Herbs-Photo-Courtesy-Koehler-&-DrammCut herbs are at their peak outdoors in the summer and early autumn.

Make plans with your kids to visit your local flower market to learn more about herbs. You and your family will be delighted, amazed and intrigued to see the large variety available. You’ll recognize many herbs right away. They are the ones that are most often used in cooking, such as dill, coriander, mint and lavender.

Try saying the names of herbs out loud. Do you immediately taste, see, feel and smell it with pleasure? Isn’t it interesting how easy it is to recall their fragrances and textures?

What herbs do your kids like on their pizza or other food? Tell them about the plant. Bring herbs home and look up uses for them in your food. There are wonderful recipes online. For the grownups, try Mint Mojitos.

In addition to enhancing our food and beverages, herbs have other uses. One of my personal favorite ways to use herbs is cutting a few fragrant stems, placing them in a charming small vase for display beside the bed or in the bathroom, or a work desk. Did you know your florist knows how to use herbs in floral arrangements, and can create a special gift for you to send to a loved one?

Herbs — Photo Courtesy Koehler & Dramm's Institute of Floristry in Minneapolis, http://www.instituteoffloristry.com/wordpressGrowing herbs is a lot of fun. Several years ago, I planted chives. I fell for its flower and fragrance. I planted the chives outside in my rock garden, not very well protected from the freezing Minnesota winters. Every year since, it is one of the first plants in my yard that shows its lovely foliage in the spring.

There are lots of options for planting herbs. You can plant them in your vegetable and flower beds, as long as the location is sunny with well-drained soil. You can design a garden devoted entirely to herbs. You can plant herbs in containers. Your local florist or garden center can help you find the perfect variety and containers for the desired location, inside or outside, for the nonfreezing months as well as explain how to properly care for the herbs.

What is your favorite herb?

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