Herb Gardens – Try planting a selection of tasty herbs valued as much for their ornamental appeal as their flavour and your garden will look almost too good to eat! From sage to thyme, rosemary to clipped bay and flowering chives, combine herbs valued for their ornamental beauty to produce long-lasting displays as well as regular pickings for the kitchen.
Creating Herb Gardens
There are no hard and fast rules about creating herb gardens, but successful designs often define the space using brick pavers, dividing-up the area with small paths to provide easy access for picking. Go for an informal mix or choose a formal pattern or cartwheel design. As a centrepiece plant a large, shrubby herb such as rosemary or sage, a formally clipped bay tree, or a potted herb arrangement.
In small spaces herbs can be grown in pots, either planting them individually and grouping pots together into displays or creating bold combinations in larger containers. As many herbs have Mediterranean origins they relish a site in full sun where they can bake during summer. Soil must be free-draining too, as wet and waterlogged ground will lead to root damage, and for pots choose a free-draining loam-based compost.
A wonderful assortment of herb plants are available at garden centres now, so buy your favourites to create your own culinary herb gardens. Many herbs can be raised from seed too, so buy packets as well as plants.
Four hardy herbs for pots or borders
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Chives – both regular onion flavoured and Garlic Chives.
Thyme (Thymus varieties)
Include AGM winners like golden thyme (Thymus ‘Aureus’), ‘Silver Queen’, ‘Pink Chintz’, lemon scented ‘Bertram Anderson’.
Top tips for successful herb gardens
Regularly picking some herbs, like basil, encourages side shoots to form, keeping plants bushy and productive.
Pick and dry the leaves of herbs like thyme, sage, bay and many others to store and use when cooking.
Coriander has a habit of bolting or running to seed, but enjoy their flowers as they’ll encourage beneficial insects, like hoverflies, into your garden.
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is the trade association for the UK garden industry. It helps its members to flourish by representing, promoting and developing the garden industry through their key values; collaboration, innovation, influence and integrity.
Its key roles include: provision of advice-based services such as business improvement schemes, briefings and helplines; training, conferences and events for members; market information and research; promotions such as the National Garden Gift Voucher scheme; and working closely with government and the media to influence policy and projects.
Plant of the Moment
Month by month this new promotional plant calendar will highlight planting ideas as well as plants at their best to help customers create gardens that are full of colour and interest throughout the year.
The HTA worked with gardening consultant and journalist Adam Pasco to produce this themed calendar which was also agreed upon by UK growers and retailers.
Each month will feature reliable and trustworthy plants that are guaranteed to perform well in almost any garden, including many that have received the RHS ‘Award of Garden Merit’.
Retailers are encouraged to use ‘Plant or the Moment’ to attract customers back into their centres month on month and ultimately sell more plants! The calendar can be used to create vibrant plant displays with great looking plant combinations and planting recipes to inspire customers.