Combine Herbs with Flowers for a Fresh Look this Fall!

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Combine Herbs with Flowers for a Fresh Look this Fall!

Violas, cyclamen, chrysanthemums and ornamental kale are mainstays of fall container gardens. But what if you’re looking for a different, more unique look this fall?

Why not tuck in a few herbs—especially ones you can use in your Thanksgiving feast!—to add a little spice to traditional fall flower pots?

If you take a look at the herb section of your garden center, you’ll notice that herbs available for purchase are a lot more interesting looking than you may have remembered. Sure you can still get traditional silver-leafed sage, for example, but now it’s also common to find variegated varieties too. Same thing with thyme, and variegated thyme is usually a lemon-scented variety, which is a nice bonus.

The great thing about variegated sages and thymes is that they pick up the yellows, rusts, and deep, warm, reds in traditional fall flowers (not to mention the leaves on surrounding trees!) beautifully. As foliage plants, they also provide a long period of interest—as opposed to flowering plants that are often only pretty when they’re in bloom.

In the container pictured above, I placed a yellow and rust colored mum in the back of the pot, and flanked it on either side with a variegated sage. Then I planted two coral-pink calibrachoas that will grow over the sides of the pot and continue to bloom until the first hard frost. In the center, I placed the lemon-scented variegated thyme, which will also trail over the side of the pot a bit.

By Thanksgiving I’ll have plenty of sage and thyme, in addition to having had months of beautiful flowers.

Don’t fancy chrysanthemums? Substitute with hellebores, heleniums, or calendulas. There are other herbs that work well for fall too, like rosemary. Look for the upright form to add height, or choose the trailing variety to soften the edge of your pot. There is even variegated rosemary ('Silver Spires')! Chervil and oregano do well in cooler weather too. And surprise, surprise, there are unusual varieties of oregano for sale these days, like variegated and lime green forms.

With such beautiful herbs available at garden centers, it’s a no brainer to use them in your containers as they provide both beauty and are useful too.