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.

Next Up

Family Planting: Herb Border

A herb garden is a feature the whole family can enjoy.

How to Plant an Herb Bed

Forget your spice cabinet, and grow your very own herbs with this step-by-step planting guide.

How to Plant a Kitchen Herb Garden

Have some extra space in your yard or garden? Plant a fresh and simple herb garden only steps away from the kitchen.

How to Plant an Herb Container Garden

Herbs have been grown all over the world for centuries for their flavor and healthful benefits. Learn how to plant an herb container garden.

Winter Herbs

Learn what to do with your herbs when winter arrives—including tips and tricks to keep the fresh flavors growing strong.

Bold and Colorful Herbs

Experiment with color when planting herbs. A simple color scheme in a random pattern makes a dramatic statement.