Identifying herbs growing in your garden is a matter of familiarizing yourself with the characteristics of their foliage. Leaf size, color and plant height all can help you tell one herb from another. Once you learn to associate certain aromas with an herb, you will be able to identify them by their scent.
Identification by Features
Get to know the different herbs by the way they look when growing. For instance, whereas rosemary can grow into a large bush, oregano and sage will stay closer to the ground, although they may spread out. Parsley looks much like it does as a garnish, whereas basil and thyme are not as noticeable in their fresh form. Some herbs like sage and oregano have furry leaves while basil and thyme are smooth.
Identification by Aroma
If you already know the scent of a particular herb, using your nose to determine what herb is what in a garden will work wonderfully. If you must, break off a small portion of the plant to imbibe its fullest aroma. Dill, chives, mint and basil are all relatively common scents. However, once you know rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme, you will always be able to identify them.
Learning to identify herbs in a garden is important, especially if you want to cook with their fresh varieties.