Herb Liberation!

Plant herbs throughout the landscape

Nasturtium and thyme

A bee-buzzing, sun-soaked garden full of fragrant, healthful herbs and flowers (especially edible ones) is one of life’s great sensory pleasures, so release your herbs from the sequestered formal herb garden and embrace their use throughout the landscape in …



  • The mixed perennial border (Bronze fennel, lavenders, dill, sages, chives, anise hyssop, monarda, sweet cicely)
  • For long-lasting colored foliage (Perennial ‘Berggarten’ or golden sage, variegated or golden lemon thyme, self-sowing purple perilla or golden feverfew, tender purple or variegated ‘Pesto Perpetuo’ basil)
  • As a low clipped hedge or parterre (lavender, rosemary) or edging (parsley, basil, chives, nepeta)
  • Groundcover (thymes, sweet woodruff, chamomile, strawberry)
  • Mingled in the lawn (thymes, mint, pineapple weed)
  • Small shrub, tree or topiary (bay laurel, rosemary, lavender, scented geraniums, roses)
  • Between stepping stones (low thymes, Corsican mint)
  • In containers and window boxes (any combination you can imagine)
  • Companion plantings in the vegetable garden or orchard (basil and tomatoes, chives and carrots or apple trees, thyme and cabbage)
  • Deer-repelling, beneficial insect-attracting border around the vegetable garden (Mountain mint, borage, mints, chives)
  • On a sunny terrace (Mediterranean herbs: thymes, rosemary, lavender, nepetas, calamintha)
  • To hold a slope (winter savory, thymes)
  • Annual accents or blast of color (lemon grass, golden pineapple sage, Mexican mint marigold, Signet marigolds, calendula, scented geraniums, breadseed poppies, Nigella sativa, nasturtium, Ammi visnaga)
  • Make a big statement (Angelica, lovage)



…and then bring them into the house for seasoning, salad greens and pot herbs, teas, botanical cocktails, fragrance, bouquets and flower arrangements…


See Karen’s article on landscaping with herbs

Herb Liberation! handout