Herbs do double duty when paired with long-blooming flowers. The right herbs will enrich flower beds with texture, color, fragrance and plenty of fine flavors to use in the kitchen.
Plus, they attract pollinators and other wildlife to your garden. Herbs can be used to fill empty spaces and tucked into the garden as accents. They are a great choice for walkways or groundcovers because they perfume the air when brushed by passers-by. Herbs add color and fragrance to cut flower arrangements, too.
Pairing Flowers and Herbs in the Garden:
- Fill open spaces: Look for open spots among perennial flowers where you can slip in long-lived chives, which bloom pink in spring. Chives pair especially well with candytuft, dianthus and most spring-flowering bulbs.
- Incorporate colors and textures: Choose annual herbs grown for their flavorful foliage. Feathery dill, fennel and bronze fennel make an airy background or accent. Echo colors by planting bold red basil with soft pink petunias.
- Create vibrant edible edging: Work with herbs that have fragrant foliage such as thyme, sage or winter savory. Intersperse dwarf parsley with pansies or sweet alyssum. When the weather warms in summer, replace these cool-season plants with perimeter planting of neat globe-type basil.
- Instant makeover: Slip in containers of half-hardy rosemary, lavender, sage or tarragon among your favorite flowers. Transplant purchased plants to roomy plastic pots that have plenty of drainage holes, and bury them up to the rim among flowers or other herbs. You can change the look of the bed by simply rearranging the pots.
Read the label before using products on mixed beds. Many products intended for use on flowers should not be used with edibles.