Edible-plant gardening is a doubly exciting venture.

We all know that food tastes best when it can be consumed soon after harvest. By growing edible plants in your windowsill, you take advantage of the fresh harvest at your finger tips.

Herb gardening is a rewarding and useful experience.

Consider experimenting with plant varieties not available in your local grocery store. Varieties such as basil, coriander, dill, oregano, chives, thyme, mint, marjoram and parsley all thrive in sunny, indoor locations. Not only do herb plants produce opulent supply, but they also smell wonderful and add interest to cuisine.

Seed companies, such as Burpee Seeds, offer mixed organic-seed combination packs. The organic mesclun classic salad mix includes an interesting combination of arugula, cress, endive, radicchio, lettuce salad bowl, lettuce oak leaf and lettuce red-salad bowl.

The various colours and textures look terrific together.

Children love to grow what they can eat and take great pride in contributing to the family dinner table. Allow children to watch the germination process in interesting plants such as mustard and cress. The unfolding of an embryo is a delight for young eyes.

Indoor salad and herb gardens perform best in sunny locations when temperatures are kept cool and soil is evenly moist. Edible plants like to be eaten; the more you consume, the more the plant will produce.

Edible flower collections are another great way to add interest to your daily cuisine. Flower varieties such as nasturtium, borage, marigold, and bergamont look amazing on a summer day among a leafy green salad and with a cool glass of chardonnay.

The elegantly shaped leaves of Lemon verbena or Aloysia triphylla have a strong lemon fragrance which is delightful when infused in ice creams and sorbets.

Certain varieties of pelargonium plants, such as Pelargonium graveolems, P. ordoratissimum or P. Attar of Roses, add beautiful flavour to cuisine (remove just before eating).

Tisanes are made by infusing leaves in a sugar and water solution for 15 minutes and then used to flavour sorbets.

Grown for pure pleasure, edible-plant gardening allows you to harvest your own crop while adding a special flavour to meals. This spring, try planting an edible garden in your windowsill. The fresh flavours and aromas are sure to bring delight to your family table.