks to Toronto mojito enthusiast Catherine Nasmith who visited Cuba in 2006 we now have the authentic plant from Cuba. It is clearly different from most other mints -- its scent and flavor are agreeably mild and warm, not pungent nor overly sweet like other mints. In a perhaps typically Cuban understated way its warm embrace lingers until you realize you want more. Like all mints it is easy to grow and will happily provide more than enough fresh sprigs for your mojitos. Salud! Perennial (hardy in zones 5-9)
With its attractive dark green leaves splashed with creamy white, this plant is the picture of cool tranquility in the summer garden. A beautiful mint for container gardens, the glossy green and white foliage will revert to green unless green-only branches are quickly removed. Its strong peppermint aroma makes it pleasant to brush against as you pass, or to sit beside on the patio. Garnish your cup of coffee with one or two leaves for a refreshing change. Variegated mint is very hardy, thrives in moist soil and is a lovely addition to any garden where it can receive full or part sun. To keep mint’s overly friendly tendencies in check in the mixed border, be sure to contain it in a large pot or bottomless bucket sunk into the ground. Perennial (hardy in zones 4-9)
Hardy U.S. native. Leaves possess a wonderful menthol fragrance; may be used just like peppermint. Excellent bee plant. Perennial (hardy in zones 4-6)
‘Kaliteri’ means ‘the best’ in Greek, an apt nickname for this terrific oregano that first came to us without a name. Specially selected for its high oil content, this strain is grown commercially in Greece for the high-quality oregano market. Spicy, silver-gray foliage.
This is the true oregano collected wild in the mountains of Greece. White flowers; very hardy. Excellent flavor Perennial (hardy in zones 5-11+)
Our favorite type because flavor is extra rich. Adds true European character to soups and stews. Dark green, glossy leaves, strong flavor. Taller, has larger leaves than standard strain. Very popular.
One of the definitive perfumes of the Orient and of India in particular. Widely used in perfumes and soaps, and even to perfume India ink. Leaves are excellent in potpourris and sachets. Easy to grow.
A culinary staple, as its sweet resinous flavor is welcomed in savory meats and baking. The standard variety has an upright, bushy growth, woody stems, and sticky aromatic evergreen leaves, rich in oils smelling of pine and sea. Rosemary is said to be beneficial for memory when used medicinally. It has also been researched for its role in reducing obesity, hyperglycemia, and cardiovascular disease. The oils have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-microbial properties and can even be used to repel bugs! Rosemary should be pruned often to promote regeneration. Multiple shoots of new growth stem from trimmed stems. Pruning shapes young plants, and over time supplies an abundance of fresh yield for cooking or processing. Ht. 3-8ft Spread 3-8ft
Make skewers for kebabs with sticks of rosemary! This palatable variety produces long straight branches that can be cut skewer length for the grill. Rosemary pairs wonderfully with meats, veggies, and even fruits like strawberry and pineapple. The savory essence of Barbeque Rosemary flavors without overpowering. You will want to add this to your garden in preparation for backyard events. Leaves are bright green, long, meaty, and less resinous than the standard variety. Plant in full sun. Neat upright growth habit. Ht. 6ft
Gorizia gets its name from well-known author and herb specialist Tom DeBaggio, who introduced the variety while in Gorizia, Italy. He describes its aroma as “gentle, sweet and a bit gingery,” though we find it has some dark pepper notes. Its growth habit is towering and upright, and it produces unusually large, wide, flat, bright green leaves. Gorizia presents pale blue blossoms by late winter into summer. Overall, Gorizia rosemary is valued by gardeners and cooks due to its robust aesthetic and harvest. Prefers dry to moderately watered, well-drained soil. Gorizia will tolerate partial shade; though for most flavor—prefers full sun. Ht. 6-8ft. Spread 4-5ft
Rex is a sturdy, upright variety and a favorite for culinary use. Its meaty, full-flavored, deep green leaves grow on pale, thick stems. Flowers are striking deep blue in color. Ht. 4ft.
Salvia collector Richard Dufresne discovered this growing in his sage garden. It turned out to be one of his best releases, dishing out an abundance of raspberry-purple color spring, summer and fall. Ht. 12-18 in.
The main culinary varieties popular with onions for poultry stuffing and for flavoring rich meats like pork or duck. Also in homemade sausage, omelets, cheese and bean dishes. Sage tea gargle is valuable for sore throat. Choice strain, similar to Holt’s Mammoth but with larger gray-blue silvery leaves and robust, low habit.
(Anise-scented sage; Guarani sage) This is the best of the sages for attracting hummingbirds. Praised for its brilliant deep blue and black flowers on 15” spikes appearing from early summer until frost. Ht. 3.5-4.5ft.
Looks and grows much like pineapple sage but has a stunning honeydew melon scent. There is nothing else like it in the world of herbs! Red flowers are edible, and they are favorite haunts of hummingbirds. Prefers filtered light but can tolerate full sun. Reaches 40-50”, but can be grown in hanging baskets.
Increasingly popular as accent and contrast plants because the green-grayish pointed lanced-shaped leaves and velvety purple flower spikes are very showy. Good cut or dried flower. Removing spent flowers or ‘deadheading’ will promote more flowering and help keep plants more upright. Aromatic leaves. Ht. 4 ft.
This is actually a type of pineapple sage but the aroma is citrusy. The plant forms dense clumps in the garden with bright scarlet flowers that appear in May or June and keep coming until the killing frosts in fall. Like other sages, it helps to relieve anxiety and can be used to brew a relaxing tea.
Important ceremonial herb among the California Indians, used for purification much like wormwood (Artemisia ludoviciana). Roots were used for afterbirth to heal and to clean the womb. Leaves were smoked, taken as a tea, or used in sweat lodges to cure colds.
(Summer thyme) Narrow leaves, distinctly grayer and sweeter than English. Preferred by the French. Needs some winter protection. Perennial (hardy in zones 4-9)
Zaatar is staple culinary herb in the Middle East. It gives life to hummus, flatbreads, yogurts, dips, and soups. Often mixed with olive oil, it is brushed over traditional flatbreads. The flavor is reminiscent of thyme, oregano and marjoram. Each region has its own version of zaatar: In some areas it is a blend of herbs and spices while in others it is just one herb from among several varieties depending on the region. Our zaatar is from the mountains of northern Israel where it is popular among both Arab and Jewish populations. The aroma is truly divine and revered for carvacrol-rich oils, a powerful antiseptic. Aromatic leaves can be dried and used for potpourri. Prefers sandy, well-draining soil in full sun. Cold hardy. Ht. 16in