Herbs can be grown in containers for both beauty and accessibility. They are colorful and fragrant, making them a welcome addition to the front porch, and kitchen.
Place the following arrangement in a location where it can be easily reached. The herbs are as beautiful with their contrasting foliage, and commonly used in most cooking. The easier they are to pinch back, the more often they will be used.
Choose herbs that cover three design elements: Trailing or cascading, tall or focal point, and filler or the background elements. This means you arrange plants with these things in mind, choosing varieties that can fill each category, for a completed look. Keep in mind that many herbs have both upright and trailing varieties, so work with what you can find and be flexible.
Once you plant up this arrangement, try your hand at different themed container combos, including a few with both herbs and flowers. Make your garden design do double the work, and plant an edible container garden!
Oregano is a must have for any cook's garden. It's lush leaves are richly fragrant, becoming almost purple-green when the herb is at it's peak of health. Keep oregano pinched back in a slightly different way for a prostrate look. Allow a few strong stems to grow as long as you would like, pinching back any extras. This allows it to fall over the sides and soften the lines of the pot.
When Oregano goes to flower, the purple blooms are almost electric against the foliage. It truly is a beautiful herb to see.
Thyme, with its intensely fragrant leaves, goes very well with any container garden. Using it to fill in the edges of a container. Try using lemon thyme for it's pretty yellow varigated leaves, and of course, who can resist the citrus hint that it has?
Keep thyme pinched (or trimmed) back, or it will become woody with no leaves showing. If this does happen, simply buzz it off and watch fresh green growth take over.
Parsley is a lush growing herb that doesn't get enough notice in my opinion. It just keeps on growing, as long as it gets a little bit of care.
I keep mine looking full and thick, by trimming only the outer leaves for use. Don't let it become too dry, but it can take some suffering and still look great.
Grow a couple of parsley plants per pot, they will give your planter a finished look. It also attracts Swallowtail butterflies, so be cautious towards the middle and end of summer, before nibbling on a leaf without checking it for inhabitants.
Sage is not just for dressing. It can be quite a stunner, when planted as the focal point of a container herb garden. Try one of the colored varieties, for a striking choice.
Sage needs to be pinched back regularly or it will quickly become woody. I also find that if you allow it to, sage will become long and lean, and at the first bit of rain, will flop over in all directions. This can be remedied by keeping the stems neat and tidy by pruning.
Dill is one of my favorites in a container garden. I do like Fernleaf dill, as the foliage is beautiful fronds and not mostly stems with a few wispy leaves as the standard dill is.
Plant dill in the center of the pot, and try to keep it from going to flower as long as possible. I do this by cutting it back at least twice during the season. Once the other herbs start to fill out the pot, it won't seem as shocking to cut back the center planting of dill.
Rosemary is unique in a container garden, since you can easily find both the prostrate and upright variety. I like to use the trailing, prostrate type for my pots. It seems to allow the rosemary to become it's best, since the upright wants to grow beautifully and take over the entire planting.
You can of course do either one. Some gardeners who are more talented than I, keep their rosemary plants trimmed into perfect conical shapes. This would look amazing, but it's too much for my garden talent. Something to consider however.
Grow basil everywhere you can is my motto. Keeping it in a container is a wonderful way to ensure that you keep it pinched back enough. This is essential for a thick, bushy plant, as well as harvesting enough tasty leaves to make all the pesto your family can eat.
Try some striking Purple Thai Basil for a rich look. It is as tasty as regular basil, but has a spicy sweet twist to it. Once Purple Thai Basil goes to flower-you will be in for a treat. It has stunning purple blooms that will be a showstopper.