Let us start off with lavender. Not only is lavender a beautiful plant, but it is well known to have a soothing quality. Use it in bath water or make a nice sachet with it. A lavender scented sachet can be slipped inside your pillowcase to soothe you to sleep or you can place it in a closet or a dresser drawer to scent your clothing.
Two plants that help soothe sunburn and insect bites are the aloe vera plant and hens-and-chicks. Keep in mind that the aloe vera plant must be brought indoors during cold weather. Aloe is soothing for severe sunburns and help subside the itch of mosquito bites and can also be used as a facial lotion. Hens-and-chicks, also known as houseleek, is a beautiful plant. They are very hardy plants. The salve inside the leaves is good for minor sunburns and helps with itchy bug bites as well.
A sage bush is a must in any garden. It will continue to grow many years and can get quite large. Dry the sage leaves and make a strong tea. Soaking strips of cloth in this tea can soothe a sunburn. A bit of sage burned in an ashtray makes a great air freshener. Sage is great added to sausage and stuffing as well as your bath water.
Peppermint and spearmint, as well as basil can all deter some insects. The mints can be dried and used to make natural teas that help ease away stress. Mint can be used as an air freshener and also a flavoring in candies and cooking. Mint is very fragrant but calming. Basil has very dark green foliage. A beautiful plant that can get quite large, but has to be replanted each year. Dry the leaves and store to use in cooking.
Calendula is a beautiful flower. Usually blooms several medium to large flower heads per plant and will continue to bloom for several months. The petals can be dried and used in bath water to soothe dry and irritated skin.
Another old standby in an ornamental garden is chamomile. Dried flowers from the plant will make an excellent tea that can be soothing for someone suffering from menstrual cramps. The dried flowers can also be used in bathing and scented sachets.
And finally, you will want to grow echinacea in your garden. Echinacea is also known as purple coneflower and has a very beautiful bloom. Echinacea is very easy to grow. The root is commonly used, but the flower head can be as well. It helps keep your immune system strong, detering colds and sinus infections. Echinacea is not recommended for long-term use.
As you watch your beautiful and useful garden grow, keep in mind to always be careful when ingesting herbs. Make sure you know and can identify each one, because some of these plants are only for topical applications. You cannot take some internally. If your on a prescibed medication, please check with your doctor before ingesting a herbal tea.
There are many other flowers, herbs and you might want to add a vegetable or two. Eggplant and zucchini have beautiful foliage and stunning blooms. Use your imagination and enjoy.