Chocolate mint, anyone?

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When it comes to windowsill herb gardens, we love the classics. Peppermint, rosemary, and basil always make an appearance, but we're also constantly on the lookout for novel herbs to add a bit of pizzazz to our mini gardens. With that in mind, we've rounded up a few of our favorites here. Above all, these herbs are beautifully fragrant and have vibrant foliage—always a winning combination, and one you'll be happy to see greeting you in your window every morning. If you're new to herbs, read up on our beginner's guide to planting them. For more herbs to check out on your next visit to the garden shop, check out this list of easy starter herbs. As for the basics: When choosing a sill for your herbs, a sunny spot is your best bet. You'll also want to ensure that your herbs are planted in enough soil so that the roots aren't too crowded. Most of these plants need regular water, and good drainage is also essential. Happy planting!

Basil Plant
Credit: Neustockimages/Getty Images

Blackcurrant Sage

Salvia microphylla
This evergreen shrub is a member of the mint family and grows well in containers. Blackcurrant sage is drought and heat tolerant and produces flowers in hues of pink and white as it re-blooms throughout the summer. Its fragrant leaves, which smell of blackcurrants, are edible.

Chocolate Mint

Mentha x piperita 'Chocolate'
If you have a sweet tooth, you'll love the fragrance of this showy mint plant. Chocolate mint has dark-hued green leaves and it's a vigorous grower, so planting indoors in a pot is the safest way to keep it corralled. Rub the leaves, and you'll find they smell like a minty chocolate treat.

Lemon Verbena

Aloysia citrodora
The pointed leaves of lemon verbena have a strong lemony fragrance. Once planted, it requires well-drained soil and full or part sun. It grows quickly during the summer, so as quickly as you harvest its leaves, it will replenish its aromatic edible foliage, which has numerous uses in the kitchen.  

Orange Mint

Mentha × piperita citrata
This beautifully fragrant herb requires, like most mints, lots of water and full sun. Orange mint can grow leggy and long, so regular picking and pruning is important. Careful maintenance will help your mint grow bushy and leafy. It's also easy to take cuttings and share with friends—they'll love this gorgeous, bright green plant. (Try a sprig in this recipe for an aperol and orange-mint spritz.)

Lemongrass

Cymbopogon citratus
An easy-to-grow herb with a sharp, grassy floral fragrance reminiscent of lemons, lemongrass is a sunny addition to windowsill gardens. It grows best in well-drained soil and full sun. It also grows quickly so, in the right conditions, it will quickly fill its container. (It's also useful in many recipes, including this crawfish boil.)

Pineapple Sage

Salvia elegans
This eye-catching herb has vibrant scarlet blooms and yellow-green foliage. The leaves of pineapple sage have a sharp and fruity pineapple-like fragrance, which is where the plant gets its common name. Herbs can be crushed or chopped and used in edible applications or added whole to salads and other dishes.

What are your favorite herbs to grow in your windowsill garden? Have you planted any exciting new additions this season?