One of the great things about spices is that you can grow them yourself with relative ease. And then you will always have fresh spices to use in your cooking. Herb gardens are a delicious way to enjoy your food more and to enjoy the fulfillment that comes from growing plants. Studies have shown that gardening and growing plants actually helps people become more relaxed and enjoy their leisure time. Plants can also help reduce mental fatigue. And, when you grow herbs and spices, you have attractive plants around that do not cost very much money.
Herbs can be grown either outdoors or in. Some people plant herbs as part of their groundcover and flower gardens. This means that they have an attractive landscape that is also useful for cooking. Additionally, when spices like lavender and chamomile are planted as groundcover, a heavenly smell permeates the landscape. Other attractive looking herbs that work well as groundcover include different varieties of thyme, Lippia dulcis (an Aztec herb that adds a sweet and different flavor), and some mints. Oregano has lovely flowers, but after two or three years, it might be too tall for ground cover.
Spices can also be planted in containers and window boxes. If you are worried about the more profuse herbs spreading and taking over a landscape, you can contain them and watch them flourish, even so. Many people like to grow rosemary, parsley and many of the herbs listed above in window boxes and small containers set outside as part of a container garden. You can even add cute touches by using pots, baskets, decorated tin cans, and even old shoes as containers. Most herbs can be successfully grown this way. And once you get them growing, you can have an almost continuous harvest as you can pick what you need, as you need it. Keep them in ceramic or plastic pots, and you can easily move them inside when the weather becomes cold.
Finally, it is possible to herb garden inside. Most spices can grow as long as you have them in a sunny place. You can grow them in pots or in other containers. They can add an attractive look and smell to the house, even during the winter. As long as their location receives ample light from the sun (a window that faces in a southeasterly direction is ideal, especially in winter), your indoor herb garden will flourish. This is great because it allows you to have fresh herbs for your cooking year round.
Many people also find it rewarding to dry some of their own spices. You can preserve spices for some cooking projects and other uses by drying them yourself. It is possible to find the procedure for drying herbs, as well as helpful appliances, by looking online or at your local library.
Growing your own spices by having an herb garden can be a rewarding experience. You know that there are no chemical additives, and you have fresh spices for your food, which always tastes better anyway.
For more information on spices and their various uses visit Spice Uses