Herbs for Food and Ornamental Accents

Gardening vegetables give us summer treats of fresh grown, hand-picked produce. We may choose to enhance flavors of the produce with fresh herbs too. Herbs personalize our food.

Herbs can also be grown as ornamentation or for edible beauty in a flowerbed. Some perennial herbs for this region include chives, garlic chives, allium, oregano and sage.

Of course, we may grow other herbs that require warmer winters than this region, as annuals. An easy way is to plant annual herbs that we like, is as condiments, in small containers that may be overwintered indoors. Fennel is an example.



This “Beginners Herb Garden” grows at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum west of Minneapolis. It contains oregano, parsley, chives and basil. Plants are set apart from each other as specimen plants.

Some herbs grow faster than others, requiring more space. Some herbs, such as garlic chives, compete so well that they overrun other plants. In this garden, the basil will likely have to be removed to a container and be grown indoors or re-planted as an annual each year.


Herbs in the bed below are grown as ornamentals. Herbs were selected for contrasting foliage and variation in height to be viewed from the walk facing us. Herbs commonly require low inputs and need only moderate moisture. Herbs are seldom food favorites for animals.

This bed is also found at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum gardens. Chives, allium, oregano and sage perennials were included. The herbs could be used as food accents as long as herbicides and pesticides are limited for human consumption.


For more about herbs that grow in this region, growing tips and how to store herbs for later, see this article from the Yankton Press & Dakotan newspaper:


Is it time to add some herbs to your garden?

Thanks to our loyal “Followers” who get a notice when we post. Thanks to all readers who send us “Likes.” We are glad you visited! Hope to see you again next week at Plant Exchange.



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