Planning how to grow a beautiful herb garden is a useful step that can make all the difference in how the garden grows and how it looks once the garden is complete.
Whether it’s an existing garden or one that is brand new, the first step is to think about the trajectory of the sun. Which areas of the planned garden get the most morning sun, noontime sun and afternoon sun.
It’s also useful to think about where the garden gets the most shade. Some herbs do grow well in the shade (such as mint), but they still need some sun. Most herbs will need at least 8 hours of sun a day so the sun’s trajectory is an important factor in planning the garden.
Next, think about the design or shape of the garden. Whether it’s a formal garden with straight lines or a more informal garden with lots of curves and angles, the garden design will influence its’ final appearance.
The design will also be influenced by where the sun falls and how much land is available for the garden. Many herbs can be grown in a small area, such as a corner plot, so it is not necessary to have a large garden unless one is ambitious and land is available.
Garden designs can also incorporate a variety of paths, walls, elements such as statues or bird baths or lead to a bench or seat where one can rest and enjoy the garden.
Planning for elements to put in the garden also adds an interesting focal point which is enhanced by the herbs.
Once the shape is decided, think about whether the garden will be divided into small plots or large plots. It’s easier to work with smaller plots but there still needs to be plenty of room for plants to grow. Pathways make it easier to get to the plants to do any necessary work.
Before planting though, it is a good idea to consider the soil the herbs will be planted in and the requirements of the plants. Is the soil compacted or hard? Does it retain too much water?
Herbs need well draining soil to grow properly. If the soil needs improvement, add some rich humus-like material and a small amount of sand to improve drainage.
When choosing plants, think about the requirements of the plant before putting it in the ground. Taller herbs should be put at the back of a garden or in the middle if there is a center. Shade loving plants should not be put in sunny areas and vice versa. Group similar plants together to create pleasing borders.
Consider also the various bloom times for plants to create color every month during the growing season and the different textures of foliage such as silver-gray leaves that add interest to the landscape. The silver-gray leaves of herbs like woolly lamb’s ears or santoline can be interspersed between other herbs to add a pleasing contrast.
Whether you are growing herbs for culinary use, medicinal, aromatherapy or other uses, or just want to enjoy them in your garden, then proper planning will ensure a beautiful herb garden for years to come.

Author's Bio: 

Learn more about gardening with herbs as well as other uses for herbs by visiting Marilyn Zink has 20 years experience growing herbs and using them for health, cooking, aromatherapy, crafts and more.