There are some great reasons getting older is a good thing.

There are some great reasons getting older is a good thing.

We have so much knowledge now after all these years we feel like we have to share it all the time with the younger generation.

We don't have to get up in the middle of the night to feed or change the baby (but we might have to get up to go to the bathroom.)

We even appreciate the little things in life a lot more.

I don't know about you, but one of the downsides of getting older is my stomach can't take all the yummy, greasy food like pizza, hot wings and tacos like it used to. But in order to remedy that, I've learned to love herbs and what they can do to jazz up anything.

Herbs, classified as "useful plants" number in the hundreds, but I've narrowed my list of favorites down to 10. All of my favs need to be in full sun at least five or six hours a day and planted in rich, loose soil. All do very well in containers (except dill) but make sure to keep them watered as their great flavor comes from the oils in their leaves; if the leaves dry out, so does the flavor.

And unless you want mint instead of a lawn, please plant those in containers always.

Bee's Top 10

Basil: couldn't eat bruschetta without it! Or pizza or pasta or anything Italian, for that matter. Freezes beautifully in zip-lock bags. Try using purple basil to flavor and color vinegars.

Cilantro: mixed with tomatoes, onions, peppers and anything tastes fresher and better. Serve cold with tortilla chips or warm it up and top fresh, grilled fish for a quick, elegant dinner. Hint of citrus flavor.

Greek oregano: the best, true, peppery oregano flavor. Takes plain old chicken broth to a whole new level for a new spin on Grandma's Chicken Noodle Soup. Also great with pasta and potatoes.

Chives: make your taste buds jump for joy next time you heat up frozen veggies. They are the first to green up in the garden each year. A great herb to use instead of onions to avoid heartburn.

Apple mint: makes plain old water taste like you're drinking it at a sunny poolside. Add a handful of leaves to one part lemonade/one part apple juice and you've got a refreshing summer drink.

Rosemary: want to feel like you're in Tuscany? Add a little rosemary to send you on your way. Don't use the woody stems.

Dill: distinct flavor and really makes bland fish perk up, especially paired with lemon balm. Try it with eggs or just egg whites if you're watching your cholesterol.

English thyme: beef roast with potatoes and carrots and thyme great Sunday dinner! Warm, pungent flavor.

Italian flat-leaf parsley: strong, fresh flavor perks up boring salads in a snap. Add at the last minute to hot dishes to retain the most flavor. Also use on sandwiches instead of lettuce.

Spearmint: think Mojitos! Mmm! Also zing up a salad by adding some chopped mint.

Just because these are my favorites does not mean they are your favorites. Gardening is an experiment and that includes growing and cooking with herbs.

I know some people that say cilantro tastes like soap bubbles to them, but I just couldn't have fish tacos without it. Plant your favorites, but add one you've never tried before. It might not replace a greasy burger and fries, but quite possibly, you'll learn to love it even more.

Bee and her husband, Brian, own and run Fisher's Gardens in Olde Reynoldsburg. Stop in soon and share your herbal experiences with Bee any time. She loves to talk plants and food.

Bee Fisher Kocher