Herbs have been used for countless generations to add flavor to food, treat illnesses, and provide comfort. We have cultivated basil, chives, sage, thyme, lavender, rosemary, oregano, parsley and mint, to name a few, exactly for these purposes. Thus, we enjoy basil and parsley on our pasta dishes, use rosemary and lavender to heal our bodies, and drink herbal mint teas to ease our minds. Did you know, however, that herbs are very beautiful plants in their own right? Yes, indeed, you can play around with herb garden designs in terms of color, texture, height, foliage and even aroma.
Beauty of It All
It’s rather simple to grow an herb garden that offers beauty and aroma as well as tasty additions to all your recipes. Perhaps the best part of creating interesting herb garden designs is that it won’t take a lot of money, time, or effort to get started. You’ll also be able to plant and design your garden in any way you like and then use the fruits of your labor in so many ways. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why you’ll want to get started learning how to create your very own herb garden.
Important Points to Consider
Here are a few helpful hints and suggestions to keep in mind to make your herb garden designs as beautiful and purposeful as possible:
* Begin with assessing the site you have in mind for your potential garden. Since most herbs need a lot of sunlight, anywhere from four to six hours on average, you’ll want to choose an area with a lot of natural light unless you’ve chosen those herbs that can still thrive in partial sun.
* Learn all you can about the herbs’ suitability to the climate and location of your garden. You can ask help from the professionals although reading up a bit will also help just as much. You can even join local gardening groups, if you are so inclined.
* Determine the purpose of your herb garden. This will affect the kind of herbs for cultivation, their quantity relative to each other and the whole look of the garden. For example, a culinary herb garden will look different from a medicinal herb garden. Or from an herb garden cultivated for the sole purpose of adding to the potpourri collection, for that matter.
* Experiment with different layouts and designs if you’ve purchased herbs that are already grown so you can determine which placement is most appealing to you. You’ll also want to consider how well the herbs complement one another, and then later on if possible, transfer those ideas to a larger area.
* Add garden accessories that highlight the design of your herb garden. For yard gardens, it can be a water fountain or a small trellis or even just a few pots for accent. For container gardens, a few cute touches of small statues and tableaus often enhance the beauty of the herb design.
Ultimately, your choice for an herb garden design will fall on your shoulders. Think of your personal preferences, gardening style and design ideas to come up with a truly unique herb garden design. No matter the design you choose, however, there are only three things in herb cultivation that you need to remember in order to make your herbs grow abundantly. You have to provide sufficient sunlight, sufficient moisture and sufficient drainage to the herbs and Mother Nature will do the rest of the work for you.
Oak Hill GC, Nashville, Tennessee
Oak Hill Garden Club in Nashville, Tennessee
Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc.,
I’m a city dweller. My home is located in a gated community with houses of many different styles, and open planted common areas stretching out under a canopy of huge mature trees. This is the view out the windows at the front of my home but, the view into the garden at the back of my home is the canvas on which the most enjoyable experiences of each day are painted. Sipping my morning coffee while watching the sun peek over the garden wall and lightly kiss each bloom, intensifying its color and illuminating it from within. Watching the wildlife, yes I said wildlife, even in the bustling city, if you plant it they will come; birds of every species, foxes, wild turkeys, squirrels, and chipmunks, all clamber over the wall from the wooded area beyond, providing a bucolic element to my small space. The garden is ever changing; each season offers a new vignette, with a different color palette, and new set of sounds, to tantalize the senses. Summer days filled with the constant drone of bees busily foraging amongst the herbs and flower heads; owls calling to their mates on crisp fall nights; the silence of the snow covered winter garden, punctuated only by the honking chatter of migrating Canadian geese.
My garden started out as two small, square patches of grass. One measuring 1,089 sq. ft. was located directly behind the house, and another measuring 468 sq. ft. located behind the garage. The space was small, but had a southern sun exposure. Having long admired the walled city gardens of Charleston, and Savannah, I set out to design a little jewel box of my own. I wanted to create a focal point, that would catch the eye from inside, and draw you out into the garden. As you enter my home, a natural sight line extends from my front door, down the hallway, through the glass French doors at the back of the house, across the grassy square patch of lawn, to the brick wall at the farthest point on the property. I placed a fountain in front of the wall. I then placed an arbor supporting the old rose Zephirine Drouhin, in front of the fountain. This created a view within a view. The grassy spaces were divided with brick pathways and limestone stepping stones, fooling the eye into thinking the space was bigger. The brain thinks four is more than one, even though the measurement is the same. Focal points were placed at the end of each path as an incentive to go forward and investigate, thus pulling you along to the next area. I bought an antique wrought iron gate with matching sections of fencing, and used them to separate the main, and garage areas of the garden. Open the gate and step into what has become my kitchen garden. A circular bed with a sun dial mounted on a pedestal at its center, is filled with a wide variety of herbs. A pathway of limestone slabs encircles the center bed, and areas extending to the wall are planted with peppers, rosemary, mints and several varieties of tomatoes grown up trellises. The wrought iron fencing also allows a small oddly located area to be transformed into a secret nook with an old iron bench on which to sit and view the garden from a new perspective. Ivy covered walls, boxwoods in urns, mossy stones, and beds filled with perennials, native plants, and annuals for constant color, lend themselves perfectly to the air of relaxed formality that defines my small, urban, walled garden. I’ve learned that size doesn’t matter. With a few good design tricks, you can have it all.
By National Garden Clubs on 2012-08-14 10:48:58
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Summer is the ideal time to add herbs to the garden. More than just culinary, herbs are a staple plant for the mountain landscape. Learn which herbs are best in the kitchen, reseed by themselves, Javelina proof, evergreen and more. You will be an herbal pro after this class.