Ruby Bayan is a freelance writer who likes to share her simple joys.

Read Articles

backpacking fitness gardening inspiration internet life in the USA nature travel tropical fish writing

about ruby

    Ruby Bayan


Gifts and Keepsakes
by Ruby Bayan

One-of-a-kind journals, cards, notepads, gifts

Recommended Resources

Start An Herb Garden Today

by Ruby Bayan

'Chives' by Ruby Bayan If you use herbs at all, surely you've considered growing them yourself. Why not? Herbs are so easy to grow -- you don't need a green thumb to create a beautiful, luscious, and aromatic herb garden. Here's a quick guide to get you started.

Begin with a Mental Picture

Imagine what your garden is going to look like, then sketch a rough design on paper. Whether you are working with just a windowsill, a corner patch of ground beside your kitchen door, a backyard lawn, or a whole walkway to and around a gazebo, having a plan helps put the garden project in proper perspective.

While you're drawing your dream herb garden, and to help you "get your act together," try to answer these forward-looking questions:

  • What is the theme of my garden? Color? Fragrance? Shape? Texture? A coming holiday or special occasion? Medicinal? Seasoning? Salad Ingredients?

  • How will I start the garden? With seeds? Nursery plants? Cuttings?

  • Is the weather for the next six months going to affect my growing garden? What herbs will thrive best in the coming seasons?

  • What are my plans for maintenance? Do I need new hoses and sprinklers? How will I deal with overgrowth, propagation, pruning, and replacements?

Consider the Options

To answer the question about herb garden themes, here are some options you can consider:

  • Color - designing an herb garden with emphasis on color can be fun and exciting. By picking plants with different colored leaves, you can instantly achieve the shades you want to create. Then, if you've chosen varieties that bloom, the garden transforms into a totally new palette when the flowers start to blossom.

  • Fragrance - an aromatic garden would also be an excellent project. Thyme, oregano, marjoram, and lemon balm are premium candidates for creating that refreshingly scented garden ambiance. Fragrant gardens are enthralling to herb-loving individuals, as well as to bees and butterflies.

  • Shape and Texture - a little knowledge about how herbs grow is essential in designing a garden aimed at a particular shape or texture. The more common herbs used for ground cover are creeping thyme (beautiful in bloom!), the tiny mint, pretty woodruff, ground ivy, and evergreen periwinkle. When planning on hedges and bushes, consider santolina, lavender, or rosemary. For contrasts in texture, consider a carpet of chamomile for the lawn with a focal point highlight of feathery fennel, edged with flowering chives.

  • Special Occasions - Christmas, the Fourth of July, reunions, birthdays, or anniversaries, are just some of the holiday themes that can inspire the design of your herb garden. Try arranging different colored foliage and flowers into a specific design, such as geometric shapes or even letters of the alphabet. Stretch your imagination -- you will find herbs to suit your whim.

  • Special Purposes - herbs are so versatile you can plan a garden around what you generally use herbs for: natural healing, seasoning, or food and nutrition. Nothing can be more convenient than having a fresh supply ready for harvest anytime.

Don't Forget the Logistics

It's easy to be creative with designs and picture-perfect intentions. It's the execution and maintenance that gives us the reality check. Just so you don't quit in the middle of everything, consider all the logistics involved in building your herb garden before you grab your gloves.

Where will your herbs come from? When are you getting them? Source and timing are crucial because young plants can be sensitive to sudden changes.

If you're growing your herbs from seeds or cuttings, consider the growth time element. Your 4th of July garden may not be all grown and formed in time for the garden party celebrations; the flowers you expect may not come because of extreme seasonal weather conditions.

Remember, too, that a lush and clean garden needs plenty of attention, time, effort, and patience. Be sure to include these in your gardening plans.


After you've drawn a mental picture and a rough sketch of your herb garden, tilled the soil, planted the herbs and devoted time and effort, there's nothing else left to do but appreciate the beauty, aroma, and bountiful harvest of your favorite herbs. So, start now!

Some online photos of herb gardens:
* Saso Herb Garden Tour
* Middleburg Herb Garden Photos

Copyright © 1998-2013 Ruby Bayan
All Rights Reserved
Please respect copyright laws.