My Herb Garden Design

May
11


When the large raised bed where I’ve been growing herbs for a couple of years was transformed to a little herb garden with a gate (and fence), I started plotting right away how to design it. I didn’t want to do something formal with it–that wouldn’t really fit in with our farm–but I wanted to do something both organic and intentional. Organic meaning, certain elements were already in place and weren’t moving, i.e. several perennial herbs. I wasn’t going to suddenly turn it into one of those cute wagon wheel or Celtic knot herb gardens. I didn’t want to dig up and move around my healthy perennials that were already thriving just where they were. So, instead, I took a casual approach to it. My goal was to be able to walk about amongst the herbs in some way that was functional and pretty. I wanted the feel of a meandering path. Would you like a tour?

I started out with a few natural stones, but decided from a functional standpoint, they weren’t that comfortable to use.

I wanted flat stones, easy to walk on. I ended up mixing a few of the natural stones (from the river) with some small pavers from Lowe’s.

I let the existing plants (sage, chives, oregano, and thyme) guide the path, leaving space for the new herbs that would be coming, putting out enough stones to easily take me through the garden to harvest.

I added some inexpensive herb markers just because I think they’re cute. (I got them here.)

I brought in this weathered decorative planter for flowers. I wanted a bright spot of color among the green of the herbs.

The new spring plants went in–rosemary, parsley, dill, and basil.

I’m thinking some morning glory vines growing at the corners of the fence would be nice. I’m sure I’ll be playing with this little herb garden for years. I’ve always wanted a dedicated herb garden–and now I have one!

The gate opens out, by the way–which prevents the dogs from pushing in.


I rolled this big log over and into the garden to make a seat where I can sit amongst the herbs and dream of pesto.

Or just be lazy and watch through the back fence of the herb garden while 52 toils over vegetables in the main garden. Maybe throw spit wads at him then say, “Who, me?”

Or laugh at the chickens because they can’t come in!

Ha!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on May 11, 2011  

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  1. 5-11
    1:15
    am

    I LOVE your herb garden! It’s lovely: beautiful, peaceful and functional. The paving stones are terrific, but I really think you need to add some small goat hoof sized stones so that Clover and Nutmeg can join you!!!

  2. 5-11
    1:30
    am

    I had an herb garden once. I loved to water it in the mornings by hand with the hose. The smells released were wonderful! I called it my Scarborough Fair garden, because it had parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme! It also had chives, oregano, basil and catnip. I have a few herbs where i live now, but they are mixed in with the tomatoes and squash.

  3. 5-11
    6:22
    am

    Love your herb garden! I’m working on a new herb garden as well! To make your stepping stones stumble proof, just dig down the height of the stones into the ground in the shape of the stones. This will make them flush to the ground so you won’t trip over them. I’m a natural klutz, and this works for me!

  4. 5-11
    6:27
    am

    :purpleflower: I love it..I’m having hard time keeping my feathered friends out..
    Especially like your seat.:)
    Granny Trace

    http://www.grannytracescrapsandsquares.com

  5. 5-11
    7:09
    am

    Now wasn’t that fun!! Love the way you made it and it looks great! Rosemary doesn’t winter over for me, hope yours will. Your own little herb garden with bright flowers, cute markers, a seat and security from the mob. Ha, I think it is perfect.

  6. 5-11
    7:37
    am

    Very nice. You will enjoy not having to chase chickens and dogs out too. It’s a nice place to just sit and contemplate your next move. I had a bench in my big border garden but every time I’d sit down I’d see something that needed to be done. So not much rest but it looks nice.

  7. 5-11
    8:00
    am

    I love rustic and natural so your herb garden is perfect in my way of thinking, Suzanne! Yay for you! I know you’ll enjoy it!

  8. 5-11
    8:40
    am

    Love your herb garden! I especially like the flowers amongst all the green…a nice touch. Is the log seat a piece of your big tree that fell down a while ago?

  9. 5-11
    9:04
    am

    And I love, love, love the plant markers! Thanks so much for the website, I’ll order some.

  10. 5-11
    9:11
    am

    So adorable!!

  11. 5-11
    9:21
    am

    I wanted color in my herb garden also but I planted nasturtiums which have beautiful colors and a spicy taste. I also love to plant peas especially if you have a place for them to climb. The blossoms are pretty and you get a handful of peas now and then. Carnations are edible and pretty. They used to candy the blossoms (but not the base of the flower) and I believe I remember that they flavor a liqueur with carnations.

    Wow! look at all those chives! Have you considered herb cheese? A local cheesemaker makes a special cheese with stinging nettles. It is amazing so I pay the absurb price he asks. Its a gouda style cheese made with cows milk that gets better with age. Supposed to be full of various vitamins

  12. 5-11
    9:24
    am

    your herb garden is so cute! such a good idea, I plant mine in large planters which sit on the patio, but they take up space, would love a little raised bed herb garden. Also, CONGRATULATIONS!!! I opened my “Living the Country Life ” magazine yesterday and saw you had won the photo contest. What caught my eye was your photo of the duck wearing her Easter Bonnet. Thank you for your daily living inspiration.

  13. 5-11
    9:27
    am

    It’s nice. LOL…I’m pulling every morning glory I see up. They have become quite invasive in our garden.

  14. 5-11
    9:54
    am

    A lovely garden, Suzanne. I especially like the addition of the flowerpot and the log seat.

    msmitoagain, I hear you on the morning glories. We moved in here almost 30 years ago. There were morning glories climbing over the shrubs (and under the ivy and up…everything) and I’ve been fighting them ever since. They’ve choked out a burning bush and a flowering quince (because they grew under some ground cover and I didn’t see them snaking up the shrubs). They’re very pretty when they flower, but around here at least, they’re invasive.

  15. 5-11
    10:22
    am

    This is great! A few yrs ago, we took down a huge pine tree in our front yard. The circle it left was the perfect place to enlarge my herb garden. I add a little each yr, this yr I’m adding stepping stones & a bird bath that has a “strawberry jar” pedestal.

    Blessings from Ohio…Kim

  16. 5-11
    10:25
    am

    Beautiful and functional. Thanks for the tour and sharing.
    I once had one in a twin bed set high in the bed so I could get to it and not bend over. I think I will have to do it again. Sorry, no photos or I’d share. It is nice. Do you think you will expand sometime?

  17. 5-11
    11:13
    am

    No, that log isn’t from that tree. I just found it by the wood pile.

  18. 5-11
    11:38
    am

    The garden looks great, Suzanne! Love the stones and the log stool too. I have to second the caution about the morning glories. I love them so DH planted them here and there. I have 3 different colors of blossoms and they are wonderful where I want them – for example growing up the old clothes line post by the back door – but not so wonderful where I don’t. I spend all summer ripping them out of the tomato plants, etc. Carefully, of course…..they are very strong vines and if you aren’t careful you’ll cut the tomato plants in pieces. Ask me how I know….. :cry: Still, I enjoy them and I’m sure you will too. Just be ready to fight them to stay where they belong.

  19. 5-11
    1:04
    pm

    Your herb beds look great! I just did some of mine last night. I don’t think anything I had from last year wintered over so I have to replant… .

  20. 5-11
    1:19
    pm

    What a wonderful herb garden!!!!! :ladybug:

  21. 5-11
    1:40
    pm

    Looks just lovely, Suzanne. I’m inspired to go out to my own little herb garden and whip it into shape–it needs weeded and tended pretty badly! Good advice from all the folks who posted about Morning Glories…they’re lovely but VERY invasive. Watch Out!!

  22. 5-11
    4:21
    pm

    I love it! I just started my own little herb garden. Well, actually, I don’t have room outside so I had a garden window put in my kitchen then did up painted terra cotta pots a la Martha Stewart. So far so good!

  23. 5-11
    4:42
    pm

    I love the way you incorporate seating for quiet contemplation throughout your farm, to use in your copious free time. As if!

    Regarding the idea of morning glories at the corners of your herb garden fence, as pretty as that would look, won’t it shade your herbs? Around here the morning glory would quickly cover the fence.

  24. 5-11
    6:48
    pm

    Be scared, be very scared of those morning glories!!! I pull them out by the hand fulls. I think the roots go clear to hell and back. We can’t even kill them with roundup!!! (Which I don’t like to use) They take over everything, but smell good and have a pretty flower. Plant some holly hocks at the corners. They won’t take over like the morning glories…

  25. 5-11
    8:16
    pm

    So cute, I love it! Every year I say I’m going to plant some herbs and I never do. I need to just do it. :sun:

  26. 5-11
    8:27
    pm

    Your herb garden is lovely, so relaxing to sit and see, smell, and taste your own fresh herbs. I also would warn you about morning glories. I had wanted them for years, and finally planted about 10 seeds last spring. They grew to 10 or 12 feet high, then started crossing the deck. I plan to pull every seeding that might sprout this summer. They looked so beautiful though. :happyflower:

  27. 5-12
    11:18
    am

    So pretty, love the markers, I bet it smells great.

  28. 5-14
    3:03
    pm

    I love it! It’s beautiful! I like an informal, meandering garden design too. I like the little signs. I’m thinking of painting some little wooden ones.

  29. 5-15
    9:10
    am

    Awah, sooo purty! I’m making one. Mostly flowers, as we already have our herbs established well in the garden. I found a rusty old pump with a cute little spout to hang over the edge of my flower box. I’m going to make a little wooden bucket to hang from the spout and plant a flower in it. Or maybe have it spilling out into the bed with lots of flowers coming out. I don’t know yet. So many ideas, so little spring time and flower spending money! Boo! :hissyfit:

    Happy for you! :shimmy:
    Yay spring!! :happyflower:
    Mary

    http://lundkids.blogspot.com

  30. 5-16
    4:02
    pm

    You have one beautiful garden growing there! : :clover:

  31. 5-17
    7:34
    am

    Such a nice, inspirational place.
    So peaceful. Thanks Suzanne

  32. 10-1
    4:38
    pm

    I keep saying “This Year, I want a garden FULL of all the medicinal herbs.” And then next year, I’ll say “THIS year…”

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