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Aromatic herbs have always been associated with Mediterranean landscapes and gardens.
Dry and arid climates have always evolved plants with pungent smelling foliage.
This was to put off herbivores from eating what sparse vegetation there was available within the landscape.
The result was a region full of amazing herbs which have as much landscaping value as they do culinary. Mediterranean culture has always celebrated the link between the garden and the home.
In this article I will list 12 herbs which are a must have for both the Mediterranean garden and kitchen.
Lavender is probably one of the most aesthetically pleasing Mediterranean garden herbs. Not only is it famous for its striking blue, grey foliage it also has attractive beautiful flowers.
It is very common to plant lavender in drifts and rows to the front of borders. Lavender can make an effective ground cover plant and is much loved by bees.
Mint is one of the most recognised of the garden herbs. This plant is less typically used as a landscaping plant for its aggressive ability to spread.
However, mint does have very attractive foliage and flowers and works very well in pots. In Mediterranean gardens variegated mints work particularly well in pots.
Oregano is much associated with the very heart of the Mediterranean. This fantastic herb is typical of Italian and Greek cooking.
Unknown to many, there are many different types of oregano spread throughout the Med. These can very much in both appearance and aroma. As a landscaping plant they can make a tall groundcover which bees love.
It can be easy to think of herbs as only annuals or perennial plants. However this is not the case and well demonstrated by Bay which is a large shrub or small tree.
Bay trees are well known for their beautiful aroma inside soups and stews. Bay trees actually make fantastic evergreen topiary and low hedging for Mediterranean gardens.
Basil is a much loved herb and normally associated with Italian cooking. Basil is frequently enjoyed as pesto with pasta or as a garnish to freshly cooked pizza.
Contrary to common belief Basil originates from tropical regions and struggles in temperate climates. However it is perfect for growing as an annual inside pots within a Mediterranean garden.
Dill is a wonderful herb with a very distinctive aroma and commonly used with fish. However, in the Mediterranean it is also used with potatoes, pickles and yogurt dips like tzatziki.
The Greeks are also well known for using a lot of dill in savoury pies. This annual herb likes warm weather so is great for growing in pots on a sunny patio.
Not only is thyme an amazing culinary herb it is also an amazing Mediterranean garden plant. Thyme can grow to form an effective, evergreen, ground cover.
This spreading herb looks very effective growing over gravel, rocks and dry stone walls. This is a must have Mediterranean garden herb and pollinators absolutely love it.
I have to admit I have bravely put forward this North American herb to the list. Bergamot is actually a close relative of the Mint family and has wonderful, aromatic foliage.
This herb is most often favoured for its use in herbal tea. Bergamot has very tropical looking red flowers in summer which can light up patios and borders.
Parsley is a staple herb within the Mediterranean and widely used in salads and stews. This herb is best grown as an annual to encourage a fresh supply of green leaves. Parsley is surprisingly hardy and interesting foliage which looks great in the herb garden.
Rosemary is a very well known Mediterranean herb and perfect for planting in Mediterranean gardens. This evergreen shrub can actually form low lying hedges which can be clipped into various shapes. The creeping variety can also make very effective ground cover for rock and gravel gardens.
Fennel is not always to everyone’s taste with its strong, aniseed, aroma. However, Fennel is an extremely resilient and architectural Mediterranean herb.
This plant is very drought tolerant making it perfect for arid planting schemes. In summer its beautiful yellow flowers attract many species of beneficial insects which consume garden pests.
Sage is a small, aromatic shrub native to the Mediterranean region. This herb has now been cultivated into many different decorative varieties.
One of the most typical of these is purple sage which is extremely aesthetic. Sage can make a very effective groundcover plant for Mediterranean planting schemes.
Thank you for reading our article on Mediterranean garden herbs! Buckinghamshire landscape gardeners are experts in Mediterranean garden design and construction.
If you require landscaping services for dry and arid gardens why not contact us here.
Below I will link to some of our other Mediterranean garden articles you may find interesting.
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