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Perennial herbs add fragrance and beauty

Fragrant lavender
Becca Badgett Images

Herbs are often used for their flowering impact in the landscape. Some have indistinct flowers but provide fragrance. Using perennial herbs in the flowerbed adds a touch of charm to the display.

Coconut Lime Echinacea

The fragrant hybrid 'Coconut-Lime' Echinacea can provide dramatic contrast when used with other shades of green or coordinating white flowering plants. Double white blooms have lime colored centers and last for much of the summer. Plants may be kept somewhat more compact by harvesting the top stems and buds before blooms emerge.

Echinacea is said to be therapeutic for a variety of ailments. Whether used for medicinal properties or just to enhance the appearance of the garden, 'Coconut Lime' is a spectacular, self-seeding perennial. It is not picky about soil, only needing good drainage and a full sun location.

These perennial specimens return in the late spring to early summer. Older plants may be propagated by dividing the roots. Starting seeds indoors works best with the use of cold stratification (chilling seeds in media for a few weeks). If deadheaded, blooms will last until autumn and often until frost arrives.

Lavender

Varieties of lavender are sub-shrubs and can offer both texture and fragrance in the garden. Rarely reaching more than two feet, these little bushes pack a powerful punch of fragrance; both when in bloom and when harvested. Harvesting is best done in the am, when fragrance is highest. Use the leaves for potpourri, a pleasant sachet or a fragrance for the bath.

For aesthetic appeal, plant lavender in masses or in combination with other sub-shrubs, such as Rosemary. Lavender performs best in a full sun location with well-drained soil.

There are unlimited choices for the lavender in your garden. French, English and Spanish lavenders are popular in the US and there is a variety for most gardening zones. Those is colder climates may grow lavender in containers and overwinter it inside.

Use fragrant, flowering herbs to add extra appeal to your gardens. Perennial herbs perform year after year!