There is no point growing a herb no matter how pretty it is if you are not going to use it. So my advice is write a list of all the herbs that you use on a regular basis and then think about which ones that you would like to use.
Some herbs are easier to grow than others, some take a long time to grow others grow quickly.
These are some of the easiest to grow:
Bay Tree: A very slow grower. Be sure you pick up a Laurus nobilis, is best for cooking with. Bay tree can become infested with scale if it gets too dry—use dishwashing detergent to wash off the leaves, then rinse them thoroughly. Laurus nobilis is frost sensitive so make sure it has no contact with the window in the winter months.
Chives: Doesn’t require as much light as some other herbs. The Grolau variety was bred for growing indoors.
Kaffir Lime Tree: Kaffir lime leaves are often used in Thai cooking. Be sure you give this plant special citrus food.
Lemongrass: A good way to cheat, because it requires no soil; you can just use a stalk you get at the shop. Make sure it has a good amount of stem and the bottom is intact; trim the top and put it in a container with a couple of inches of water. It will send out roots and new sprouts and many, many new stalks from the bottom, and you can just cut those off and use them.
Mint: Very invasive, so it needs its own pot. Peppermint is great for teas, and you’ll only need a little of it. You usually need a lot of spearmint for recipes, so it may not be worth growing in a container.
Parsley: It doesn’t need much sun, but it’s a slow grower so may not yield a whole lot. So plant a lot if you use it regularly. Try flat leaf varieties for ease of use in the kitchen.
Vietnamese Coriander: Almost identical in taste to coriander but far easier to grow with beautiful foliage. Be warned, I have killed some by frost!
Oregano: Try the Greek variety. Needs a lot of light.
Rosemary: Keep it on the dry side and look for an upright variety like Tuscan Blue or Blue Spire. It needs a very sunny window and probably supplemental light. Since you don’t need a lot of it for cooking, it’s a good herb to grow. It’s very sensitive to overwatering and if outdoors frost.
Thyme: It will likely need supplemental light when grown indoors. Look for lemon thyme, which has a unique flavour and can’t easily be purchased in shops.
Basil: It’s a favourite to cook with, but it’s a tough one to grow. Your best shot is to grow it during the warm, bright summer months. Connie Campbell suggests the Spicy Globe or African Blue variety, the latter of which is more like Thai basil and does well indoors.
Coriander: Coriander is the name for the stems and leaves of the coriander plant. It often bolts, meaning it starts growing flowers and seeds instead of leaves. A way round this is to sow coriander seeds in a shallow flat (a plastic tray), then eat them as sprouts, root and all. Let them grow to 8-10cm before picking them to keep down the cost do not use commercial seeds but buy them from a health food store and sow thickly.
Sages: is more susceptible to mildew and is very sensitive to overwatering. If you want to try it, though, go for the dwarf sage, which is more compact than regular sage. Sage once established will grow well and has to be regrown from woody cuttings every 3-4 years as they can get woody and straggly.