5 tips to design your own herb garden
Katie Adema, May 2016
Are you fan of Italian food? How about Vietnamese, Lebanese, or French food? Whatever tickles your tastebuds, all kinds of cuisines can be improved with the addition of freshly grown herbs. Fresh herbs are not only packed with flavour, but also pack a punch in the nutrition stakes – throughout history, herbs have been used to heal, soothe and boost human health, from settling upset stomachs, reducing inflammation in the body to improving cognitive performance. Even if you don’t possess a green thumb, the good news is that herbs can be grown fairly easily, and can even be quite a beautiful addition to your garden. Not sure where to get started with your own herb garden? Follow our easy five-step plan:
Choose your locationThe best thing about fresh herbs is that you can grow an impressive amount of them using only a very small space. While you may want to place it in a particular spot in the garden or even somewhere on the back verandah in pots, do consider how easily accessible the location is, and how close to the kitchen it is (this is so you can easily grab some quickly as you cook). Smaller herb gardens can even be hung on the backs of doors or placed across windowsills, while larger ones can be incorporated into your back garden as a feature. The only real restriction that may impact your choice of location for your herb garden is that ideally the spot needs to be exposed to four to six hours of sunlight a day.
Choose your herbsIf you are considering starting a herb garden, you probably have an idea of which herbs you would like to grow. For first timers, stick to maybe three or four of your favourites, and then expand the garden as you feel more confident. Here are some suggestions if you are not sure which herbs to include:
- Peppermint can help soothe an upset stomach and, when used to brew fresh tea, is a great caffeine free alternative to your afternoon or evening coffee
- Thyme is perfect for grilled vegetables and roasted meats – it also has the second highest amount of antioxidants out of all fresh herbs, which fight free radical damage in the body
- Coriander is ideal for use in Asian inspired cuisine. It is known to help reduce levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol, improve digestion and provide ample amounts of vitamin A and K