Herb gardens, along with vegetable gardens, are amongst the most common type of garden grown throughout the world and include hundreds of different species of herbs that are known to have culinary and medicinal uses. The only problem is that they are not the most attractive style of garden simply because herbs are not typically all that pleasing to the eye. Nevertheless, there are options when it comes to laying out your herb garden.
Raised Garden Beds
Dividing the garden up into a series of raised, framed beds allows the gardener to devote each bed to different types of herbs. This means you can plant more herbs in your garden with each bed tailored to the herb’s specific sunlight, water and soil needs. Running an irrigation drip line under the soil of each bed makes watering easy. Plant one bed with astragalus, rosemary, sage and oregano. They should have sandy soil, full sunlight and daily waterings. Plant another bed with dill and chives, providing partial sunlight and average soil. Plant a third with basil, coriander, fenugreek and gravel root. They require rich soil, frequent watering and direct sunlight.
Place your herbs in a simple grid pattern with two feet of clearance on each side so the herbs have room to grow and you’ve got room to work and tend them. Each row of herbs will have different uses. Gentian, ginseng, gravel root, licorice, motherwort and other medicinal herbs are placed in rows between culinary herbs. While insects might eat medicinal herbs, they will generally not eat culinary herbs like horseradish, sage, savory, dill, fennel, mustard, mint and marjoram. Straw is a good utilitarian ground cover as it enriches the soil during the decay process.
An herb garden need not be an unsightly one. The bed itself is dug in a horseshoe shape surrounding a good decorative grass such as Kentucky blue or red fescue. Benches and tables are placed in the center for entertaining. The bed is edged with a curved, sunken cement block and small unflowering herbs are placed closest to the edge like arugula, fenugreek, mitsuba, oregano and lemongrass. Gotu kola and greater bindweed serve as creeping ground cover in the beds, and running down the centerline of each bed is lavender, hyssop and angelica, chosen both for their colorful flowers and use as culinary herbs.