Incorporating Herbs in the Garden Part 2

Incorporating Herbs in the Garden Part 2

Part 2 of incorporating herbs in the gardens is all about oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme. These four go well together so why not post about them together?

Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

Oregano is such a great herb for the garden. It’s attractive, grows like crazy, smells great, tastes great, and is a general purpose repellant for insects! Could you really ask for more? There is very little care required to raise oregano and the more you pinch it the bushier it becomes. It likes well drained soil and full sun but aside from that there are very few requirements. You can propagate more by stem tip cuttings in water or through division. Layering also works. It’s a pernnial so you can expect many years of enjoyment!

More on Oregano:
Companion planting strategy: Good companions for just about anything. Repels cucumber beetle and cabbage moths.
How we use it: Pasta, Pizza, and Chicken

Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis)

Rosemary has to be the favorite herb in our house. We use rosemary ornamentally to highlight our front steps but we use it frequently in our cooking. We like to chop the leaves and mix them with olive oil and other herbs to make a dip for bread. It’s also great with potatoes in an herb potato dish we like to make. As an added benefit many animals don’t like its scent so I try to plant it around trees and plants I want to protect. It helps but isn’t fool proof. The little rosemary plant in the picture is from a hardwood cutting rooted in water last fall.

Companion planting strategy: Helps to deter carrot flies, bean beetles, cabbage maggots and moths.
How we use it: Herb sauces, pasta, chicken, potatoes, and landscape planting

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Sage is a new one in our garden. You would think with all the salvias I have I would have made sure I had this valuable herb but sadly I’ve been lax in my duties as a gardener! This year will be different! I purchased this sage in a peat pot with two other sage plants. Before I planted each of them in different locations I accidentally let them dry out too much which is why the one in the picture looks a little worse for wear. It will be fine though as salvias are nearly indestructible superplants! Just avoid the kryptonite fertilizers. Maybe that’s a stretch but they are very hardy and drought tolerant which makes them super to me. The flowers look pretty good too and attract beneficial insects by the dozen.

Companion planting strategy: Can deter cabbage moths, flea beetles, and carrot flies.
How we use it: Chicken and other meats.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

OK we’ve all heard the joke “You can never have enough thyme.” Which is true I suppose it’s a great plant that grows well with very few problems. There are all kinds of thyme ranging from the culinary types to the groundcovers. The groundcover thymes tend to not be good culinary herbs so as a principle if you step on it, don’t eat it! Still woolly thyme and elfin thyme are two of my favorites for their steppable properties.
Companion planting strategy: Helps to deter cabbage moths.
How we use it: To season meats, especially turkey and chicken.

If you missed Part 1 of Incorporating Herbs in the Garden feel free to take a look back!


Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 5 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. I have all of these except the oregano. Need to check into that one. I started my sage from seed, germinated very quickly.

  2. Hi Dave! We of course love and have all these, too! It’s hard to resist the variegated thymes but we find that plain old green culinary thyme come sback more reliably for us. I guess it should occur to me finally to try the variegated ones in containers and winter them in the greenhouse. D’oh!!! That’s what I do with rosemary. We love them and are growing four varieties this year, all in containers (they’re not hardy outside here over winter). Thanks for the propagation tip! We also love sage and try to have the plain culinary sage as well as the gold- and white-variegated ones in our garden. As you say, if not overwatered and fertilized, they’ll usually make it through the winter, but benefit from judicious pruning every spring to prevent legginess.

  3. I really love oregano in the garden. It works great as an edger and blooms too! This is the first year I’ve had common sage bloom. It is SO pretty! A nice blue and long lasting blooms for sure. I even very occasionally cook with it.

  4. I have lots of oregano. It really does grow wonderfully and did come back this year. I love it!

  5. I have all these herbs. My oregano seems to walk. Meaning it has moved {on it’s own} from where I planted it to the edge of the bed –that’s about 5′. Although it’s done this in the course of about 6 yrs. it still amazes me. It grows close to the ground. I brought it back from Ala. several yrs. ago.
    It doesn’t look like yours. So I may not have Oregano even tho I was told that it was. We’ll see.

  6. Hi Dave, I love using herbs in the perennial beds…it’s the only way i can have them all! I love oregano, but it’s a traveler in my sunnier beds! I use rosemary for evergreen structure and for cooking! Hope you’re enjoying the day! gail

  7. Oh Dave, you gotta start using that sage in more dishes! It is fabulous seasoning white beans (along with chicken stock, garlic and a little olive oil). There’s a simple recipe for Cannellini Fresca in the Silver Palette New Basics Cookbook.

  8. Susan,

    You’re right I do! That recipe sounds good. Now if I can just keep the rabbits away from my sage! A rabbit just ate two more of my sage seedlings today, I didn’t think they liked herbs, this one must have some refined taste buds!

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