Herbs are useful for cooking, crafting, and decorating -- boldly coming out of the garden and into your home. A separate herb garden is wonderful, but herbs can also be blended with flowers and vegetables in a kitchen or a cottage garden. You can also slip herbs in flower or shrub beds, or even into the plantings around your foundation.
Plant perennials that double as herbs in flower beds and borders. Some herbs masquerade as perennials (and vice versa) because they can be used for decorating, fragrance, or cuisine.
Harvest perennial herbs as they develop flower buds. This is the time when the fragrant and flavorful oils in the plants are at their peak of intensity, providing a gourmet experience. Because fresh herbs taste so good, even at other times of the growing season, it's perfectly acceptable to continue harvesting whenever you feel the urge. In cold climates, however, hardy perennial herbs need a break from heavy harvesting beginning 45 days before the first frost in order to prepare for winter.