Last year I veered from my tradition of planting herbs in containers. I had a little extra space in my side yard garden and had run out of dirt, so I just plopped the little plants in the garden. It turned out to be a happy little solution, because not only did the herbs grow beautifully in that garden, but they returned this summer. I know that it has to do with the fact that we live in zone 5 in the hardiness planting zone, so even though everything freezes, it isn’t as hard of a freeze as other areas in the United States. (Not sure what zone you live in? Check out this link to the National Gardening Association.)
So what came back? Chives (they’ll come back in zones 3 and 4 too), Sage, Oregano, and Thyme. Basil isn’t hardy enough to come back, but I planted Rosemary, Mint and Stevia this summer with hopes of them returning next year as well. Having herbs in with the rest of the plants adds interest to the garden and provides a little ground cover as well.