(Image courtesy Life’s a Garden)
I am thinking a lot about garden shapes lately. One of them that particularly interests me is the herb spiral. You make a mound of dirt, put rocks around it so that it makes a spiral, and plant herbs on it.
(Image courtesy Saturday Evening Post)
Then you water at the top, and the design of the spiral brings the water down to all the plants. According to this article in the Saturday Evening Post, “In a “trickle-down” effect, water drains down into the lower levels, leaving the arid-loving plants high and dry, while the middle and lower levels stay progressively more moist.”
So you would then plant based on water distribution. At the top of the spiral, you would plant herbs that need less water, like rosemary, and then at the bottom, you would plant herbs that need more water, like chamomile.
The advantages of an herb spiral are:
1. It allows you to put more plants in less space. The mound has more surface area overall, so you can put many more plants in than you would if you planted them in a regular plot. This is especially great if you have a small yard.
2. It uses less water. You water once, and it is ideally distributed to all the plants based on their needs. No water is wasted.
3. It’s easier for harvesting. If you place the herb spiral right next to your kitchen door, say, all you have to do is step outside and snip a little bit off. No wandering all over the garden to cut various herbs–it’s all in one place.
I’m not sure I’m really going to do this since I already have some well-established herbs outside. But part of me is thinking about making a little herb spiral anyway, say right outside the kitchen. Maybe it will look like this:
(Image courtesy Sweet Local Farm’s flickr)