English Cottage Gardening – Herbs Of The Mint Family

Herbs of the Mint family are a beautiful and useful addition to any cottage garden. They include such favorites as basil, mint, rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, hyssop, thyme, lavender, and lemon balm.

Basil flowers

Basil flowers



Originally, cottage gardens were grown for household use, not for beauty alone. Herbs were used as medicine, as flavoring for food, and to freshen the air in the damp, musty lodgings.



The concept of a separate herb garden, isolated from other flowering plants, would have been inconceivable to an early cottage gardener. Herbs and vegetables were grown side by side with roses and foxgloves, both of which also had household uses.

Bee on Lavender

Bee on Lavender

As you can see from these pictures, herbs can be as beautiful as purely decorative plantings. They are also very attractive to bees and butterflies.



I try to incorporate as many as I can into my overall garden design.

11 thoughts on “English Cottage Gardening – Herbs Of The Mint Family

  1. Lovely post and, thinking of plants that bees swarm all over in my garden, it reminded me that another blogger recently complained about my recommendations on eradicating dandelions (with labour, not chemicals!) on the grounds that bees feed from them. I definitely feel that with all of the things I plant that they seem to be crazy about, I am more than making up for the loss of pesky dandelions. Your views???

    • Beekeepers love dandelions because they are among the first sources of nectar and pollen to appear in the Spring. When
      dandelions appear, beekeepers know their bees won’t starve. The end of winter/early spring is the trickiest time for the hive.
      Be sure you have a lot of early forage sources such as trees, bulbs, etc. That’s what’s most important.

  2. solarbeez says:

    I’ve got dozens if not hundreds of bumblebees on my Echium, Salvia, Wallflowers. I’m not sure where my honeybees are going, but it’s a sure thing they are not displacing the bumbles.
    I saw honeybees on a distant neighbor’s Red Thyme. That’s a low growing kind of Thyme and the bees were all over it. Blackberries are just now coming into bloom. That’s Oregon’s real nectar flow crop. Hope to get some good pix of that.
    Your bee on lavender looks nice and sharp. The only way I can get stills are freezing a frame of video. How do you get yours?

  3. MisBehaved Woman says:

    Reblogged this on MisBehaved Woman.

  4. incaunipocrit says:

    Reblogged this on Playground.

  5. […] English Cottage Gardening – Herbs Of The Mint Family (romancingthebee.com) […]

  6. Karen says:

    I always enjoy stopping by for a visit…I don’t know why but you are still not showing up in my reader. I catching up on what I have missed. 🙂

  7. thefolia says:

    I love the idea of everyone embracing an herb garden. In fact, if we would simply replace all lawns with herbs what a wonderful world it would be! Happy Nesting!

  8. […] English Cottage Gardening – Herbs Of The Mint Family (romancingthebee.com) […]

  9. mwfinchwren says:

    How lovely! Thank you for sharing!

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