Anise - Annual
Anise /ˈænɪs/, Pimpinella anisum, also called aniseed, is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. Its flavor has some similarities with liquorice, fennel, and tarragon.
Culinary Anise is sweet and very aromatic, distinguished by its characteristic flavor. The seeds, whole or ground, are used in a wide variety of regional and ethnic confectioneries, including the black jelly bean, British aniseed balls, Australian humbugs, New Zealand aniseed wheels, Italian pizzelle, German Pfeffernusse and Springerle, Austrian Anisebögen, Netherland muisjes, Norwegian knotts, New Mexican Bizcochitos, and Peruvian picarones. It is a key ingredient in Mexican atole de anís or champurrado, which is similar to hot chocolate, and it is taken as a digestive after meals in India.
Catnip - Perennial
Nepeta cataria (also known as catnip, catswort, or catmint) is a plant in the Lamiaceae family that is native to much of Asia and Europe, and is widely naturalized elsewhere. The common names can also be used to refer to the Nepeta genus as a whole.
Nepetalactone is a mosquito and fly repellent. Oil isolated from catnip by steam distillation is a repellent against insects, in particular mosquitoes, cockroaches and termites. Research suggests that in a test tube, distilled nepetalactone repels mosquitoes ten times more effectively than DEET, the active ingredient in most insect repellents, but that it is not as effective a repellent when used on the skin.
Basil - Annuals (half-hardy)
Basil, or Sweet Basil, is a common name for the culinary herb Ocimum basilicum (pronounced /ˈbæzɪl/ or, in the US, /ˈbeːzɪl/), of the family Lamiaceae (mints), sometimes, in some English-speaking countries known as Saint Joseph's WortBasil.
Basil originally from India, is a half-hardy annual plant, best known as a culinary herb prominently featured in Italian cuisine, and also plays a major role in the Northeast Asian cuisine of Taiwan and the Southeast Asian cuisines of Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Depending on the species and cultivar, the leaves may taste somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, often sweet smell.
There are many varieties of Ocimum basilicum, as well as several related species or species hybrids also called basil. The type used in Italian food is typically called sweet basil, as opposed to Thai basil (O. basilicum var. thyrsiflora), lemon basil (O. × citriodorum) and holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), which are used in Asia. While most common varieties of basil are treated as annuals, some are perennial in warm, tropical climates, including holy basil and a cultivar known as 'African Blue'.
Basil is originally native to India and other tropical regions of Asia, having been cultivated there for more than 5,000 years.
Chives - Perennial
Chives are a bulb-forming herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 10-20 inches tall. The bulbs are slender, conical, about 1 inch long and 1/4 inch broad, and grow in dense clusters from the roots. The scapes (or stems) are hollow and tubular, up to 20 inches long, and about 1 inch in diameter, with a soft texture, although, prior to the emergence of a flower, they may appear stiffer than usual. The flowers are pale purple, and star-shaped with six petals, and produced in a dense inflorescence of 10-30 together; before opening, the inflorescence is surrounded by a papery bract. The seeds are produced in a small three-valved capsule, maturing in summer. The herb flowers from April to May in the southern parts of its habitat zones and in June in the northern parts. Chives are a commonly used herb and can be found in grocery stores or grown in home gardens. In culinary use, the scapes are diced and used as an ingredient for fish, potatoes, soups, and other dishes. Chives have insect-repelling properties that can be used in gardens to control pests.