When it comes to container gardening, herbs can give a lot of bang for the buck.

When it comes to container gardening, herbs can give a lot of bang for the buck.

Don’t think herbs are limited to just those with culinary expertise. Anyone interested in creating a lush, green atmosphere on a patio, porch or in small yard should give these garden workhorses a second look.

Here are a few reasons why herbs are good choices:

-- A green thumb isn’t required. In general, herbs are hardy, easy to grow in pots, and many types will remain lush and beautiful year round

-- Color choices include the entire green spectrum, from the palest gray-greens to mid hues, and all the way to dark and vibrant tones

-- Many bloom

-- Foliage runs the gamut from spiky and grass-like to evergreen-type stems, from lacy and fern-like to cascading and trailing and from compact mounds to large-leaf towers

-- Fragrance adds to the ambience. As people and pets move about and brush up against the plants or the breeze catches the stems, their fragrance is released into the air

-- Herbs offer variety within varieties — thyme and mint are just two that come in multiple fragrance and flavor choices

-- They look great, smell great and add that unexpected touch when used alone or with flowers as eye catching arrangements in any room in the house

-- They can be used in countless ways to create lotions, potions for beauty and the bath -- recipes abound in magazines, books and the Internet

Suggestions to get started include mint, rosemary, salad burnet, basil, parsley, dill, chives, oregano, lavender and sage.