3 groups of herbs


It helps to understand the different requirements for some of the different herb types to get the most from them. We’ve divided them into three groups here that will make it easy for you to care for your herbs – you can plant herbs from each group together and care for them in the same way.

Full Sun, Rich Soil

Choose a sunny, sheltered site for these herbs. They love warmth, and basil in particular will thank you for giving it a really warm place in the garden. They will all do brilliantly grown in pots and containers filled with rich compost. If growing in soil, dig in plenty of compost before planting for best results. None of these do brilliantly during dry spells, so do keep them well watered in drought-like conditions.

  • Mint & Lemon Balm
  • Marjoram & Oregano
  • Chives
  • Basil
  • Tarragon
  • Feverfew
  • Lovage

Full Sun, Light Soil, Excellent Drainage

These herbs do better in a less rich, slightly lighter soil with good drainage so that their roots are not sitting in waterlogged soil on rainy days. They tend to do well on a south-facing slope, where there is plenty of sunshine and water runs off easily during wetter spells. If you don’t have a slope, you might choose to grow them on a bank. If growing in the soil on flat areas, try digging in a little grit to aid drainage if you have heavy soil. If growing in pots, you can still use a compost, but put some crocks in the bottom of the pots before you fill them and make sure the pots are raised so that water drains more easily.

  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme,
  • Lavender

Partial Shade, Rich Soil

These are herbs that we find tend to bolt during warmer, drier spells during the summer, so we like to grow them in parts of the garden that receive a little shade during the day to try and keep them leafy for longer. Growing them in pots filled with compost works really well, or in beds with lots of organic matter dug in.

  • Parsley
  • Coriander
  • Chervil
  • Fernleaf Dill