Almost everyone who has ever grown mint (Mentha spp.) is aware of its propensity to spread to the point of becoming invasive. Partial shade-loving mint should be grown in its own bed or along with other perennial herbs which can “hold their own” against the aggressiveness of mint. Annual herbs that prefer partial shade can also be grown in the same bed with mint; their short life span will allow them to produce their crop before the mint chokes them out.
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is technically a biennial but it is more commonly grown as an annual. Parsley can be planted in a bed containing mint. Because it is grown as an annual, the vigorous spreading habit of mint will not usually choke out parsley over the course of a single growing season, providing you leave enough space between it and the mint. Like mint, parsley will grow well in partial shade, although it is a more vigorous plant when grown in full sun.
An annual herb, chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) prefers growing in the same moist, rich soil and partial shade that mint does. Plant it at least 18 to 24 inches away from mint, to give it enough room to grow without being overrun by the mint during the course of the growing season. Use the slight licorice-tasting leaves in salads, omelets and as part of the french “fines herbes” mixture (along with parsley, chives and sometimes tarragon). Harvest chervil before flowers open and pinch out the flower buds to extend the harvest season. Self-seeds easily in the garden.
A vigorous growing perennial herb, French sorrel (Rumex scutatus) will hold its own when grown in a garden bed with mint. The leaves of French sorrel are smaller, more tender and have a more pronounced lemon taste than those of the more common garden sorrel (R. acetosa). New spring leaves are used to make the springtime delicacy sorrel soup. Tender young leaves can be added to salads or sandwiches; larger and more mature leaves, which are not as tender, can be cooked and eaten like spinach. Sorrel will produce crops for many years and can be a prolific self-seeder if the spent flowers are not removed.