Creating Aromatic Outdoor Spaces with Herb Garden Landscape Design
Herb garden landscape design has been an essential part of gardening and outdoor space for thousands of years. Herbs have many different uses, not to mention their beauty and unique fragrances. Integrating a herb garden landscape design into your backyard is extremely simple and requires only a small amount of planning.
Types of Herb Gardens
Before you can plan your garden, it is a good idea to become familiar with the various types of herbs and the different uses they serve. When planning a herb garden, decide which herbs to grow, find a place to grow them, and decide if they’ll be planted in beds or containers.
Medicinal herbs like ginseng and chamomile are also popular but can be more difficult to use. However, with proper education – you can learn how to treat medical problems, purge bodily toxins, and boost the immune system through the creation of natural infusions, teas, ointments, and tinctures. Examples include borage (reduces fever), lavender, elder and yarrow (for hay fever and allergies), and Echinacea.
Ornamental herb gardens consist purely of selections chosen for their aroma, color, or texture. Fragrant lavender and myrtle are popular choices. Rue creates beautiful garden borders with a unique blue-green color and bold blooms. Dittany of Crete is also a well-liked oregano herb where fine silvery hairs decorate the leaves. However, it is strictly for show and should not be confused as a cooking ingredient.
Culinary selections are one of the most common herbs in modern gardens, which include popular cooking ingredients like sage, parsley, and oregano.
Green and ‘Dark Opal’ basil make attractive garden plants – easy to transplant. Chives not only season egg dishes and salads, but also create eye-catching borders and rock garden decor. Dill is an easily grown annual with feathery foliage, where the hardy perennial thyme possesses shrubby characteristics.
When creating a herb garden landscape design, you may decide to incorporate a single type of herb in your garden or you could integrate a variety of herbs throughout your existing garden.
Whether you decide to plant herbs for cooking or select varieties for their look and smell, you will need to pay careful attention to the size and location of your planting area, as well as the types of herbs you choose and their individual planting requirements.
Here’s a great video on how to design a herb garden…
Size and Location of Your Garden
Herb garden landscape design typically requires a great deal of direct sunlight, although a few varieties like mint grow best in shade. Depending on the amount of space available, there are several different ways to incorporate a herb garden into your outdoor space.
- Herbs were traditionally grown in formal planting beds, typically with easy access to the kitchen.
- For a more informal look, incorporate herbs into flowing flower beds between shrubs and colorful flowers.
- Container gardens are ideal for small yards or areas with a great deal of shade.
- Estate landscape designs often feature a variety of herbs within elegant parterres.
- Rose gardens are also an ideal spot to incorporate a herb garden.
Herb Selection and Planting Tips
If you are planning your first herb garden, it is best to start with a selection of 10 to 15 hardy herb varieties like thyme and chives. Decide whether you prefer to grow herbs for cooking, medicinal use, or simply for enjoyment.
Group your herb varieties together depending on the amount of water and sunlight they require. Plant each variety according to its individual requirements for soil depth, adding the appropriate nutrients.
For the best visual effect, place taller herbs at the back of the planting area and gradually decrease the height. Use the shape and texture of the leaves to determine planting location as well.
Lastly, ensure proper drainage to keep your herbs healthy by using crushed gravel for containers or raised planting beds. You can build your own raised garden beds out of timber or purchase easy-to-install kits.