Make an Edible Garden Border
Make the most of a sunny path with an edging of good-looking herbs and veggies
Line a garden path with herbs and vegetables for fragrance, color, and a delicious harvest all summer.
To unify your design, pick a color scheme. We chose chartreuse and purple for these two warm-season borders, each 2½ to 6 feet wide. (Ideas for cool-season crops here.)
Click ahead for the plants we used and tips on making a simple gravel path.
If you don't already have a path or bed to start with, you can make one in a weekend.
First, outline the path by laying down rope or garden hoses; adjust them to get the shape you want.
Dig a 3-in.-deep path channel and edge it with benderboard. Fill it with crushed gravel.
If necessary, add topsoil and compost in your planting area. Then set out your plants.
How to amend your soil
We planted mint in a large iron planter to contain its invasive roots.
Similar planters from Kinsman Company (European Classic cradle and liner from $70; 800/733-4146).
6 favorite mints
The feltlike, oblong leaves of ‘Purpurascens’ sage are violet when young, echoing eggplant hues. (They age to gray-green.) Plants grow to 3 feet tall.
How to grow sage
Japanese eggplant produces lavender blossoms and glossy purple fruit on plants reaching 3 feet tall.
How to grow eggplant
Thin, pale gold ‘Roc d’Or’ beans cover bushes that stay under 2 feet tall and produce through the season.
How to grow beans
Spicy ‘Hungarian Yellow Wax (Hot)’ peppers eventually mature to red—they can be harvested when either color.
How to grow peppers
‘Purple Ruffles’ basil has large, spicy leaves on plants that are 2 feet tall.
How to grow basil
Artichoke’s silvery arching leaves on plants 4 feet tall and wide are very dramatic. Unharvested buds (shown here) open into big, purple flowers.
Find more herbs and vegetables to plant at the Sunset Plant Finder, and get tips on planting your own Edible garden.
For an alternative to an all-edibles border, mix herbs with grasses, natives, and other ornamentals suited to your climate.
Get this mixed border plan