Have you ever tried to grow an herb garden and found some plants thrived, while others died? Sage and lavender prefer well-drained, sunny locations. Mints like damp shade. Basil loves the sun, but needs lots of water. It can seem impossible to grow these plants together.
Building an herb spiral might be your solution to making herbs happy. Plus, these structures can be striking focal points.
What is an Herb Spiral?
An herb spiral is a pyramidal-shaped hardscape planter, with soil that spirals around and up to the center. It can be crafted of many different materials, such as stone, brick, block or wood. Here are a few examples of herb spirals.
What are the Benefits of an Herb Spiral?
The Micro Gardener describes how an herb spiral design works:
“This Permaculture design maximises the natural force of gravity. It allows water to drain freely and seep down through all layers. This leaves a drier zone at the top (perfect for hardy herbs) and a moist area at the bottom for water lovers. The design also creates microclimates. This allows you to plant a diverse range of herbs in a variety of positions (sunny, sheltered and shady). In a typical garden bed or pot, all plants are grown on the one level. So the growing conditions are the same. The herb spiral design offers you multiple options in a compact space.”
Imagine being able to visit your garden and select all the herbs you need for a spaghetti sauce, right at your fingertips. Check out this diagram from the Micro Gardener’s article:
Laura Northrup Poland of Strawberry Moon Farm pioneered the use of herb spirals at her farm in Indiana. She comments:
“I have always struggled to grow herbs like sage, rosemary, and lavender in my garden. But all three plants are thriving at the top of my herb spiral, where they receive the warmth, sunshine, and drainage they need.”
If you’re looking for a spring garden project, building an herb spiral might just be perfect for your landscape. If you have questions about irrigating your herb spiral, contact us.