Creating Your
Herbs De Provence Garden

Herbs de Provence (or in French, Herbes de Provence) is a blend of herbs used in southeastern French cooking -- thyme, rosemary, savory, and marjoram -- that makes just about everything taste wonderful.

Wouldn't it be great to grow your own?

If you use winter savory (Satureja montana), this combination of plants are all perennial and easy to care for.

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Herbs de Provence recipe

Here is a basic herbes de Provence recipe (from The Herb Gardener):

5 tablespoons dried thyme
3 tablespoons dried savory
2 tablespoon dried marjoram
5 tablespoons dried rosemary

If you prefer the American version of this herb blend, you can add lavender as well.

Oregano can be substituted for marjoram if it grows better for in your climate. Since oregano has a stronger flavor, you'll want to use half as much of it in the recipe.

Of course, the annual summer savory (Satureja hortensis) can be substituted for its perennial cousin if you prefer it.

Creating your garden

To create this special area in your yard, decide which plants you want to grow, and how large an area you want to grow them in.

None of these plants take up a huge area, and can be easily grown in large pots.
However, the more herbs you plant, the more you'll have available to use.

So think about how often you're going to use your herbs when you're planning how many to plant.

Since traditionally, these herbs were foraged in the Provence countryside, there isn't any set herbs de Provence garden design -- so you can create whatever design suits you!

A French Provincial country theme using colors of the flowers in the herb varieties you choose, country decor reminiscent of the Provence area, and so on, would be the obvious choice, but these herbs would go well in just about any garden theme.

Since these plants are all compact and can be clipped if you wish to, they can work in either a formal or an informal herb garden.

Here are some ideas:

  • A herb spiral
  • A herb knot garden
  • A herb pyramid
  • A raised bed with a clipped hedge of rosemary surrounding it
  • The same with lavender used as the hedge, left to grow naturally
  • A container garden
  • A border lining a walkway, with the plants grown in rows or interspersed
  • A small formal garden
  • A small informal garden

To harvest, clip off just the amount you need of each of your herbs for a fresh burst of flavor, or cut off larger amounts and hang upside down to dry. Harvest before the plants flower for best flavor.

Do you have a herbs de Provence garden? Please share it!

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What would you like to read about next? Here are some related pages:

Choosing perennial plants - Edible flower recipes

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