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 themes.
The garden design themes are focused on six different culinary uses: Mediterranean cooking, Mexican cooking, cooking with seafood, herbal cocktails, herbal teas, and fresh salads.
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Which Herb Combinations Work 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:
Mediterranean Herb Combinations for Pots
A Mediterranean style of cooking usually involves herbs that will do well in full sun without a lot of watering. Think about the Mediterranean climate.
Here are my favorite Mediterranean herbs that I combined in a large pot:
- Greek Oregano
Mexican Herb Combinations for Pots
Mexican 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.
Favorite Herbs for Mexican cooking:
- Cilantro (partial shade)
- Parsley (partial shade)
- Mint (partial shade)
- Mexican oregano (sun)
- Cumin (sun)
- Chile pepper plant (sun)
Growing Herbs for Cooking Fish and Seafood
Combining herbs in pots for cooking seafood is a somewhat unique theme. 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 to Grow for a Cocktail Garden
A cocktail garden often includes edible flowers, which might not fit well in containers due to overcrowding. I grew the herbs together in one set of containers and the flowers in another set (or in the backyard 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)
Growing an Herbal Tea Garden in Pots
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.
While actual tea plants don’t grow well in all climates the herbs used in tisanes or herbal teas are easy to grow.
Here is a simple list of some of my favorite herbs to grow for herbal teas. Want to learn a little more about blending herbs for herbal teas?
Check out this informative post on some of our favorite homemade herbal blends.
- 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 that I grew specifically for salads were grown in pots 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 and cooking style.
Check out Beginners Guide to Growing Herbs in Pots for further details!
Video on Combining Herbs Together in Pots
Just enjoy and experiment!
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