Your garden is a great place for you to grow Mediterranean herbs. Georgia’s climate is a good fit for Mediterranean herbs, like sage, oregano, and thyme. These plants love hot, dry conditions with plenty of sun, so they can thrive in Georgia’s long, hot summers–as long as you plant them in well-drained soils. This post will show you how to fit savory, fresh-smelling Mediterranean herbs into your landscape.
Why grow Mediterranean herbs?
• They’re easy to grow, requiring little maintenance or water.
• They make beautiful, evergreen ground covers.
• Herbs are highly ornamental. Imagine your sidewalk edged with pretty Mediterranean herbs in flower.
• They smell great—and deer will avoid these pungent plants.
• You get to grow your own garden-fresh spices. Just snip a few herbs to add zip to your cooking.
The best varieties of Mediterranean herbs to grow in your garden happen to be the ones you’re already familiar with: sage, thyme, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, lavender, and tarragon. Here’s how to grow them.
• The most important characteristic of your herb garden will be well-drained soil. Keep in mind that, because most of these plants are perennials, the soil must be permanently well drained.
• Locate your garden next to the kitchen, if you’re using the plants for cooking.
• Choose a site with 6 or more hours of sun per day.
• Dig out at least a 12-inch-deep area of soil.
• Amend your plot with some well-draining soil – if there is clay in the soil, remove as much as you can.
• Add into the well-draining soil some #89 stone/gravel or Permatill.
• Circle the garden with stones to reflect heat.
• Use extra #89 stone/gravel or Permatill as mulch to reflect even more heat.
• In the winter, make sure you clear snow off your herbs.
Each herb has varieties that are best for cooking and others that are best for ornamental purposes. Here’s a list:
• Oregano for cooking – Greek Oregano (Origanum heracleoticum).
Oregano for gardening – Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’.
• Thyme for cooking – English or French Thyme (Thymus vulgaris).
Thyme for gardening – Thymus × citriodorus lemon thyme – a wonderful ground cover.
• Rosemary – Zone 8 Rosmarinus officianalis – for gardens and cooking.
• Sage – Salvia officianalis – for cooking and gardening – shrubby plant.
• Lavender — Lavandula dentata (French Lavender) or Lavandula stoechas (Spanish Lavender) — better choices for the South.
• Tarragon — Artemisia dracunculus – true French tarragon.
• Marjoram — Origanum majorana.
A Mediterranean herb garden is a beautiful and functional addition to your landscape. If you live in Georgia, Suzanne at Art of Stone landscape company offers services with help planting this and for other clever landscaping ideas.