‘Antares’ fennel (Foeniculum)
The first AAS award-winning fennel features a round, pure white bulb at ground level; offering a sweet, licorice/anise flavor. The ferny foliage is ornamental (24”) and enjoyed by swallowtail caterpillars. Also slow to bolt, ‘Antares’ looks great in the flower bed or in containers and is delicious in recipes.
‘Dolce Fresca’ Basil (Ocimum)
Sweet, tender leaves have immediate use in the kitchen and this compact selection (15”) is quick to recover after harvest. This variety doesn’t get tall and leggy, so it offers more usable leaf yields on a tidy and beautiful plant. Plus, the aroma is amazing.
‘Persian’ Basil (Ocimum)
This tall (24”) and bushy plant features silvery green leaves and purple stems. The leaves offer a unique flavoring and can be added to pestos, soups, salads and pizza. Although late to flower (if desired), the showy blooms of this Thai-type basil are a magnet for pollinators and are long-lasting as a cut flower.
‘Dark Opal’ Basil (Ocimum)
Stunning, dark violet-purple leaves are the trademark of this variety which many consider the darkest on the market. The leaves have a slight hint of licorice although the culinary value is still significant. This selection is frequently grown as a micro-green. Reaching 18-24”, ‘Dark Opal’ will also have gorgeous lilac flowers which are great for pollinators and in the cut flower vase.
‘Siam Queen’ Basil (Ocimum)
Prized for both culinary and ornamental value, this Thai basil features aromatic, glossy green leaves that have a hint of licorice in the flavoring. Reaching 20-24”, this basil is commonly used as a bedding plant with gorgeous maroon flowers that attract pollinators and have longevity in the cut flower arrangement. Many consider ‘Siam Queen’ to be the classic standard for Thai basils.
‘Sweet Dani’ Lemon Basil (Ocimum)
This variety is considered the best of the lemon basils with 75% more essential oils, providing an intense lemon aroma and flavor. There are numerous culinary uses for this taller basil (24”) which performs well in ornamental situations as well. If left to bloom, pollinators will appreciate access to the numerous flowers. Remove flowers if culinary use is the priority.
‘Geisha’ Chives Garlic (Allium)
This perennial herb (USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9) is a must for any culinary herb garden. The garlic-flavored foliage has many fresh uses and the sweet-scented, white flowers are attractive to pollinators. This refined selection is heat tolerant, deer and rabbit resistant and is versatile. Garlic chives can abundantly reseed.
‘Fernleaf’ Dill (Anethum)
Dill is a versatile herb with uniquely flavored seeds and foliage. This compact (24”) selection is “space-saving” and looks great tucked into a border or container. This variety is also slow to bolt (bloom) if the focus is on utilizing the foliage. However, the chartreuse flower umbels are beautiful and some species of swallowtails love nibbling on the foliage.
‘Cleopatra’ Oregano (Origanum)
The silvery-grey foliage is mildly spicy with a peppermint flavor perfect in Mediterranean dishes, soups and sauces. Preferring full sun and reaching 9” in height with a 12-18” spread, this compact selection offers a huge yield and when flowering, has value for pollinators as well. This species of oregano is hardy to Zones 9-10.