There is little to beat the pleasure of gathering fresh, aromatic herbs from your own garden to enhance your meals and, now that more and more people are changing to natural remedies as part of a healthier lifestyle, herb gardens are becoming increasingly popular.
Although many people have the preconceived idea that the herb garden should be formal, herbs are so versatile that they are suitable for any type of landscape, be it formal, semi-formal or informal.
How and where to plant herbs depends on individual taste, as well as the space available, the style of herb garden and the cultural requirements of the herbs.
A formal herb garden can be created as an independent unit in a courtyard, or as a focal point in the garden, while incorporating herbs in an herbaceous border will achieve a more informal and relaxed effect.
When allocating an area of the garden specifically for herbs, consider which types of herbs you wish to grow as this will dictate which areas would be the most suitable.
Many herbs such as lavender, rosemary and sage originate in the dry, hot Mediterranean regions and need well drained soil and a sunny position while others such as parsley, watercress and the mints prefer a moist, shady position.
Herbs with similar cultural requirements should be planted together as this helps to cut down on time spent feeding and watering.
Preparing the soil
Although most herbs will tolerate poor soil, they will do far better if the area in which they are
Once you have identified the area where you wish to plant your herbs, loosen the soil and dig in a generous amount of well rotted compost. Add organic fertilizer pellets as per instruction on the pack and dig in really well. Water the area generously and you are ready to start planting. Once you have planted your herbs mulch with compost and water again.
Choosing the right herbs
There is no end to the varieties of herbs available but to start with, it is advisable to grow the more common ones and as your knowledge increases you can add more and more of these amazing plants to your collection.
The following herbs are perfect for starting your herb garden. All are easy to grow and are always available, either as plants or as seeds from your nursery. These suggested herbs have both culinary, as well as medicinal uses.
Sun loving herbs include:
Thyme; Rosemary; Lavender; Sage; Oreganum; Fennel; Marjoram; Rocket; Coriander; Lemon grass; Chives; Tarragon and Mustard.
Herbs for shade or partial shade include: