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World Herb Gardens
HERB GARDENS around the WORLD
One of the best ways to learn about gardening is to look at what others have done. This article provides you with a peek at herb gardens throughout the world. Study the photos to gain inspiration and ideas for your own herb garden
Herbs are grown and used in every corner of the world, by all types of people, in all cultures.
Of course, everyone grows different herbs; and grows them in different ways – depending on their climate, culture, and what they use.
DIFFERENT WAYS OF LANDSCAPING WITH HERBS
Some grow herbs in a formal garden; others attempt to create a very natural setting. Fortunately, there is such a diversity of plant species of herbs – that you can easily find appropriate species for any situation. We can all learn and gain inspiration from the different ways people grow their herbs in different parts of the world.
Plants require oxygen in the soil to thrive, but if the soil they are growing in is poorly drained then the plants progressively die from lack of oxygen. Raising garden beds is one way to easily improve drainage. Raised beds help with air circulation reducing the occurrence of diseases. Plants are more susceptible to root rots particularly when they are dormant and in a site that has poor drainage.
Formal Herb Gardens
A degree of formality can be created by simply planting a low hedge as a border. English box is perhaps the most popular hedge in temperate climates; though there are many different plants that serve equally well for this purpose; and some herbs are ideal, including Rosemary and Lavender. Rosemary is heat tolerant, but will not tolerate high humidity. It grows well grows well in hot, dry climates, such as Las Vegas, but not in humid tropics. In the tropics more ornamental small shrubs tend to edge herb garden, which are then planted up with appropriate specimens. A low hedge can help serve as a windbreak diffusing strong winds, giving some protection for more tender plants.
An open lawn area, or paddock that is semi-wild in nature. Mix in naturally occurring species, with herbs and flowers that freely self-seed. The area is not mowed or cut back until the bulk of herbs and flowers have set seed, or been harvested. Examples of plants to use, include: Forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvaticus), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), English or Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis), Dandelions (Taraxacum officinalis), Chicory (Chicorium intybus), Evening Primrose (Oenethera biennis), Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus), Red Clover (Trifolium pratense), Violet (Viola odorata), Mints (Mentha species), Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), Salad Burnet (Poterium sanguisorba).
Herbs are generally combined with perennials and annuals in a garden bed for an informal setting adding contrast in foliage and form to the garden. They often have aromatic foliage and can be used for a variety of purposes, including medicinal, cooking and crafts. For a more formal garden you can use one species to edge a mixed planting of perennials and annuals.
Using a good organic soil mix, create a mound of soil using rocks arranged in a spiral pattern to retain the soil. Continue creating the spiral to ground level. The design reduces the amount of edge compared to the inside area. It provides excellent drainage, and enables a number of plants to be grown in a small space by utilising the vertical space provided by the mound. Watering is more efficient, as the garden is watered from the top, and as the water infiltrate down through the mound, then the plants progressively lower down the side of the garden can utilise it. Such a garden can cater for the different requirements of plants grown in close proximity.
More drought tolerant plants such as Rosemary are placed at the top of the spiral. Progressively plant herbs preferring more moisture leading around the spiral. At the bottom perhaps build a small pond for watercress and water chestnuts.
HERB GARDENS TO VISIT
Throughout Australia, and the world, you will find Herb Gardens in most capital city botanic gardens or through the Open Garden Scheme. Even gardens in both some of the hottest and coldest population centres still have herb gardens. The beauty of these gardens is that they can quickly educate you as to which herbs grow, and how they grow, in that climate.
Often herb gardens also reflect the garden culture of the country you are visiting.
For example gardens in Germany (eg Stuttgart) will reflect traditionally used herbs. Traditional laid out gardens in Vancouver (eg the herb garden at Van Dusen Botanic Gardens) utilise herbs that can also be used in the adjacent restaurant. Herb gardens in Singapore will use those specimens best suited to the climate.