Herb Basics: Plant an Herbal Theme Garden

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Get a jump on your herb garden this year by doing a little winter planning. For a unique touch, try a theme garden. The possibilities are endless—for example, try a “For the animals” garden with barley grass and such herbs as catnip (Nepeta cataria) and catmint (Nepeta faassenii). Or, you could create a “Favorite scents” garden with lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), mints (Mentha spp.), or any herbs with scents you enjoy.

In her book Herbal Remedy Gardens: 38 Plans for Your Health and Well-being (Storey, 1999), Dorie Byers has created garden plans for rejuvenation, throat care, skin care, and many more. Here are two of her garden plans.

Relaxation Garden

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
Sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana)

Hair-Care Garden

Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Source: Byers, Dorie. Herbal Remedy Gardens: 38 Plans for Your Health and Well-being. Pownal, Vermont: Storey Books, 1999.