Although the term going green is lately more of a buzz word and a cool thing to do rather than a conscience decision, this didn’t contribute to my desire to start doing things differently, it perhaps just brought awareness. Besides the fact that it is good for the environment and good for our bodies I think it’s definitely good for the soul. Since I started reading up on this I started developing a keen interest in starting my own herb garden.

Herewith the first part of this series on starting a herb garden:

1. Take a tour through your garden

  • Walk around your garden to get a feel for it;
  • Draw a map or make notes of what you have in mind.

2. Visualise

  • Select a theme for your garden – remember that you want to start small: Medicinal, fragrance, culinary or cosmetics;
  • Why are you starting a herb garden? Is it for personal use or is it for profit (selling at markets etc.)? Do you want to plant the herbs in containers or in your garden (or both)? Indoors or outdoors?
  • Visualise how your herb garden will fit in with the rest of your garden;
  • Be realistic: Can you afford it? Do you have the time and energy to maintain it? This will indicate how big or small your herb garden should be.

3. Location, style and ideas

  • Choose a space in your garden that gets sufficient sun (morning or afternoon), shade and that is quite level. It should be sheltered from wind and frost;
  • It is preferable that the soil should be rich and drain quite easily. If not, you can always add more compost when you prepare the soil – this should sort out the drainage problem and enhance the texture;
  • When choosing a spot, try to find a space as close as possible to your home so that you can dash in and out without having to walk long distances to pick some herbs;
  • Browse books and magazines for ideas or get busy on the internet;
  • Have a look at the style of your house and garden and choose a herb garden style that compliments the rest of the environment (formal VS informal):

 Informal herb garden

  • Curved and creative walkways and beds where the lines are flowing;
  • Add flowers, shrubs and other elements to make it interesting;
  • An informal herb garden is cheaper, has more flexibility and is generally easier to upkeep.

Formal herb garden:

  • With a formal herb garden you need to have geometric contours and straight lines that are surrounded by low hedges and paths;
  • Elements to add to a formal herb garden will be a bench or fountain, something that will form a focal point;
  • Each kind of herb is planted in a separate block, this way your garden is rich in colour and texture.

Posts to follow:
Part 2: So many herbs so little time
Part 3: Starting your herb garden

Reference: The SA Herb Academy


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