Herb Gardens

Herb gardens – Herbs can be grown in terracotta pots, wicker baskets, or in clumps in the flower beds; anywhere in fact where the soil is reasonable and the position sunny. They look their best, though, in a formal setting: a traditional herb garden divided into small beds with narrow paths between them. The path can be made of stone, brick or pavers, or you could use gravel and small edging tiles.

Planning herbs in herb gardens – Remembering that one uses a lot of some herbs and very little of others, decide which you wish to grow, then plot your garden on paper. Plan for taller plants to go in the center if the herb garden is open, or at the back if it’s enclosed, and have smaller herbs in the other beds.

Tarragon and mint are favorites with many people, but they’re both greedy and prolific so it might be better to devote a separate bed to them elsewhere in the herb garden, or you could push tiles or other stiff materials into the ground to keep them within bounds.

Choose a sunny spot for your herb garden, and prepare the ground well. Herbs will grow in poor soil, but the more fertile and well drained it is, the healthier your herbs will be. Mix the topsoil with compost or organic material, then all your herbs will need is a light dressing of lime in fall, a complete fertilizer in spring, and an occasional weeding at other times.

Intensely aromatic herbs such as marjoram, thyme and lemon balm will release their fragrance when bruised, so let them spill on to narrow pathways in and around the herb garden. Herbs will grow beautifully in the sunny center of your lawn, and topsoil mixed with compost or manure should be fine for growing, but you do need to ensure good drainage. The easiest way to do this for heavy soils is to raise the beds. Otherwise, remove about 15 cm or so of topsoil, spread a layer of small rubble, then replace the prepared soil, water it and leave it to settle for a week or so.

SEE ALSO:   Landscaping Design Using Evergreens

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