Practiced herb gardeners such as Jekka McVikar—herb ally of celebrity Naked Chef Jamie Oliver—shares her take on growing great tasters that look great together: "Start by grouping colors together, but it always evolves on the ground."
Summer’s heat and extended sun times are the perfect opportunity to up the aromatic ante. Looking to lure a few butterflies and hummingbirds into your environs? Lavender and bergamot will draw them in droves, and a few snips of the sumptuous smellers are great tea ingredients. Beautiful borage has a cucumber-y taste that works well in salads and can be cooked in combination with other garden greens, with the added benefit of ratcheting up the flavor of tomatoes grown nearby. Calendula is a lovely looking grower (often called a pot marigold) that boasts a well-earned reputation as a healer—the herb can be mined to aid digestive ailments, fight fungal infections and can even be used to lighten hair.
But herbs that know their way around a kitchen are still worth plenty of soil space. Basil reigns supreme as queen of the summer herb garden gracing fish with aplomb and pairing so well with pasta you’ll be tempted to serve Italian every night.