For beauty and flavor, try these 4 colorful herbs


Nothing makes food taste better than using fresh herbs from the garden. But herbs are also some of the more ornamental edibles, especially varieties with colorful foliage. Here are some eye-catching herbs that will bring excitement to both the kitchen and the garden. Use them as annuals or perennials where hardy. All grow best in full sun and do great in pots.

Basil. Purple-leaved varieties like ‘Purple Ruffles’ or ‘Rubra’ stand out beautifully against other bright green herbs or vegetables. Usually used as an annual.

Mints. Though they can be invasive in many gardens, they can be contained in pots. Look for yellow variegated golden apple mint. (Mentha x gracilis) or white-marked pineapple mint (M. suauviolens ‘Variegata’).

Sages. Several types of this shrubby perennial have colorful leaves. Golden sage (‘Aurea’) has gray green leaves with a yellow edge. Purple or red sage (‘Purpurascens’) has purplish red new growth that matures to silvery green. ‘Tricolor’ has leaves edged in creamy white; new growth is tinged purplish pink.

Thymes. Lemon thyme (Thymus citriodorus ‘Aureus’) has small bright green leaves spotted with yellow and Silver Thyme (T. c. ‘Argenteus’) has leaves marked with silver. ‘Silver Queen’ has leaves edged with silvery white. All are compact plants that make excellent edgings.