(Matricaria recutita) The cheery and aromatic flowers of chamomile are a delight for gardeners and pollinators alike. A favorite tea plant with potent calming properties, its sweet apple scent, soft feathery foliage and pretty blossoms make it an ornamental medicinal. This easy-to-grow annual herb performs best in cool conditions and should be planted in partial shade, but will also tolerate full sun. Start indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost. Surface sow seeds, gently pressing into soil; cover lightly with a fine sprinkle of soil. Keep moist until sprouts appear. Set out the transplants after last frost of spring. Plants should be spaced 8-10 inches apart. You may also direct seed after frost; just keep those little seeds gently watered until they germinate. This useful herb self sows readily. Drought-tolerant chamomile is often recommended as a companion plant in vegetable gardens, as its strong scent helps to repel insects! Harvest when blooms are fully open; the petals should be flat or blown back like a shuttlecock, for peak potency.
(Anthemis tinctoria) Perennial USDA zones 3-7. Cheerful yellow blooms atop lacy foliage. Also known as Marguerite daisy, this sunny yellow bloom is carefree and wildly attractive to pollinators, especially honeybees. An undemanding perennial native to the rocky steppes and dry grasslands of the Middle East will grow easily in dry and poor soil under full sun in your garden. Clumping plants reach 3 feet tall, blooms average 1.5 inch across. This is a fantastic traditional dye plant, yielding a gorgeous gold to yellow color for textiles and craft projects! Plants will eagerly bloom from summer to fall, deadheading will extend this beautiful show. Easily self seeds.