Herbs are often relegated to a corner of the vegetable garden or a kitchen window sill, but many edible herb plants provide unique and fragrant displays when added to flower gardens or used as landscaping features. Incorporating herbs into landscape plantings is a growing trend called “edible landscaping.” Herbs like Chives, Basil, Oregano, Dill, Parsley and Sage not only add interesting foliage and a pleasant fragrance to garden plantings, they can be harvested throughout the summer to spice up family meals. Come suppertime, cooks can wander through their gardens, snipping a leaf here and a stem there to add fresh flavor to their culinary creations.
To create an edible landscape, try adding several of these herbs to garden or foundation plantings:
- Chive (Allium) grows in thick, grass-like clumps that sport charming round-headed purple flowers. Chives will grow anywhere but thrive in well-drained soil in dependably sunny locations.
- Basil (Ocimum) produces tightly packed leaves loaded with fragrance and flavor. Grow in light, well-drained soil in full sun.
- Dill (Anethum) displays wispy yellow flowers with soft, ferny leaves on tall elegant stems. Plant in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun.
- Oregano (Oregano) produces beautiful, large-lobed leaves in a bright spring green that make it an equally beautiful choice for gardens and container plants. Oregano tolerates poor soil and thrives in full sun.
- Parsley (Parsley) grows in beautiful, tightly ruffled leaves that add delightful, soft texture to garden landscapes and wonderful textural contrast to container plantings. Easy to grow in any location but does best in fertile, well-drained soil and sun to partial shade.
- Sage (Sage) also called Gentian Sage and Verbena, is prized for its handsome, fragrant foliage. Lilac-blue flowers against dusky green leaves provide a long-lasting summer display. Plant in light, well-drained soil in sun to partial shade.