Herb gardens that look like old England with their geometric shapes and flowering pots in the center are great, but be prepared to maintain them often by cutting them back when they explode in size. It’s hard to keep the tight look unless you stay after it. You can cut out the brown chunks and sections that die off with uneven watering or highly varying weather conditions, but they start to look unsightly.
Try Provence lavender or Russian sage in one large sweep of plantings. Five to 10 can really be striking. The blue foliage is a great contrast to the different greens of lawns and shrubs. You can plant it and watch it grow into 3 times its size in the first year. The important thing with most herbs is don’t overwater or even water at all because they start to turn dark gray and then die off like they are too dry, but it’s that they are too wet!
If you want a variety of herbs that you actually will use in your cooking, why not just plant the ones you really will use in a pot close to the kitchen in strong sun? We are so proud of our basil, parsley, and cilantro. We are even trying mint in its own pot for when we have company and want to serve a Mohito cocktail! (I never thought I’d want to grow mint!) For veggies we have grown lettuce, spinach, cherry tomatoes, and patio tomatoes. Our neighbors have the ½ acre garden with asparagus, squash, zucchini, corn and beans. I love the donations they give us throughout the summer, but for me to maintain all that is just too much. I’d rather buy the few things I need at the Whole foods. With the little bit here and there, success is so much easier, You and your family can feel like you really have succeeded without a lot of effort.
Oh, and one more thing…be sure you remember to pick the plants you grow!