As cold weather curtails our gardening activities, many of us are busy thinking of new plants to add to our landscapes when the days get warm again. Why not try adding an herb bed next year or tucking some ornamental herbs among your other plants?

Herbs have seasoned our foods and been used – and misused – for medicinal purposes since ancient times. Today many gardeners simply enjoy their beauty and appreciate their hardiness. Here’s a starter list of some herbs that withstand our summer heat and drought, as well as our variable winters.

  • Scented geraniums – rose, apple, lemon, lime and others – are loved for their foliage and blossoms as well as for their interesting fragrance.
  • Chives are a nice small upright plant; onion chives have lovely purple flowers and garlic chives have white flowers.
  • Marjoram and oregano are hardy little green fillers.
  • Tansy is a vigorous space filler; fern-leaf tansy is a feathery, tropical-looking accent.
  • Lemon grass is closely related to Pampas grass but at 2-1/2 feet is a more manageable size
  • Rosemary and ‘Powis Castle’ Artemesia add the softness of gray to the garden.
  • Creeping thymes do well between stepping-stones and in rock gardens.
  • One of many beautiful sages, pineapple sage grows to 2 feet and has bright red flowers.

Rosemary Moyers, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Posted in Herbs