Herb gardens take on all honor of romanticism in my book (along with roses of course). I love scented plants, love food and love fresh herbs in tasty nosh; so a herb garden of some sort is a given at my house. Further more, herbs are relatively hard to kill as long as they are planted in the right place so don’t bolt to seed. Most blue thumbed gardeners do well with herbs as a feature or interspersed with other shrubs and perennials for a romantic look that the bees love. A herby feature created just before Christmas is a simple way to give the garden a landscaped feel when entertaining and will provide colour and interest all summer long.

My herb spiral made with rocks took pride in place last summer at the edge of the lawn. The rocks wound around in a sunny possy with a wide bench seat positioned close by as the perfect place to sit, relax and smell the herbs in between flicking the pages of NZ Gardener or Good Magazine. Unfortunately for me – my sit and relax time was not so frequent (on my top priority as a New Years resolution for 2015); however the intention of curling up was there when I created the garden and made me feel good anyway, so all was not lost!

The herbs made a great addition to long summer BBQ’s; including using defoliated Rosemary sticks as skewers for kebabs. The flavour was pumped up when rough chopped on home made Pizzas for movie night Friday and once the temperatures dropped over winter, the fresh herbs of Sage, Oregano and Lovage were a welcome bouquet garnet to crocpot dinners.

Herb spirals have been something I have created for clients over the years. I always use traditional companion placements to accommodate sun loving, moisture varying and shade needing varieties; but this spiral was the first I had personally owned and now will certainly ghizz up our lifestyle garden in Kerikeri somewhere between the chook house and the woodfire pizza oven. The spiral layout creates a unique microclimate to extend the season by raising the soil from ground level. This warm elevation meant I was able to pick herbs all winter that shouldn’t have been producing; better still, the 2 meter diameter structure didn’t take up too much space but gave 13 meters in planting area as it wound its way up to 1 meter high at the top.

My preferred layout…

In the pond at the bottom grow…

  • Gotu cola
  • Peppermint
  • Common mint.

The pond is lined with polythene so helps stop the spread of invasive mint to the rest of the spiral.

Beginning at the bottom and on the mid day sunny sides of the garden spiral plant a mix of…

  • Curry Plant
  • Catmint (Nepeta cataria)
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Basil (three varieties)
  • Lovage
  • Lavender (Angustofolia is compact and flavoursome)

On the side that is in the shade in the hottest part of the day plant…

  • Coriander
  • Parcel
  • Celery
  • Chives
  • Parsley

At the very top plant…

  • Upright Rosemary

Popular classes I host from my home utilise untreated pallets lined on all sides with weedmat then filled with organic veggie mix and planted with mixed herbs along the front face and topside. This feature garden leaned casually near the kitchen creates a living edible wall in the smallest urban area.

Last week a garden client and I created a fabulous repurposed wagon wheel herb space between a plum tree and lilac. My gorgeous client is a lover of Children’s gardens and her organic farm flourishes with magical places to sit and feel young at heart. My Christmas wish list now boasts a wagon wheel for a similar space on our new country lifestyle garden. Good luck hubby trying to find one; Trade Me isn’t showing up much!

wagon wheel herb garden