There are plenty of flowering garden herbs that are pretty enough to moonlight as decorative herbs before they graduate to your dinner plate.
Can’t decide between an herb garden or a flower garden? Or, worse yet, don’t have enough room for both? Well, luckily, you don’t have to choose. The five flowering herbs listed below do double-duty: they’re beautiful to look at and great to taste too.
5 Flowers for Herb Gardens
A bulb, an herb and an onion, chives are excellent additions to both kitchen gardens and flower gardens. Not only are they pretty and tasty, their strong smell (common to all Alliums), wards off common garden pests like insects, rabbits and squirrels. In fact, chives run off most critters. Except the bees—those smart buggers love a good chive garden!
If you’re looking for another flowering herb that attracts bees, consider growing bergamot (also called bee balm, horsemint and Oswego tea). A gorgeous herb with a distinctive, exotic look, bee balm is actually more often kept as a flower than an herb, and it comes in a slew of beautiful hybrids (like candy-apple red and dusty pink).
Have you ever thought of planting geraniums in your herb garden? Probably not, but nonetheless scented geranium (Pelargonium spp.) is a garden herb that comes in over 50 fragrant (and edible!) cultivars. Peppermint, coconut, ginger, nutmeg, rose, apricot and orange are just a handful of varieties available. This flowering herb is well-suited to potpourris and haute cuisine.
What looks like Columbine but tastes like cucumber? It’s the herb you’ve never heard of: borage! Borage is a flowering herb that comes in two varieties: Borago officinalis, a hardy annual herb, and Borago laxiflora, the perennial variety. Either way, expect pretty indigo, star-like flowers that are edible and work well in teas. Borage leaves work well for salads too.
With compact spikes of aromatic purple flowers, lavender is a must-have herb for any herb garden. Not only does it look lovely, it’s versatile enough to be used as both a culinary herb and a decorative flower. Plus, the bees and butterflies love it!