Start An Herb Garden Today
by Ruby Bayan
If you use
herbs at all, surely you've considered growing them yourself. Why
not? Herbs are so easy to grow -- you don't need a green thumb to
create a beautiful, luscious, and aromatic herb garden. Here's a
quick guide to get you started.
Begin with a Mental Picture
Imagine what your garden is going to look like, then sketch a rough
design on paper. Whether you are working with just a windowsill, a corner
patch of ground beside your kitchen door, a backyard lawn, or a whole
walkway to and around a gazebo, having a plan helps put the garden project
in proper perspective.
While you're drawing your dream herb garden, and to help you "get your
act together," try to answer these forward-looking questions:
- What is the theme of my garden? Color? Fragrance? Shape? Texture? A
coming holiday or special occasion? Medicinal? Seasoning? Salad
- How will I start the garden? With seeds? Nursery plants? Cuttings?
- Is the weather for the next six months going to affect my growing
garden? What herbs will thrive best in the coming seasons?
- What are my plans for maintenance? Do I need new hoses and
sprinklers? How will I deal with overgrowth, propagation, pruning, and
Consider the Options
To answer the question about herb garden themes, here are some options
you can consider:
- Color - designing an herb garden with emphasis on color can
be fun and exciting. By picking plants with different colored leaves,
you can instantly achieve the shades you want to create. Then, if you've
chosen varieties that bloom, the garden transforms into a totally new
palette when the flowers start to blossom.
- Fragrance - an aromatic garden would also be an excellent
project. Thyme, oregano, marjoram, and lemon balm are premium candidates
for creating that refreshingly scented garden ambiance. Fragrant gardens
are enthralling to herb-loving individuals, as well as to bees and
- Shape and Texture - a little knowledge about how herbs grow
is essential in designing a garden aimed at a particular shape or
texture. The more common herbs used for ground cover are creeping thyme
(beautiful in bloom!), the tiny mint, pretty woodruff, ground ivy, and
evergreen periwinkle. When planning on hedges and bushes, consider
santolina, lavender, or rosemary. For contrasts in texture, consider a
carpet of chamomile for the lawn with a focal point highlight of
feathery fennel, edged with flowering chives.
- Special Occasions - Christmas, the Fourth of July, reunions,
birthdays, or anniversaries, are just some of the holiday themes that
can inspire the design of your herb garden. Try arranging different
colored foliage and flowers into a specific design, such as geometric
shapes or even letters of the alphabet. Stretch your imagination -- you
will find herbs to suit your whim.
- Special Purposes - herbs are so versatile you can plan a
garden around what you generally use herbs for: natural healing,
seasoning, or food and nutrition. Nothing can be more convenient than
having a fresh supply ready for harvest anytime.
Don't Forget the Logistics
It's easy to be creative with designs and picture-perfect intentions.
It's the execution and maintenance that gives us the reality check. Just
so you don't quit in the middle of everything, consider all the logistics
involved in building your herb garden before you grab your gloves.
Where will your herbs come from? When are you getting them? Source and
timing are crucial because young plants can be sensitive to sudden
If you're growing your herbs from seeds or cuttings, consider the
growth time element. Your 4th of July garden may not be all grown and
formed in time for the garden party celebrations; the flowers you expect
may not come because of extreme seasonal weather conditions.
Remember, too, that a lush and clean garden needs plenty of attention,
time, effort, and patience. Be sure to include these in your gardening
After you've drawn a mental picture and a rough sketch of your herb
garden, tilled the soil, planted the herbs and devoted time and effort,
there's nothing else left to do but appreciate the beauty, aroma, and
bountiful harvest of your favorite herbs. So, start now!
Some online photos of herb gardens:
* Saso Herb
* Middleburg Herb Garden Photos