Chives have a gorgeous ball-shaped flower that’s bright purple. Both the leaves and flowers are edible and can be used in dishes such as eggs royale, hearty soups and frittata as well as flavouring creamy cheeses and butter.
In borders, “if the [chive] flowers aren’t picked they will run to seed and you’ll have clumps of chives popping up everywhere,” said mindful gardening coach, Kendall Marie Platt. Free food!
You can start them from seed, or find pots of chives in some supermarkets. Supermarket pots of rosemary and thyme will transplant into fresh compost well and carry on growing if you don’t harvest too much until they are established. They like a dry sunny spot, nothing too soggy, but are fairly unfussy otherwise. There are different sorts of rosemary and more of thyme – from golden or woolly-leaved to trailing and creeping varieties with pink, white and purple flowers – if you want to seek them out from a garden centre. Just check that it’s an edible variety.
These herbs are perennial and easy to grow, so a great starting point. Other unfussy herbs such as mint, lovage, sage, oregano and marjarom all have beautiful foliage and can be used in borders, too, even if they have less dramatic flowers.