Grow these uncommon herb varieties in your garden to save money and infuse your cooking with unique flavor.

If you love cooking with interesting herbs but can't always find new ones to try, how about growing herbs at home? Here are a few tips and ideas that might just might make you an herb garden convert.

Growing Herbs At Home

Even if you're not into gardening, there are ways to grow herbs that isn't a big commitment. With a little bit of garden soil and the right growing conditions, you can be harvesting herbs at every meal.

Raised Beds

If you have a yard, big or small, a raised bed can be your low-maintenance herb farm. During the growing season, most herbs need full sun, so if you have a portable elevated garden, you can move it to a spot in your yard that gets the most sun.

Container Gardens

If you don't have a yard, but have some outdoor space, container gardens let you garden without the commitment of a full garden.

Kitchen Herb Garden

Herbs are pretty easy to grow indoors. You can make them as big or as small as your space allows–all you're doing is growing herbs in pots (but you can use repurposed containers like coffee cans if you want). Check out our Ultimate Guide to Growing Herbs Indoors for step-by-step instructions.

Unique Herbs To Try

Rosemary, sage and thyme can add loads of flavor to any dish, but there are a few uncommon herb varieties to try to infuse your cooking with unique flavor. You may not find some perennial herbs, such as beautiful purple basil, licorice-flavored chervil or herbal-cinnamon shiso, at your local supermarket, so they're worth growing in your garden. Not only that, but having an herb garden only costs about $30 a year, so it might save you a few bucks and you'll gain flavor with new herbs. Here are a few you might like:

Purple Basil Toss purple basil with salad greens to add color and a taste that's milder than regular sweet basil.

Chervil Chervil goes well with fish and eggs; it's heat-sensitive, so add it toward the end of cooking.

Shiso Chop shiso with scallions and stir it into rice.

March/April 2010