Designing A Herb Garden (Part 2) – The secret of successful herb garden design lies in care, planning and study. Think carefully about the objectives and possibilities, and don’t be afraid to experiment to get the effect you want.
Scented herbs. Consider the scent of the plants as well as their other properties. Many herbs are beautifully scented and a container or two of scented herbs will parfume the air on a summer evening, something that is most welcome if the family is sitting outside. Scented herbs include heliotrope, sweet rocket, hyssop, bergamot with its scarlet flowers, sweet cicely, and the scented geranium with sweet violets that can be planted at the front of the container to flower in spring.
Kitchen herbs. Containers of kitchen herbs can include a number of varieties of just one herb, such as mint, or herbs that appreciate the same growing conditions. Choose the varieties carefully to ensure that each container has different leaf colors and shapes to add interest. If the containers are devoted to herbs for the kitchen there are a number of possibilities.
Several varieties of one herb in one container can look very attractive: a pot of mint, for example, could include apple mint, spearmint, the larger peppermint at the back, eau de cologne or lemon mint, and Bowles’ mint – the best for new potatoes – these would provide a contrast in color and form.
Another idea would be to grow herbs from one part of the world, such as the Mediterranean. This is particularly suitable if you have a sunny open patio and can grow herbs that love the heat, such as thyme, oregano and marjoram, sage and rosemary – these herbs can all be grouped in a large container. sages in particular come in many varieties and have leaves in contrasting colors of green and purple.
herbs in hanging baskets (left), heliotrope (right)
Herbs for contrast. Use some containers for plants with grey leaves, such as lavender or the curry plant. These will look particularly effective if you position them against a dark background, remember that colors have much more effect if they are grouped together. Also take into account the shapes of leaves and plants and aim for a contrast so that the eye travels up and down.
All gardens are more effective if they have a focal point so include one brightly colored pot or some flowering herbs, such as nasturtiums. In the spring plants for year-round interest can include primroses and cowslips, plant them at eye level, and grow some evergreens for winter color and form – the sweet bay is a great favorite, or some clipped box edging.
Lavandula stoechas ‘Anouk’
Read also: Designing A Herb Garden (Part 1)