The Best Herbs for a Rock Wall Herb Garden

Peppermint, mentha piperita, in garden, close-up
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A solid wall makes a stunning foil for your favorite herbs. They grow well in the naturally forming pockets within the rock surface, and many herbs benefit from the added protection from bad weather that a rock wall provides. When choosing herbs, remember to choose prostrate and dwarf varieties to keep them controlled, whenever possible. 

If you are lucky enough to have a rock wall in your landscape, here are 10 herbs that grow well on (or in) a rock wall herb garden.

  • 01 of 09

    Creeping Thyme (Thymus spp.)

    Creeping thyme

    Photo courtesy of Andrea_44

    Creeping thyme comes in many scents and colors. Try combining a few varieties in the overall wall garden, for a variegated yet cohesive look.

    Thyme loves the nooks that a wall provides, making them a great filler for even the most rugged rocky location. 

  • 02 of 09

    Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

    Rosemary
    Photo courtesy of Ken Cook

    If you love rosemary, try tucking a prostrate (trailing) variety into your rock wall herb garden. Although many of us don't live in the Mediterranean environment that rosemary requires to be a perennial, with the protection that a rock wall provides, it can add at least a full zone to the range of temperatures that help rosemary survive the winter. 

  • 03 of 09

    Summer Savory (Satureja hortensis)

    Summer Savory

    Getty Images

    Savory is another herb that should be added to your rock wall herb garden. Although it is said to be hardy only to zone 6, using winter savory tucked into a wall for protection might give it the extra help it needs to live in colder zones. 

  • 04 of 09

    Sage (Salvia officinalis)

    Sage (Salvia officinalis)
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    It may be surprising to note that sage likes to grow in a rock wall garden, but not if you consider its needs: bright sun, good drainage, and plenty of room. Be sure to look for a prostrate variety or plant it on the top of, or in front of, the wall itself. 

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

    English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

    Shelly Chapman / Moment / Getty Images

    Lavender can be a fussy plant, but it is notably well-suited to rock walls. It likes full sun and not-so-fertile soil, and it particularly loves warmth, which a rock wall can provide in abundance. Plant lavender along the top of the rock wall for a stunning look. 

  • 06 of 09

    Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)

    Hyssop

    BSIP/UIG / Getty Images

    Hyssop will love being planted on top of, or in front of, a rock wall. Because it is such a stunning plant already, using the rock wall as a backdrop only highlights these lovely flowers. 

  • 07 of 09

    Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

    Chamomile flowers

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    Unlike the taller German chamomile, which is typically grown as an annual, Roman chamomile is a perennial ground cover that is hardy to zone 3. It is especially suited for a rock wall garden, where its airy growth habit is particularly attractive against a background of stone. And, if the rock wall is tall enough, it raises the chamomile up to an easy-to-harvest height.

  • 08 of 09

    Sweet Violet (Violaceae)

    Violet plant
    © A. Jeanroy

    Sweet violets, or violas, are deceivingly delicate-looking, but they will thrive on a rock wall. Tuck them into every available crevice, for spots of color. They are also sweet-smelling, a fact that is easily overlooked when they're planted at your feet. Bringing them up closer to your nose may prove to be just as delightful as their pretty color is to the eye. 

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Houseleek (Sempervivum tectorum)

    Houseleek (Sempervivum tectorum)
    emer1940 / Getty Images

    Houseleeks, also called hens and chicks, are the quintessential rock garden plants. They provide bright spots of color and can make a home in the tiniest of crevices. They are also easy to divide and are practically maintenance-free. Like aloe plants, houseleeks can be used for soothing burns.