Help me fill these front door plant beds
What useful, edible plants should I put here by my front door?
Our new house (pardon the mess of unpacking) had a bunch of weeds and ornamental flowers in these two beds. The soil, like the rest of the front lawn, looks to be very poor-- highly compacted, lots of gravel.
I tore out the ornamentals and weeds, but didn't have the will to remove the rocks. I may leave them there as a mulch. The two beds on either side of the front door are 4 1/2 x 14 feet long. They face north, but get a surprisingly large amount of sun during the day.
USDA zone 5B, 1300 feet elevation. Approximately 47°N 120.5°W. Average annual rainfall 9-11 inches. Constant medium high west wind, although the beds are somewhat sheltered by trees and other houses.
So far the only things I have put in are three small spicy oregano plants. That was a mistake, as I was talking to the nursery owner and accidentally picked them up instead of the mint that was right next to them. Ah well, I guess I'll live with it.
My preference is for perennial, edible or medicinal, don't require a huge amount of care. Comes back on its own after winter. I realize I can't have all of those. I've been adding compost top dressing to the oregano, and will continue to mulch. I suppose I could take the rocks out, but prefer to plant among them.
I am pretty sure I'm going to put mint in there, since it fits most of my requirements, and I can use the beds as an internment site, because mint spreads pretty invasively if you don't pen it in.
I do realize I am going to have to put supplemental water on whatever goes in here-- with just nine inches of rain last year that is true of everything here.
What else would you recommend to go in here? It's right outside the front door, so easy access. I want lots of herbs and edible goodies here, but sure could use some advice from all the smart gardeners on this forum.
Thank you for any advice you can give!
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