7 Must-Have Herbs for the Ultimate Culinary Garden

Imagine, for a moment, that you had a large edible garden. In the winter, it would be filled with leafy greens and earthy beets; in the summer, plump heirloom tomatoes and bright yellow and green zucchinis. Maybe there’s an avocado or a Meyer lemon tree? Perhaps a small field filled with lavender for floral lemonade? Imagine the farm-to-table dinner parties you could host! Wishful thinking?

Now that you’ve snapped back to reality and find yourself in your tiny city apartment, don’t despair. There is one type of edible garden that you can cultivate anywhere: the herb garden. Fresh herbs are an overlooked ingredient that are crucial to adding a zip of flavor in everything from grain bowls to large slabs of beef. They’re also an essential component of sauces like pesto, salads such as Caprese, and cocktails. (What would the mojito be without mint?!)

Growing your own herb garden in a large pot or windowsill planter box will even save you money in the long run. At $2 a pop, you’ll never have to buy fresh thyme or rosemary again. Plus, you’ll become a more creative home cook when you’re forced to use a surplus of chives. If we’ve convinced you that you can’t live another day without parsley sprigs sprouting on your kitchen counter, here is a list of herbs necessary for the ultimate culinary garden.