Design your box to fit your style
Gaps are good for allowing air circulation behind your window box.
It’s fun to come up with themes for my herb garden boxes. Some of my favorites are included here, but play around with combinations that suit your own cooking style. As I become interested in different cuisines and periodically renew the plantings, I redesign my boxes to suit my current culinary interests.
My Provençal garden is the biggest. It’s not a window box in the traditional sense; rather the plants are set into a large box that rests directly on the ground under a low-set window. Mediterranean herbs grow well here in northern California, and I use them often in the kitchen. On a warm southern exposure, I grow my version of the herbes de Provence mix: thyme, winter savory, rosemary, sage, lavender, and sweet marjoram.
Nearby, I have some bronze fennel in a large pot, and a half-barrel holds a bay laurel. During the warmer months, I grow summer savory in a corner of the box, and tuck in a few annual flowers. In addition, I have added to my Provençal pot a number of the flavored thymes I enjoy cooking with—lemon, lime, oregano thyme, and ‘Orange Balsam’. This last, with its resinous orange-peel flavor, is particularly well suited to Provençal cooking.
Italian herbs are in a box on an east-facing window. Although oregano, sweet marjoram, rosemary, and sage are happiest in a southern exposure, they still grow well with only a half day of sun, and the basils, leaf celery, and parsley appreciate the afternoon shade. The various colored sages—golden, purple, and tricolor—are wonderful for creating some contrast. A fennel plant or a bay laurel in a large pot nearby is appropriate to this plant grouping.