If you’re in a gardening rut and are cultivating the same flowers and plants year after year, it might be time to spice things up a bit. The good news is that you don’t have to completely start over to add some excitement. It’s easy to simply incorporate some new plantings that you haven’t tried before. Here are five suggestions for adding flavor, fragrance, and zing to your plot:
1. Use herbs as borders.
Thyme, rosemary, and parsley are good choices for lining flower beds, shrubbery, or walkways. In addition to adding texture and lushness, a benefit of planting herb borders is that you’ll have handfuls of deliciousness every time you trim or cut back the plants.
2. Mint can add beauty and a bouquet of intense aroma to your garden.
Many gardeners are familiar with peppermint and spearmint, but may not know that there are pineapple, apple, and chocolate mint varieties available, too, among others. Mint can spread easily and encroach on other plants as well as cross pollinate, so you may want to grow mint plants spaced well apart or in containers.
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3. Include aromatic herbs, like lavender and lemon balm, in your garden.
As its name implies, lavender produces a purplish-pink or bluish flower that grow in a spiked shape. Lemon balm has small, white flowers. Both herbs are very fragrant and can be used for a variety of purposes. Lavender is perhaps best known in its dried form for use on bed linens or in sachets. Lemon balm can be used for teas, in salads, and for cooking, among other uses.
4. Plant chives, onions, shallots, and garlic.
Most onions can be grown from transplants, sets, or seeds. Green onions, also known as scallions or spring onions, are also fun to grow and to harvest for the table. Egyptian onions have bulbs that grow in clusters. Chive plants can be cut often and chopped for use in scrambled eggs, salads, cream cheese spreads, and as a topping on baked potatoes.
5. Try growing ginger in your home garden.
Ginger root smells wonderful and can be used in cooking, especially Asian dishes, as well as in teas. This plant can be grown in the ground or in pots, as long as you have good, well drained soil that will stay warm and frost-free while the plant grows. Ginger is often used medicinally to improve digestion or to decrease nausea.
Before planting, check with your local gardening center to see if these ideas will thrive in your zone and climate, or to find out what alternatives they’d suggest for you to try. Once you’ve tried growing some new and different plants, you may discover a renewed interest and heightened passion for gardening.