Whether you realize it or not, herb gardening is quite an American tradition. The Native Americans taught early settlers how to use herbs. Herbs were used as remedies for illness, food flavoring and fabric dyes. The use of perennials and herbs in the landscape has become increasingly popular.
There are three basic herb types. Annuals like basil bloom in one season and die. Biennials like parsley and dill live for two growing seasons and only bloom the second year. Perennial herbs overwinter and come back each spring. Examples are sage, oregano and rosemary.
There are a number of public herb gardens in the Southeast where you can get ideas on herb growing. Three good herb gardens are the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill, the Birmingham Botanical Garden in Birmingham, Ala., and Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga. We have a small herb garden at the Pitt County Arboretum at the Pitt County Agricultural Center, 403 Government Circle. The Wilson Botanical Gardens at the Wilson Agricultural Center, 1806 S.W. Goldsboro St., Wilson, has a much larger herb garden and is well worth the short trip if you are interested in growing herbs.
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