Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Herb of the Week - Short herbs for a border

A garden blogging friend of mine just pointed out the importance of smaller shorter plants in the edge of your landscape border.  You can read her entire blog post here.

Her post got me to thinking, in this year of garden planning (since it is snowing here again!!!) what small attractive herbal border plants do I know.

Here are a few suggestions for the herbal border (your Herbs of the WEEK!):

Chives are a cluster and clumping plant and they ere are varieties that grow less than 12 inches high.  If spread along a border they actually make a great break between larger plants and the pathway.

Lambs ear is a popular border plant.  With large show and snowy colored leaves it is a perfect border plant.  They do get taller when the flower, but that is not until late fall.

Another plant that is short and colorful is calendula.  As a border plant you can grow them closer together to get the foliage effect and once they are blooming keep them trimmed and they will bloom all season.
Here is calendula along a brick border, nice contrast
Speaking of flowers Nasturtiums make a nice cascading border and they cam be grown from seed making them an inexpensive choice if you have many linear feet.

Curly Parsley is not my favorite herb to grow for culinary reasons, but as an attractive plant, it does win some praise.  Using the bright green as a border is perfect and then at the end of the season remove it because although it is a biennial, it gets a very tall stalk the second year and will be out of place in the border.

Corsican Mint is a very low growing herb that you can use as a border, or right in the path.  Because it is a mint, you can walk on it without damage so allowing it to encroach on the path is not an issue.

Thyme is my favorite for a border plant.  I grew 17 feet of thyme plants just at the grassy edge of my first herb garden for many years.  I learned that a hard border is better near thyme, though otherwise you end up pulling blades of grass from the thyme, which is very tedious.

So think creatively about what you place along your border and use this short edge to create a great contrast to taller, leafier or just plain different plants in the main beds of your herb garden.

Seriously, I am sure we will be able to plant this year... really...

This is what the herb garden looked like last week and will again tomorrow.

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