By Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America
I buy herbs frequently and randomly. Recently, at the Farmers Market in Willoughby, Ohio, I found generous, flat leaf parsley pots for $1. Such a deal. Bought four. Puerto Rican oregano, $3? Bought one. Stevia, $3? Bought one. In free market style, different vendors meant different prices.
I added these to the handful of herbs I’d purchased at various nurseries and garden centers. As I find different species in different places, I have to go to many herb retailers and sales. At least, that’s how I rationalize my addiction.
I buy them from local growers as a matter of personal ethics.
Then, the moment of truth. Where to plant?
My standalone condo has a generous “yard” with a few garden plots, but they’re already planted in roses, perennials as well as purple coneflower and rudebekia run amok. And so, I pot my herbs. Each year I spend time pondering what mixtures go in the big pots? Which stand alone?
How do I arrange things to mix up the plants, colors, leaf shapes, heights, widths and pot sizes? This is serious business.
Why not go with theme pots? They are playful and fulfill my need for reason. When I let my creativity run I conjured more ideas than I have pots. Some were inspired by Middle Ridge Nursery in Madison, Ohio, and the rest were obvious to me.
Tea Garden – mint, lemon verbena, pineapple sage, bee balm, stevia
Oregano Garden – Italian, Greek and Puerto Rican oreganos and marjoram
Simon & Garfunkel – parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Cocktail Garden – mint, lemon verbena, rosemary
Pasta/Pizza Garden – oregano, basil, chives
Asian Garden – Thai basil, lemon grass, hot peppers
What combinations are you planting together? Why?