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Southern Inspirations Garden Design

A family-run business since 1997

Southern Inspirations
Design a Herb Garden for Healthy Living
Steps to design a herb garden. We can show you different uses and requirements for herbs. Herbs can enhance the appearance of your garden, and are useful for health and cooking! Download a herb picture or two from our picture library, or view our free herb garden design plan.

Just the mention of the name “herb” sends a healing and therapeutic ring to your ears. Using them will improve your family’s health. Remember that even though the herbs that you use could replace medicines, you should always consult with a professional and make sure that the herbs are doing their job. You may find that herbs may work better to treat your ailments. But always consult your doctor before hand.

Consider Your Herb Garden

Here are a few things to take into consideration when you design a herb garden:


Applemint Herb Herbs love the sun. You will need full sun to develop your full flavor and fragrant specimens. Plant your herb garden where it can get at least 4 hours of full sun daily.

Herbaceous plants grow very leggy when they have to go walking along, looking for sunshine in their lives. As to any rule there is always an exception. Angelica, viola’s, odorata and Corsican mint, grow in semi-shade.


No plant, except water and bog plants, will like wet and soggy feet. Herbs thrive in well drained soil with plenty compost mixed into it. Use a mulch to lock in the moisture and keep the weeds out! Weeds need sunlight to germinate.


Use only a proper organic fertilizer for best results. Organic is always better because chemical fertilizers can cause an imbalance in the soil over an extended period of time.


Plants will only look good when they feel good. Healthy soil helps produce a healthy root system. A healthy root system in turn will produce healthy foliage and a healthy plant. The bottom line: healthy plants are a lot easier to maintain. They are also have a greater resistance to diseases.

Plant grouping

When you design a herb garden, group together plants that will need the same amount of feeding, i.e. water, soil, etc.

Herb Characteristics

We will need to establish the characteristics and growth requirements, before we begging to design a herb garden.


Is an annual, usually grown by seed and will complete its life cycle within one growth season. Plant annuals every season.


A perennial will usually be grown by seed or by cuttings, divisions etc. Perennials last from about two to three seasons. They need to be pulled out after that and new plants planted.


A shrub is a plant that is longer lasting. It can grow for many years. Growth is usually in the range of 1.5 meters to 2 m and more.


Trees are by far the longest lasting of plants. They grow tall and will add to the canopy. A canopy is element number 5 of design (which is very often forgotten when you design a herb garden).

Design Details

Golden Thyme Follow the design principles and goals. Design, Plan and draw your design according scale.

Hard landscaping

First complete the hard landscaping. This will include items such as a fountain or statue as a focal point, a paved path for access to the herbs, flower boxes, containers, etc.

Follow on from the hard landscaping in your design with the soft landscaping i.e. the plants and herbs.

Visual Rhythm

When you design a herb garden use the color wheel to get visual harmony and tranquility. Color does makes a garden very interesting.

Start off with the softer colors, then go to brighter colors, then repeat. Make sure that your second color does not upstage the first color. The colors should blend. Here is an example that works well. Start off with a mint variety, and then bring in different kinds of mint, e.g. peppermint and spearmint. Repeat the patterns for an awesome effect.

Herbs that are Useful

Golden Creeping Oreganum is a gorgeous creeping ground cover. Place it around paving.

Thyme is another great ground cover. It may be used to cascade down a rockery or around paving. It will grow in fairly poor well drained soil. Thyme is classified as a slow grower, so don’t expect a miracle overnight! It can be used as a mouthwash and antiseptic.

Tansy is a scruffy herb. It has yellow daisy like flowers. Tansy is an excellent for a fruit fly repellent. It is a good companion plant under fruit trees.

Rue is may also be used as an insect repellent. It does gives off a toxic residue. Rue is excellent to plant next to stables.

Thyme, cotton, lavender and rosemary have lovely fine texture leaves. Geraniums, pelargoniums, comfry and angelica have larger textured leaves. Use a combination of these for visual effect when you design a herb garden. Although not classified as a herb, strawberries create a wonderful and useful contribution to a herb garden design. It serves well as a ground cover, and has sweet fruit.

Herbs add Color

Cotton Lavender Grey

Grey herbs include Wormwood (insect repellent), cotton lavender (fish moth repellent), Cleveland sage, mugwort.


Pink herbs are to name a few; perennial basil, wooly sage, wild rose geraniums (the wild ones are pinks and purples), roses (wild garlic does well under roses as an insect repellent), bergamot, bressingham thyme.


Yellow herbs will include; golden celery, golden creeping oreganum, tansy, rue, Jerusalem Artichoke, and golden feverdew.


Herbs in this category include elderberry, angelica, chervil, yarrow, garlic chives, chamomile, white thyme, and pyrethrum (insect repellent).


Herbs with red flowers will include roses, bergamot, nasturtiums, poppies and pineapple sage.


Thymes and mints provide us with striking green foliage.

There are loads of herb varieties. Each herb is an individual and is unique. Each one was created for a purpose. There are lots of useful herbs that I have not mentioned, like parsley. This is rich in iron. A sprig of parsley everyday will contribute to a healthy body.

The list just carries on and on. There is lots of scope for you to be creative when you design a herb garden.

Herb Garden Design

We have designed and installed this herb garden design. We have provide all the information and guidance you need to adapt this garden plan. You can download and use this herb garden design plan for your garden. Here is the full description of all the herbs used in this garden design.

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