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In a stylish square-topped clay planter, he placed four plants: an upright rosemary, rue, a silver-leafed curry plant (Helichrysum italicum) and a variety of oregano named Kent Beauty.
In a blue glazed pot, Pyle assembled a lot of curly parsley, which flopped and functioned as both filler and spiller. For height he used the feathery bronze fennel alongside a small-leafed and variegated form of basil named Pesto Perpetuo. To provide some visual punch, he added two annuals with edible blooms: Nasturtium (whose peppery leaves also spice up a salad) and a common marigold. Another group of marigolds, called Signet marigolds, have finer leaves and flowers and are well suited to the herb container.
Standard herb combo
In a green ceramic pot, Pyle selected five herbs that tolerate moisture (with adequate drainage). As a thriller, he put in a small bell pepper plant. His was unnamed, but I suggest a diminutive and fruitful sweet bell pepper named Golden Baby Belle. He added dill (variety Bouquet), which is a cool-season herb. Once it flags in the heat of early summer, you could replace it with a scented geranium. He added a red-leafed basil variety and a nasturtium from a group called Alaska, which are more heat-tolerant than other nasturtiums. He finished the ensemble with a trailing common oregano named Hot and Spicy.
Pyle likes to put dry-loving Mediterranean herbs in clay pots, which are porous and wick moisture from the soil more rapidly than other types of containers. He also adds extra drainage by placing gravel or other small stones at the base of the pot, incorporating chicken grit into the soil and topping it off with a mulch of small pebbles. You could use washed pea gravel. Pyle employs an expanded glass product named Growstone.
In this recipe, he used rue (not used much as a culinary herb, but with a lovely blue-green fine texture), a novel variety of chives named Cha-Cha, silver santolina, the English lavender Hidcote, compact with indigo blooms, and a caraway-scented thyme, noted for its caraway flavor, fine texture and rot resistance.
Perennial herb combo
This is my recipe for herbs that are winter-hardy and will give several years of service. It’s worth noting that most herbs are short-lived plants, especially in pots, and should be replaced after three years or so. Plant these in a frost-resistant container (not standard terra cotta) and remember to move the pot to a sheltered location in the winter. This will protect the pot from freeze damage and nurture the herbs. (A pot is a colder environment than a garden bed.)
I have suggested five herbs: The twist is to use rosemary as the spiller by selecting a trailing type such as Prostratus. For the thriller, use a lavender — English or French lavandin type — and fill in with hardy sweet marjoram and lemon thyme, the latter a yellow variegated thyme with citrusy oils. Finish the medley with a clump of chives.
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