A courtyard is an outdoor area that is typically in the center of a building or a group of buildings. There is generally a walkway area and patio that runs in between each building area. A courtyard is a great place to display an herb garden. Herbs can provide a colorful display and add an aromatic scent to the air. The herb garden can be frequently harvested to create craft projects or for cooking.
Choose a location in the courtyard for the herb garden. Most herb gardens need full sun. Be sure to plant in an area that will drain well. Most courtyards have existing concrete or brick sidewalks and patios. Replace an existing flower garden with an herb garden if necessary. Herb gardens are attractive when planted in a variety of geometric shapes, such as circular for the middle with square sections making four corners. This will also separate the varieties of herbs.
Purchase herbs. Try to purchase herbs from a reputable greenhouse or plant grower. Look for solid stemmed, high-quality plants that will withstand outdoor temperatures and elements. In order to select the right varieties, decide what you'd like to do with the herbs. It could be for medicinal, fragrance, decorative or culinary purposes. Most varieties are edible, fragrant and decorative, such as basil and lemon balm. Other popular choices used for fragrance or crafts may include catnip, echinacea, elfin herb, eucalyptus, blue hyssop, jasmine, marjoram, licorice, mint, oregano, rosemary and lady’s mantel.
Prepare the garden area. Lay out the herbs in their containers where you would like to plant them. Space them up to 6 inches apart. Use a chalkline to map out the garden area. Remove the plants. Use a rototiller and shovel to remove compacted sod and grass within the map line. Using a rake or back of the shovel, blend topsoil into existing soil until the texture is fine and workable.
Plant the herbs. Replace them back to the location you want to plant them before removing the plant from the container. Arrange so like herbs are together. Create a circular pattern if desired, with taller plants in the middle. For square gardens, try to plant herbs that will grow to be the same height and size. Using the trowel, plant the herbs up to 2 inches deep or until the root is submersed in the soil and the top of the roots are even with the ground. Add additional topsoil for support. Mark herbs as they are planted by name and date.
Add an edging such as rocks or bricks for decorative purposes. Water the garden thoroughly and weed frequently.