Perennials are plants that you only need to plant once and will return year after year. Obviously only having to plant something once is easier than having to till the soil and plant the garden every year (although I do that as well). Another advantage to perennials is that they will often multiply and grow on their own with little to no help from the gardener. On more than on occasion I have had to take out the weedwacker because my perennial plants were doing a little too well and taking over the yard/garden.
Perennial Berries: Berries are a popular perennial plant since they tend to require little energy to maintain, are hardy, and will produce without failure year after year. Popular perennial berries include: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, and currants.
Perennial Herbs: herbs are great for planting around the garden since although they can be expensive to buy, they also tend to be easy to grow and come back year after year with little effort on the part of the home gardener. Herbs are most commonly used for adding flavor to recipes as well as making teas. Popular perennial herbs listed below.
Lavender: Lavender is most popularly used for its wonderful scent. As such, Lavender essential oil is one of (if not the most) popular essential oil. The nice thing about lavender is that it doesn’t require much water or upkeep and comes back year after year. Bees love lavender and it produces beautiful purple flowers and has a wonderful scent.
Mint: I live at a reasonably high elevation in Washington State and that makes it difficult to grow vegetables since I either need to start seeds indoors or in a greenhouse. However, I have never had any trouble growing mint. In fact, my mint plants have thrived to such an extent that I have had to get rid of quite a few of them in order to prevent them from taking over the yard, which isn’t a bad problem to have.
Oregano: Besides Lavender, Oregano is my favorite perennial herb. Oregano is a staple of every kitchen and is extensively used in Mediterranean dishes such as spaghetti sauce and soups. Oregano has also been used in teas as a folk medicine. It produces a lovely flowers that help brighten up and add character to your herb garden.
Sage: Sage has a long and storied history of being extensively used for medicinal, religious, and culinary uses. Sage also produces beautiful flowers that make it popular as an ornamental plant. Collinearly speaking, sage is primarily used to flavor meat such as chicken and turkey.
Sage was extensively used in the time of the Roman Empire and was extensively grown during the Middle Ages in monasteries. People believed that burning sage would ward off evil spirits and it was used extensively to cure various ailments. However, I can’t speak to their effectiveness in curing such ailments since the Middle Ages isn’t a time known for its advancements in medicine.
Thyme: Historically Thyme has been used as incense and was used extensively by the Greeks in baths and steam rooms. Thyme is also a popular essential oil and contains “Thymol” which is an antiseptic. Before the advent of antibiotics, Thyme essential oil was used on bandages.
Rosemary: Rosemary is extensively used in Mediterranean cuisine. It is also popularly used for barbeque meat. Rosemary is also used to make tea as well as incense, shampoo, and cleaning products.
Tarragon: Tarragon is popular in French cuisine and is most popularly used in chicken, fish and egg dishes.
Marjoram: Marjoram is an incredibly hardy plant that can grow and thrive is many different climates. It’s primarily used for its fragrance.
Lovage: The Lovage plant produces large leaves. As such, it is popularly used in salads as well as soups.
Lemon Balm: As the name would suggest the leaves of Lemon Balm produce a lemon scent. The Lemon Balm plant has pretty small white flowers. Lemon Balm is most popularly used for flavoring and in herbal teas. Lemon Balm has a calming effect when used in teas. Lemon Balm is also used when rubbed on the skin as a mosquito repellent.
Lemongrass: Lemongrass has a subtle citrus flavor and is popularly used in Asian cuisine in soups and curry dishes. It is also popularly used in African countries for teas. Lemon grass oil is used as a pesticide and has antifungal properties. It also helps attract bees. As such it’s use full for people who raise bees/depend on bees for pollination.
Chives: Chives are popularly used in Swedish cuisine. Most notably in herring dishes that are traditionally served during mid-summer celebrations. Chives were also extensively used by the Romans as well as Romanian gypsies. Traditionally Chives were hung around the home to ward off disease and evil spirits.
Catnip: Catnip is a great plant to grow around your garden since is repels insects such as aphids as well as deer. However, it also attracts cats.