Designing an Herb Garden


Herbs give us their gifts of flavors, scents and other comforting and healing properties. In designing an herb garden, it is important to ask yourself a few questions in order to achieve a garden that will suit your needs and desires.

  • Visit local nurseries or botanical gardens to expand your knowledge of herbs. Do research in books or on the Internet.

  • Create a list of herbs you would like to have in your garden. Some herbs are for culinary purposes, some are medicinal and some overlap, such as peppermint chamomile.

  • If you prefer a more formal herb garden, you can plant in neat rows using geometric shapes and symmetry. These gardens are orderly and can be highly maintained. 

  • If you prefer a natural-looking herb garden, use more irregular curves and shapes with mixed plantings that will require less maintenance. With this type of garden, it is important to maintain walkways and open spaces to allow access and to prevent the plants from smothering each other.

  • If a designated space is not possible or desired, herbs can be placed throughout your existing garden, mixed in with other plantings. For example, lavender and rosemary make nice hedges and borders. Dill, basil and cilantro can be planted among vegetables.

  • Whether your herb garden is formal or natural, choose perennial plants in shaping your garden and giving it “bones.”      

  • Maintenance is an important factor in garden design. If you have little time, plant low-maintenance herbs such as native sages, lavender, rosemary, calendula and thyme. If you have more time and energy, you can plant a huge variety of herbs and use them fresh or dried.

  • Share the rewards of your herb garden with family and friends!


John Noble

Coastal Sage Gardening

3685 Voltaire St., Point Loma


In Harmony Herbs

1862 Bacon St., Ocean Beach



Don’t miss Loma Portal Elementary School’s 2013 Home & Garden Tour and Craft Faire on May 19 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 the day of the event, and may be purchased online before the day of the event at or in the main office of the school at 3341 Browning St., San Diego. For more information, call 619-223-1683. All proceeds benefit the school’s music program.  

Categories: Gardening