Sage, oregano, thyme and sweet alyssum herb container

Fragrant herbs container display

We show you how to plant up this tub with a selection of fragrant herbs, in this quick video.

We planted up this metal tub with a refreshing blend of aromatic herbs. When they flower, the thyme, oregano and sweet alyssum will boost the appearance of this herb container display, as well as provide for for a variety of pollinating insects.

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Learn how to plant up a herb container display and how to care for it, below.


The plants we used

Salvia ‘Purpurascens’

Purple sage, Salvia officinalis 'Purpurascens'
Purple sage, Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’

‘Purpurascens’ is an attractive purple-leaved variety of culinary sage. Young leaves are purple, fading to purple-green as they mature. Use the leaves to make fresh tea or sage butter. For an even more colourful display, use sage ‘Tricolor’.


Lemon thyme, Thymus citriodorus

Lemon thyme, Thymus citriodorus
Lemon thyme, Thymus citriodorus

As its name suggests, Thymus citriodorus is a lemon-scented thyme species with small, lavender-coloured flowers in June. You could plant lots of other thyme varieties, too. Take a look at some of our favourite thyme varieties to grow.


Sweet alyssum, Lobularia maritima

Planting sweet alyssum, Lobularia maritima
Planting sweet alyssum, Lobularia maritima

A popular choice for edging borders, we’ve used sweet alyssum in this pot for its long season of flowers that will spill over the edges of the container as it grows. The young leaves, stems and flowers can be used to add a peppery kick to salads and other dishes.


Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum

Greek oregano, Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum
Greek oregano, Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum

Greek oregano is a perennial herb with a distinctive flavour – more intense when fresh and mellowing when dried. It’s especially good added to pizzas. You could also try another edible oregano variety like ‘Compactum’ or ‘Country Cream’. Take care to not plant non-edible oregano varieties like ‘Kent Beauty’ and ‘Rosenkuppel’, if you’re after leaves to pick.


Care and maintenance

Once you’ve planted your pot, place it in a sunny area of the garden so the herbs develop the best flavours for cooking. Water the pot once a week, thoroughly soaking the compost and allowing the water to drain.

We mixed in slow-release fertiliser when planting up this container, which should provide the plants with enough nutrients for the growing season. However, if you don’t use these, feed the plants in the container with a liquid seaweed or nettle-based feed each week, from March to May, to ensure a steady supply of fresh new leaves.

Clip back the thyme after flowering and cut back the flower spikes of the oregano as they fade. Regular picking of the leaves and stems will encourage new growth.

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Planted in spring, this container will look its best until autumn when the oregano and sweet alyssum start to die back. These plants could remain in place for a few years, though the sweet alyssum will need to be replaced. After this time, all of the herbs can be potted up separately or planted in the ground.