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The Shape of Your Herb Garden
Filed Under (Types of Herb Gardens) by herb-garden on 10-08-2007
The only definition of herb garden I know is where herbs are grown. However, it may be based on a formal design such as Ladder, Chequerboard, Wheel, Knot or on a non formal simple border design. At is smallest a garden consist of a window box or a collection of herbs in pots.
There are numerous designs and styles of herb gardens to fit your needs or taste. The traditional herb garden is usually divided by paths into orderly geometric beds while the informal herb garden is planted in the relaxed style of a cottage garden creating effects based on habits and colors. In many gardens, herbs have to take their places beside other kinds of plants. Many herbs are in their own right ornamental border plants - lavender and purple sage is obvious examples.
There are a hundred and one ways to grow herbs - they are very undemanding plants. Most need plenty of sun and well-drained soil. Some herbs make excellent border plants while others are good edging plants along pathways, their scent drifting up as you brush past them. Various thymes are often sold as rock-garden plants and many herbs with creeping habits can be planted to form fragrant carpets in gravel or paving.
Many herbs can grow well in containers. In small gardens or balconies, the entire herb garden may consist of containers placed with a little imagination on steps, walls, window-sills or hanging baskets.
However, if you have plenty of space you could design a formal herb garden based on traditional medieval or Elizabethan designs, which incorporated herbs for use in the kitchen, for flavoring, perfuming and for medicine.
Before you decide about the shape of your garden, consider the space you have available and whether you want the herbs to be a part of your garden or you would rather plant up your entire garden with herbs. Round shape gardens are a good solution for small space as they are easy to move through and around them to plant or pick herbs. However, if you have a large area you could make a round shaped herb garden the central theme of that space.
Other shapes to consider are: Square; a low maintenance garden divided by paths to form four beds. Rectangular; a country style low maintenance garden with winding path(s) running through it. Border garden; a double sited herbaceous border several feet long along your driveway or a path.
For the keen gardener with a lot of gardening space a Celtic maze garden based on the manuscripts of Ireland’s Golden Age maybe the kind of garden that would like to consider.
When planning a herb garden today there is a vast choice of styles and influences to choose. As herbs and plants cover a wide range they often grown throughout the garden in ornamental beds, borders and even among vegetable plots. However, a designated herb garden with a range of medicinal, culinary and aromatic herbs and its own boundaries always makes a rewarding feature.
Whatever the style, the key to a successful herb garden is to work with nature and understand that your garden has a unique growing needs and conditions that distinguish it from any other garden.
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