Green Patch: Planning Your Herb Garden

Use these gardening tips to plan next year's changes or start your first herb collection.

| December/January 2000

  • Photography by Anybody Goes

Question: I’ve bought a new house and want to plan my first large herb garden to go in next spring. Where do I start? 

Answer: Planning a garden is rewarding work. The more you prepare, the better off you’ll be when it comes time to get your hands dirty.

A haphazard, spontaneous approach to putting in new gardens works fine for some people, but others can end up wasting time, money, and hard work without achieving the garden they really want. Here’s a simple checklist of things to think about in winter months, long before you’re ready for the shovel.

1. To begin, ask yourself what you want from your herb garden. Make a list and prioritize it.

Do you enjoy cooking and want the classic culinary herbs to flavor every dish you make? Are you wild about ethnic cuisines such as Thai or Japanese, and need herbs with exotic flavors that are not always available fresh at your grocery store? Do you also want to dry or freeze your homegrown herbs in quantity and have a supply of them through winter?

Are you interested in herbs for their medicinal value and in a supply of good, organic herbs to treat simple ailments for you and your family? Do you enjoy the traditional herbal fragrance crafts such as wreaths and potpourri? Do you want your garden to be a beautiful, fragrant retreat from the workaday world and provide you with a supply of fresh-cut flowers for the house?

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