Guest Author - Amelia Tucker
If someone were to ask me what my favorite herb is, I wouldn't know where to start. It depends on if it is for cooking: Rosemary would be the answer to that. Rosemary is a rich, heady scented herb that hold up well in winter cooking. I like to hang a bundle in my kitchen to pick from throughout all those cold months when potato and meat dishes are the norm. When I crush the needles in my hand before using, I remember how hot the summer was when the Rosemary was growing in my garden.
If I needed to choose my favorite herb for making teas, I would have to say Red Raspberry leaves. They are high in tannins and make all my teas palatable. It is easy to convince a cranky child to drink a familiar cup of warm tea if the main ingredient hides the strange herbal tastes. Red Raspberry leaves are full of micro-nutrients and are gentle for everyone's tummy. It is a versatile and useful tea ingredient.
Turning to crafts, my favorite herb would be Lavender. It is strongly scented herb that is associated with soothing and restful feelings. Lavender is a clean scent so can be made into room fresheners and drawer sachets for both men and women. It is gentle enough for a bath soak, not irritating to skin in any way. Lavender is also a simply beautiful herb. It can be tied into bouquets dried or fresh, plucked from the stem and made into a tea or added as a decorative ingredient to your potpourri.
For Landscaping, my favorite herb is Thyme. For a rock garden, a creeping Thyme would grow to cover rocks and add a natural look to any size garden. If planted in a rock walkway, Thyme will grow from the cracks and the scent will waft when someone walks over it. If there wasn't room for a creeping Thyme, planting an upright Thyme would satisfy my need to garden with herbs and yet not use a lot of space.
As far as an herb that is my favorite to grow, I would instantly think of Mint. Mints have a bad rap for escaping and running amok in your backyard. I say, go for it! Mowing is overrated to begin with and Mint is at least as pretty as grass with the secondary plus of being tasty. You can make teas, cooling washes, room freshening bouquets and reward a small child's beginning love of gardening with an easy to grow Mint plant. Mint comes in so many scents that there is sure to be one that calls to you. Mine is chocolate mint. I love its delicious scent with a surprising after note of chocolate.
As you can see, it is nearly impossible for me to pick just one herb over the others. Like children, they all hold a special place in my heart for their individuality and strengths.