Whether you say “Herb” like your Uncle Herb or “Erb” like a fancy pants, an herb plant (or twenty) can be a welcome addition to your garden. They’re the triple threat: beautiful, fragrant and tasty.
Herbs have the power to transform your stroll through your garden, reaching out to you with their fresh, delightful aroma, whether you brush by them or you pick a leaf and rub it between your finger and thumb.
You simply can’t be in a bad frame of mind when you breathe in the heady fragrance of a basil leaf. Or the soothing purple calm of lavender. So how do you go about planting a fragrant garden, and with which herbs?
Most herbs release their scents when they are brushed against or touched.
Keep this in mind when you’re deciding where to place your fragrant herb garden. Keeping plants close to a walking path or near a doorway would definitely be a good idea.
Find the herbs that smell best to you.
Oh, so many from which to choose! And while most herbs are scented, they may not all be your favorite scent, so be sure to do a “sniff test” and choose the ones you love.
By the way, the herbs you’ll usually find in fragrance gardens are mint, lavender, rosemary, lemon balm and basil.
Other popular herbs chosen for their fragrance?
Outside of the favorites listed above, try some of these…
- Catnip: It has a nice scent, but be aware that the neighborhood kitties may like it just as much as (maybe more than) you do.
- Chamomile: Both the flowers and the foliage of Chamomile smell lovely in the garden.
- Feverfew: It’s the leaves of Feverfew that make the difference here.
- Scented Geraniums: Unlike their cousins, known simply as geraniums, scented geraniums don’t flower as often or as beautifully, but their extraordinary scents make them one of the best plants for the fragrant herbal garden! And the variety? Whew! Different scents include apple, apricot, cinnamon, ginger, lemon, nutmeg, orange, strawberry, rose, and peppermint… Just to name a few.
Full sun and well-drained soil is good for most.
Lots of herbs (such as rosemary, basil and oregano) come from the Mediterranean, so do best with lots of sunlight and drier conditions. Others, including thyme, sage and borage need a cooler, damper place in which to thrive.
Be sure to know what your herbs need before you plant them, whether that’s in a raised bed, a shrub or flower border, in pots, or window boxes.
Get nosey in the garden.
So plan your fragrant herb garden, use your nose and choose your herbs, plant in the appropriate places, and then enjoy the feeling of walking out to pick the fresh mint leaves for your lemonade. Or the aromatic basil for your pesto. Or Chamomile for your tea, rosemary sprigs as beautiful shishkabob skewers, and small bouquets of lavender throughout your home. It’s all possible with a most wonderful, fragrant herb garden.
Come sniff the herbs we have at Reston Farm Garden Market and get started!