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Formal Herb Gardens


Herbs can really look great in a formal garden (ie. one that is laid out in a symmetrically balanced geometric pattern on the ground).

How to develop a formal herb garden:

1. Choose a site. Ideally choose a relatively flat piece of ground. If your garden is steep, you may be able to terrace an area. It doesn’t need to be large - a garden as little as 3 or 4 metres wide can look stunning if the right plants are chosen.

2. Decide on the shape (usually a circle or square, or rectangle), then mark it out carefully on the ground. (Sprinkle some lime to mark the outline of the shape.).

3. Decide on a central axis that will divide the garden in two equal halves and mark that out as a path (ie. the line running down the centre), or even just a line through one large garden bed. Decide on any other major lines such as paths, hedges etc, and duplicate mirror images on both sides of the central axis.

4. Define the boundaries (with hedging, walls, edging tiles etc).

5. Plan your plantings – the plants should be identical (type, amounts, heights) on either side of the central axis.

Planting hints

· Think about the colours and textures of the plants you choose, and put plants beside each other to create visual contrasts.

· Think about the vigour of the plants, and put plants beside each other that have similar rates of growth, to prevent competition.

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