It is my humble opinion that everyone should make room for a herb garden - whether it’s a couple of pots on a windowsill or a full on knot garden. A touch of fresh herbs can elevate a dish or a drink to something really special, and their fragrance and texture do the same to floral arrangements. Of course, there are countless different herbs and varities, but these are my favourite 5…
Mint is probably better know for being a culinary herb but don't think that just because it tastes delicious that it's not useful in arrangements! There are countless varieties in all colours and sizes, we have some that gets to 8" tall and some to the same height as me. The fresh fragrance makes it ideal for bouquets and the flowers, while not always showy, give beautiful texture.
A word of caution, mint will spread everywhere - it is a total thug and so is best contained withing a pot or raised bed. We grow ours in 2' long rectangular planters. It is ridiculously easy to grow from cuttings too - just snip a small length of stem, strip off the lower leaves and leave in clean water for a few days until the roots start to grow and you can pot it up.
Maybe a slightly surprising one as most people only see marjoram (or oregano) in supermarket pots, but get a proper plant in the herb garden and it will reward you with long slender stems topped with beautiful flowers - deep red buds opening into tiny, pale lilac flowers.
It’s brilliant as a cut flower and I love to use it in burgundy or purple colour schemes.
Obviously lavender had to make this list. Delicate flowers that the bees love, perfect for little pops of fragrance to calm a nervous bride, ideal for buttonholes. You can't beat it! I prefer English lavender for its smaller flowers and grow it in a south facing boarder with excellent drainage. It's wonderful dried too for confetti, herbal teas and homeware.
Let fennel grow beyond its feathery tops and you'll soon see tall, branching stems of lime green and bright yellow umbellifers that last really well as a cut and can provide much needed height for larger arrangements. They smell gorgeous and dry beautifully too.
This is my absolute favourite herb for using in floral design and I just can't grow it quick enough. The variety 'Miss Jessops's Upright is my favourite for its vertical habit, although the creeping varieties can be great for draping designs too. It's perfect for bouquets, wreaths and cake decorations and being evergreen is the only one on this list still around for Christmas, so I put it in everything!
Honourable mention to Bay too - I'm not currently growing it but if you have the space it's a brilliant addition and great for winter designs when that dark green really makes the pale winter flowers pop. The lollipop bays are beautiful and perfect for occasionally culinary use, but for useful cutting stems, grow a shrub and keep it pruned!
I’d love to hear your favourite herbs for the cutting garden, especially any of the more unusual ones I may not have heard of yet - leave a comment and let me know!