There are so many different uses for herbs, ranging from cooking, to healing to making craft cocktails. This post (and video) offers ideas for how to successfully combine herbs in containers around six different culinary uses: Mediterranean cooking, Mexican cooking, cooking with seafood, cocktails, herbal teas, and salads.
Combining Herbs in Pots
Often people will plant herbs based on what is available to them at the garden store. Another common consideration of which herbs to combine together in pots (or the garden) is based around which herbs will grow best in sun or in partial shade.
While these are both important considerations, there is another way to think of herb combinations. This third way is based around your ultimate preferences in the kitchen.
Do you prefer cooking Mediterranean dishes or Mexican? Do you dislike cooking but love to have a craft cocktail on your balcony? Or perhaps you love herbal teas for health or instead of coffee?
Here are six of my favorite ways to combine herbs for year-round uses:
Best Herbs for Mediterranean Cooking
This type of cooking usually involves herbs that will do well in full sun and not a lot of watering. Think about the Mediterranean climate. Here are my favorite herbs that I combined in a large pot for this use:
- Greek Oregano
Best Herbs for Mexican Cooking
This type of cooking would include herbs that grow well in sun, but it also includes a few that prefer shade. If you don’t have an ideal spot (about 6 hours of sun a day, but some shade), you might want to separate these herbs into two pots.
- Cilantro (partial shade)
- Parsley (partial shade)
- Mint (partial shade)
- Mexican oregano (sun)
- Cumin (sun)
- Chile pepper plant (sun)
Best Herbs for Cooking Seafood
This theme is a bit unique. I love to cook seafood however, and often don’t have the right herbs on hand (like dill). Most of the herbs that go well with seafood dishes like partial shade. Here are the herbs I chose:
- Lemon thyme (or lemon verbena or lemon balm)
- Garlic chives
Best Herbs for a Cocktail Garden
This type of garden often includes edible flowers, which might not fit well in containers due to overcrowding. I grew the herbs in containers and the flowers in the garden area. There are many options here, but this is what I chose:
- Mint (a must have for mojitos)
- celery (bloody marys)
- Rosemary (martinis)
- Sage (fall or winter cocktails)
- Lavender (spritzers)
- Basil (A wide range)
- Borage (cucumber flavored flower)
- Calendula (vegetal flavored flower)
- Bee Balm (flower)
- Rose center geraniums (flower)
Best Herbs for a Tea Garden
Like the cocktail garden, a tea garden may have to be split up to accomodate the wide range of herbs, spices and flowers that would work well in a tea garden. Here are some of my favorites:
- lemon verbena
- Anise hyssop
- lemon balm
- Rose geranium
Best Herbs for a Salad Garden
Many, many fast-growing greens and herbs can be combined in a pot for salad gardens. I grew the lettuce, arugula and radish in the garden to provide for a larger harvest of salads. The herbs were grown in a pot on the deck. Here are my favorites:
- Lettuce (not head lettuce)
- bok choy
And there you have it. There are many other combinations of herb gardens to consider, but those are the six themes that fit my kitchen. If you prefer Indian cooking or beer-making, or sweet treats the herbs would be different combinations of course.
Check out Beginners Guide to Growing Herbs in Pots for further details!
Video on Combining Herbs Together in Pots
Just enjoy and experiment!