Container herb advice needed for 2007

Greetings to everyone in rec.gardens.edible,
I am hoping that you can help me with some buying advice for kitchen herbs for 2007.
I wrote to my local nursery and got given a list of herbs, but most of the other questions I raised were not addressed.
Here's a copy of the information I gave to the Nursery and the herbs they recommended...
=================== NURSERY RECOMMENDATION : Bay Tree, Chives, Thyme, Oregano, Mint, Rosemary, Parsley, Sage and Lemon Savoury
=================== Firstly let me give you some background about myself - I am a relatively inexperienced Container Gardener living in Edinburgh, United Kingdom - I have managed to grow Basil indoors in small window-ledge pots. I have managed to grow patio tomatoes outside in containers this year for the first time. I have had limited success with indoor pots of Parsley and Coriander (probably due to lack of light - they went leggy).
I am looking to grow between 4 and 8 different herbs outdoors in containers for use in the kitchen next year instead of some of my tomatoes since I have found the local kids too interested in the tomato plants.
I am hoping to use the herbs both dried and fresh. I tend to use "Mixed Herbs" and Bay leaves in the winter in soups and casseroles (though not actually vegetarian, we tend to eat very little meat - something that can stave off the "What? Parsnips again?" syndrome of winter soups would be appreciated).
I should mention that I have a good Food Dehydrator - one of the thermostatically controlled ones with trays - drying herbs as and when they are at their peak is no problem.
Now, about where I can put these pots (I have some 14" terracotta pots and a couple of deeper 16" pots available for larger plants such as Bay) - there is a west facing sunny wall which gets sun from noon to evening which is where I put the tomatoes. This wall tends to get a fair bit of wind, but not too much. A small windbreak is not out of the question. We have a south facing wall which gets the sun from morning to mid-afternoon, but this wall is in direct view of the street and also gets substantial wind. There are a few shadier spots too. The west facing wall is my preferred spot.
As for local predators... there are the usual insects of course, aphids and little sap-sucking things... but we have a large population of snails and slugs. A large population! There are also a few wood pigeons and squirrels, but they tend not to come too close to the house. I am guessing that soft herbs such as Basil and possibly Parsley would get chewed and sucked to nothingness within moments of being set outside. We would prefer not to spray insecticide if at all possible.
I am happy to start plants from seed if necessary - I have a covered seed tray and all the necessary small pots (I managed well with the tomato seedlings).
During the winter we have *some* space indoors for the pots - either inside the flat itself or in the communal stairwell - there is some space for one pot at the top under the skylight to overwinter. We got some hard frosts last year, so I don't know how well plants will do outdoors unassisted.
Please could you recommend a selection of herbs which would fit within these requirements. I am fairly certain we want a Bay in a container, but beyond that I am a bit lost. Something suitable for a Mixed Herbs selection plus anything you think no garden should be without. I would also need to know *when* to order these from the nursery.
================= What do you folks in r.g.e think about the pest problem... of whether to buy seeds or small plants?
Thanks in advance...
Daniel.
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Given the cool climate of Scotland, you are better off not growing basil or rosemary (or sage). I am fairly sure thyme, sorrel and mint will make it there, and they are perennial and productive. Parsley needs reseeding every year, so if you don't mind the extra work, go ahead and plant that too. Chives and oregano will make it there as well, chives may need reseeding. A few large containers should give you herbs for the whole year.
I have rosemary now (which I bring indoors for the winter), but around here the workhorse herbs are mint, sorrel, oregano, thyme, and parsley. I have sage, we are right at the northern limit of its range, and grow some basil, enough to make a jar of frozen pesto for the Fall. Thyme and oregano work well in the regular garden as a ground cover. Thyme in particular can make an attractive cover. Thyme will dislike shade but oregano adapts to some shade as well. If you can establish them as a ground cover, you can use your containers for other herbs. Sorrel and mint will take some shade. With this in mind, you can try some herbs in the ground and see if you can use the containers for other herbs.
I never use my dehydrator with herbs. Herbs for the kitchen are chopped and frozen in airtight containers (the smallest ziploc bags will do). Herbs for tea are dried on newspapers in a spare room (out of direct light) over two weeks, and then stuffed in airtight jars.
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Daniel, basil, parsley, thyme, tarragon, oregano, rosemary, and chives are the work horses in my kitchen, in more or less that order. Any vegetable sauteed with butter, shallots, parsley,and a little bread crumbs is going to be good. It's lousey with vitamins too. Chives are very durable. They are a bulb and need minimum attention from year to year,My experience with thyme and oregano/marjoram is that they tend to throw lots of dead wood. Requires some time to make presentable. Rosemary is ubiquitous as a landscaping plant in Northern California. Plant and forget. It is very useful in stews and soups.
I don't know about sorrel. I grow it but I've really never found much of a need for it except for the occasional odd Russian soup, I rarely use it but it is so damn easy to grow. (Easy to grow is pretty much a prerequisit in my yard, if a plant wants to survive:-) Speaking of easy, mint is. If you eat a lot of Middle Eastern food, mint would be a good idea. If you don't, it will just take-up space that could be put to better use. If you like Mexican cuisine, coriander (we call it cilantro) is a must.
Happy mucking about, - Bill
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (Except in the case of George Bush, who should be tried for "war crimes". Down with the Empire.)

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but we have a large population

If you have snails and slugs use snail pellets on the potting mix and don't spray anything on the herbs at all.
One plant which is not a herb but which looks herb like and which I wouldn't be without and which also fulfills the criteria of "not parsnips" is Salad Burnett - looks great in a pot and will grow well with herbs. I'd also grow coriander because it's always so lousy when bought and Italian Parsley (because it doesn't catch in the throat like ordinary parsley) and basil and mint. That gives a range of non-meat based dishes to use them in (pesto, Lebanese mint/burghal salad, Thai stir fries and the Salad Burnett in more normal salads.
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