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Arbor Gate's Picks
of the Month

Herb Companions For Bulbs

December 9, 2016 Back to Picks >

Although I�m a confirmed herb gardener, I confess to also having a weakness for flowering bulbs. Perhaps it comes from my childhood when I discovered the magic of those stalks emerging in spring and bursting into a riot of color throughout my mother�s garden. Whatever the reason, I�ve never been without bulbs � daffodils, hyacinths, amaryllis � in my herb garden. And why not? They�re a perfect accompaniment to several low growing herbs. Stalks from the bulbs emerge easily through the herb foliage in the spring. Then when the leaves and stems yellow and die, the herbs are still there providing beauty in your garden. Here�s a quartet of herbs for you to plant with your flowering bulbs.

  • Pennyroyal (Mentha pulejium) � Pennyroyal is a creeping mint with small glossy leaves and a slightly medicinal scent. Not winter hardy in areas with hard freezes.
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) � This is the perfect plant for ground cover in any garden. It needs regular watering during its first year but can withstand drought conditions once established. Regular pruning in spring and fall maintains the plant�s health as it reduces the amount of less productive old wood.
  • Corsican Mint (Mentha requienii) � If you have a shady area, Corsican mint is one for you to grow. It�s a prostrate mint with tiny leaves and equally tiny lavender flowers. One author describes it as �a fragrant version of baby�s tears.� Not winter hardy above Zone 8.
  • Winter Savory (Satureja montana) � This is the perfect herb for soup lovers. It will grow reliably anywhere you plant bulbs. It produces tiny white to lilac flowers in late summer. Look for a new prostrate variety recently introduced.