Jacque Tucker: Designing with herbs

Author
Jacque Tucker,
Publish Date
Sun, 19 Mar 2017, 12:31PM

Jacque Tucker: Designing with herbs

Author
Jacque Tucker,
Publish Date
Sun, 19 Mar 2017, 12:31PM

We normally confine our herbs to little raised beds near the kitchen or vege patch, or in pots, but why not integrate them into your garden? Lots of herbs make great garden plants as well.

  • For structure, rosemary makes a great edible hedge for screening, or you can keep it low and clipped in place of box. 'Tuscan Blue' is a good cultivar for hedging. Even the flowers are edible.

  • Bay trees (Laurus nobilis) are great as topiaried standards, or you can grow them as a hedge for screening - just watch for suckers. They can be grown as larger trees too.

  • One of the best in the garden border - sage (Salvia officinalis). It becomes a beautiful mound of grey green edible foliage, but my favourite is 'Purpurea' - it is gorgeous! Variegated salvias include 'Tri-colour' and 'Golden'.

  • Chives work really well as an edging plant (dead head them after flowering), and curly parsley makes a really good border as well.

  • Thyme is an excellent low growing groundcover for a warm sunny spot with good drainage. Looks, smells and tastes great and the bees love it. 

  • Bronze fennel can grow to over a metre with purply ferny foliage, looks amazing next to pink and apricot roses.

  • Oregano has pretty purple flowers and purply stems, grows to around knee height.

  • Chervil also known as French parsley, has gorgeous ferny foliage and a delicate taste.

  • In terms of shade, most herbs like a bit of sun, but mint, coriander, chervil, chives, lemon balm, parsley and angelica will all tolerate a bit of shade.

  • And mint? Lots to choose from (pineapple mint is really pretty!) but keep it in a pot! Keep your mint well watered to avoid rust.

  • Lavender - you can't eat them all, but Lavender angustifolia 'Rosea', 'Hidcote' and 'Egerton Blue' can all be used in cooking.