The 12th annual Herb Days plant sale, presented by the St. Louis Herb Society and the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Garden Gate Shop, kicks off the annual sale with early shopping hours on Wednesday, April 23 from 4 to 7 p.m.; special member hours on Thursday, April 24 from 9 a.m. to noon, then open to the public from noon to 5 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Choose from a wide selection of over 14,000 fresh herb plants. Browse new and hard-to-find varieties, both culinary and ornamental. More than 100 varieties of herbs including basil, mint, lavender, rosemary, thyme and sage will be available. Prices range from $2.75 to $4.50.

St. Louis Herb Society volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and give personalized advice and guidance on selecting, planting, growing and using herbs. In 2014, we celebrate Artemisia as the herb of the year.

Also available for purchase at the event will be the coveted St. Louis Herb Society Chinese Five Spice-Powder Blend, Curry Powder Blend and the newly created Herbs de Provence blend. Purchasers will receive recipes highlighting its use.

“Herbal Cookery: From the Kitchens and Gardens of the St. Louis Herb Society,” winner of the most coveted national and international awards for cookbooks, will be available for purchase in the Garden Gate Shop. “Herbal Cookery” is the winner of the 2009 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Fundraising Book, a finalist in the National “Best Books 2009” awards from USA Book News and second place winner of the 2009 Tabasco Award. The cookbook is beautifully illustrated and features recipes that use familiar and not-so-familiar herbs, such as Savory Lavender Rice with Thyme, Mint and Lavender, Sweet Basil Orange Truffles and Lemon Verbena Champagne Cocktail. Many of the herbs featured in the recipes will be available at the herb sale.

Stop by the Garden Gate Shop to pick up gardening merchandise, tools and fertilizer to start or maintain your herb garden. Herbaria will host a trunk sale of its handmade herbal soaps in the lobby throughout the sale.

The St. Louis Herb Society is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1941, “to further the use and knowledge of herbs.” Its members have planned, planted and maintained the herb garden behind historical Tower Grove House – Missouri Botanical Garden founder Henry Shaw’s home – on the grounds for more than 40 years. They tend the Herb Garden on Tuesday mornings from April through October. The organization also offers classes and a speaker’s bureau. This year, enjoy a tour of the newly renovated Herb Garden featuring massive “culinary herb pots,” a feast for both the eyes and palette. Get inspired by a Thai, Italian or Mexican-themed herb planting in a pot, designed to provide international cuisine for the entire season!

Members of the Garden who attend the Member event on Thursday, April 24 will have the opportunity to hear Anne Cori of Kitchen Conservatory speak at 11 a.m.

Herb Days is included with Garden admission of $8; St. Louis City and County residents enjoy discounted admission of $4 and free admission on Saturday morning until noon. Children ages 12 and under and Garden members are free.

Join the Garden or renew your membership during Herb Days and receive free admission for two adults and all children for every day of the event! Memberships begin at $65 ($60 for seniors) and offer 12 months of free admission for two adults and all children, plus exclusive invitations and discounts. Learn more at www.mobot.org/membership.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd. in south St. Louis, accessible from Interstate 44 at the Vandeventer exit and from Interstate 64 at the Kingshighway North and South exit. Free parking is available on site and two blocks west at the corner of Shaw and Vandeventer.

For general information, visit www.mobot.org or call (314) 577‑5100 (toll-free, 1‑800‑642‑8842). Follow the Garden on Facebook and Twitter at www.facebook.com/missouribotanicalgarden and http://twitter.com/mobotnews.