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Herb garden planning

The most simple way to design and plant herb garden is to create it in a completely new garden. All options are open and there is no need to adjust shape to already existing parts of garden. We are more limited, if we are planning herb garden as a part of already existing garden.

Location for herb garden

When selecting a suitable place for herb garden, we need to consider everyday use of spices in the kitchen. Herb garden should be easily accessible from the kitchen. If we do not have enough space close enough, then it is reasonable to consider planting the most commonly used herbs in flower pots.

Most herbs need full sun. Because of that, herb garden must be placed on the sunny spot. Since herbs need a lot of water to grow successfully, a water pipe with connection for water hose should be nearby. 

Forms of herb garden

Herb gardens are usually in symmetrical or irregular shapes. Symmetric herb gardens have sharp lines and often imitate the monastic herb gardens. Irregular shaped herb gardens do not have sharp lines and are often in different levels.

Symmetric herb gardens are suitable for gardens on flat land where we need to adapt form to one of symmetric garden styles. They are also suitable for small gardens where space is very limited. Symmetrical gardens are usually round, square or rectangular. Herbs are planted in strict lines and easily accessible from all sides. Paths have very important role. Herbal beds should not be wider as 1 to 1,5 m in order to easily reach all the herbs.

Kitchen herb garden is a straight line garden. As it consists of rectangular herb beds, it is easy to create and especially suitable for beginners. Herb beds are evenly spaced and oriented in east-west direction. Between beds are paths and outer edge can be planted with a low hedge, flowering plants or bushes.

Cross form herb garden is symmetrical in shape, originated in the Middle Ages monasteries. The center of the garden, where sandy paths cross, is a circular bed with a higher growing plants, sundial, fountain or a statue. On the outer edge is low hedge cut in straight lines. Instead of hedge, we can make low stone wall. Herbal beds are symmetric. Plants should be cut low enough allowing the center of the garden to be seen from all directions.

Cross form herb garden
Cross form herb garden

Herbal wheel is a circular herb garden that resembles wooden wagon wheel. Herbal beds are triangular. From the rim are paths leading to the center where they connect. This form is very suitable for higher growing herbs. Diameter of herbal wheel should be at least 6 meters.

Herbal wheel
Herbal wheel

Herb gardens of irregular shapes are suitable for gardens where the ground is not flat and available space is irregularly shaped. Herbal beds may be at different heights and among them are curved paths. Herbs are planted in groups according to their height.

Herbal spiral is an example of irregularly shaped herb garden. It is suitable for smaller gardens, where we have many different kinds of herbs with different requirements. We can arrange proper conditions for herbs that need a lot of moisture and for herbs that thrive in dry environments. Herbal spiral has a diameter of at least 3 meters and is in the center at least 0,5 meters higher than at the beginning. The outer edge is built from stones, wood or concrete. At the beginning of the spiral, which should be located in the south, is a small pond with a diameter of at least 0,75 meters. This part is suitable for herbs that need more moisture. Higher growing herbs should be planted in the center. On the north side is place for herbs that grow in shadow.

Herbal spiral
Herbal spiral

Herbs can be planted individually among the vegetables. This method is highly recommended, because some herbs fend off pests. Herbs can be part of flower beds as they are very good company for perennials.

Herbs that tolerate pruning and have steady growth, can be used for herbal beds border. Parsley, chives and lavender are very suitable for borders.