Design an Herb Container Garden

Container gardening is great if you do not have any land to plant a garden or you just wish to add some texture and beauty to an area. An easy, healthy, and sustainable set of plants to grow in containers are herbs. They come in all shapes, sizes, and variety of colors. Some herbs flower, some do not. But all can be used for their beauty, their healing ability, and their tastiness.

Herb Container Gardening 101

Before you begin, learn the growing requirements for the herbs you desire to plant. Herbs that can be relatively close together will produce a beautifully designed container garden. Consider the geometric space of the container; is the container long and rectangular like a window box or deck container or perhaps the container is a uniquely shaped household item that has been repurposed into a container for the garden. Good design uses and accentuates the geometric design of the container and the plants should compliment (not overcrowd) the container.

A single container does not need to be used for an herb garden. Alternatively, a more modern designed container garden can be achieved by placing a single herb plant in identical container pots and then arranging the pots into a geometric design.

Next, consider the layout desired for your herb container garden; herbs that will grow tall can be placed in the back of the container while those that are more colorful (purple basil, for example) can be an eye-catching center piece and used as a balance counterweight. Think about the texture of herbs as well. Salad burnet and purple sage, for example, have soft textured leaves while rosemary is pricklier.

Flowering herbs can be especially delightful in a designed container garden. Chives, chamomile, chicory, echinacea, lavender, thyme, and yarrow all produce colorful flowers. If the herb garden will be eaten, it is important to consider that most herbs used for culinary purposes will not be allowed to flower early in the season so it is best to focus on texture and leaf color to bring a sense of fullness to your herb garden design.

Regardless of the design of the container garden it is important that creativity and fun are a included in the gardening and designing experience. -KATHY FAIRCHILD

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