Herbs make an inspiring feature when grown together, and tend to like similar conditions. Soften an area of hard landscaping by allowing space for a circle of these colorful, low-growing, culinary plants.
When to plant: Spring.
At their best: Summer.
Time to complete: 4 hours.
You will need: Horticultural grit, spade, trowel, 3 small terracotta pots. A selection of herbs you could use, for example: Chives and fennel, Oregano, Parsley, Violas (as a decorative filler), Lemon balm, Mint, Thyme (also in pot).
Lighten the soil
Most herbs prefer to grow in well-drained soil, so in all but the lightest soils it is important to dig in plenty of horticultural grit before planting. Do not add to individual planting holes, but dig it in thoroughly over the whole area.
Lay out the herbs before planting. Place three of each plant in a triangle so that they will form the “wedges” of the circle once they have grown together. Plant the mint in individual terracotta or plastic pots to contain the roots, and sink these into the soil.
Water the herbs in well after planting and keep them watered while they settle in. All plants are hardy and can be left in the bed, but the parsley and violas will need refreshing with new plants every year or two.
Tips: Promote new growth
Harvesting and pruning are the same job when you are growing herbs. Nip out the tips of the plants regularly to use in the kitchen, and to help keep the plants bushy and compact.