Herbs in Mixed Beds

Monocultures can be bland and lifeless, but incorporating herbs into planting schemes can bring all the parts to life with each complementing the other.

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Mix It Up

Green roofs planted with low-growing herbs or grasses can be very effective and will help merge garden buildings into other mixed plantings, such as these ornamental grasses, alliums, and Eucomis. Structural plants like Lychnis chalcedonica also help to meld the two areas.

The Allium Family

Alliums are particularly effective planted where their leaves can be harvested and flowers admired. The same family contains more ornamental forms, such as A. gigantium or A. christophii, which can be planted between clumps of purple sage (Salvia officinalis "Purpurascens"), lifting the planting.

Encouraging Insects

Planned carefully, the mixed bed becomes a major source of nectar for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. Use a range of plants that flower throughout the summer.

Making a Statement

Globe artichokes (Cynara Scolymus Group) make a wonderful statement with their large flower heads and silver spiky leaves that contrast vividly with a range of other colors.

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