Mother Earth Living

Designing Your Garden with Herb Vignettes

You can check out the Lemon Verbena Lady at her blog

The summer is almost over and the herb garden has been in its prime, but I’m already thinking about next year’s herb garden. You should be as well. I must admit for the most part, I am an herb plunker or plant plunker. Here is a section of our back garden. 

This is our multichromatic herbal backyard garden.
Photo by Nancy Heraud

I took a color class when I studied for my horticulture certificate and I remember the teacher saying it was harder to design a multichromatic garden than any other garden. You see a lot of different flowers, textures and colors in the first photo. Even though I may be a plunker, if you are overwhelmed by the whole picture, pare it down to a small herbal vignette.

Anise hyssop, ‘Berggarten’ sage, ‘Moonshine’ yarrow and rue in a small herbal vignette.
Photo by Nancy Heraud

In the second photo, you can see the anise hyssop on the left and the ‘Berggarten’ sage, ‘Moonshine’ yarrow and rue. You could do multiples of each of those herbs to make a big statement.  I decided to add red-flowered sage, black-eyed Susan, which was an existing plant and pink-flowered bee balm. In the big picture, I think it is an herbal combination that works.

My fellow blogger, Patsy Bell Hobson, showed us a beautiful variegated sage called ‘La Crema’ in her post last week. I thought I might have the same plant that has thrived in my garden for the past two seasons. I have discovered that I have a variegated ‘Berggarten’ sage, similar but not the same as ‘La Crema’. I would say that the leaves are as oversized as they are in a regular ‘Berggarten’ sage.

You may also lose the focus of your herbal design when aggressive herbs crowd out the real herbal stars of the show. My variegated sage was being crowded out by my pineapple mint, comfrey and lamb’s ear.

Aggressive herbs are trying to take over my herbal stars!
Photo by Nancy Heraud

Here is a cleaned up version of the small herbal vignette.

‘Berggarten’ sage, broadleafed thyme and creeping thyme shine in an herbal vignette.
Photo by Nancy Heraud

I love herbs because of their sizes, textures and colors. This is the variegated ‘Berggarten’ sage, a broadleafed thyme and a small creeping thyme. Hopefully when you start with a few herbs in small herbal vignettes in your existing design, you will not be overwhelmed by the herbal design process.   

If you have herb questions, please feel free to leave me a comment or e-mail me at Talk to you soon.

  • Published on Aug 30, 2010
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