Last spring, I tried to “upgrade” the front yard area that is up against my house by putting down wood mulch and walking stones over the sandy, rocky mess that was there. The site faces south west with a big oak tree directly to the south, so it only receives full sun 1 hour between noon and 1 PM and then again 4 PM to sunset. I purchased two kinds of mint starts (spearmint and chocolate mint) and planted them in my backyard garden. Then (of course) I read an article about how invasive mint can be, and before I knew it, I was moving it. The front yard area seemed perfect, figuring between the shade and the borders (driveway, walkway, and house) it wouldn’t escape (we’ll see).
Over the winter, I did some Internet research to find other shade herbs (with a preference for perennials) and came up with a short list – chives, thyme, parsley, chervil, cilantro and lemon balm. I planted lemon balm last year in the backyard garden, and there were some small volunteers growing around it that I moved to the front. I picked the shadiest spot (right up against my porch) for it. Between plant swaps, AeroGardens, and extra cilantro seed, I was able to fill out the rest of this small shaded garden in no time.