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Herb Rock Garden

Herb garden landscaping tips and great ideas! For your herb rock garden.

Welcome to another page on how to create a dazzling Herb Rock Garden!

Herbs and rock gardens are almost synonymous. They just love being together. Their natural synchronicity is created with ease, though there may be some heavy lifting involved. Not always, though! The beauty of rocks is not only do they provide protection and warmth; they also contain many minerals, stabilize the soil and create homes for small creatures that will protect your herb garden.

Microbes will be more abundant for soil life, and your herb rock garden will radiate an almost tangible vitality as you admire and walk amongst the beauty you have created.

"The natural herb rock garden. Here's how!"

First observe your area and space that you have, is it sloping or flat? Where is the wettest area? Do I have a strong water flow in heavy rain? Will I have to import water, or add irrigation?

If you have a facing slope that receives full sun or morning sun you are in for real treat, as you receive all the beneficial light the plants need and love.

Herbs such as Oregano, Marjoram, Mint and Thyme look fantastic as they climb and cling to the rocks. The tip is to plant the herbs at the top of the rock, as they generally will grow down falling with gravity.

Also plant these herbs between rocks for a natural look. Under the rocks moisture is held and the herbs roots will travel to find extra moisture in dry times.

Flat areas also look fantastic and always have a lowest point. Here you must check for moisture retention.

In high rainfall areas always plant above the lowest point. In low rainfall areas plant in the lowest point. This will save a lot of hard work in the future.

Water always falls to the lowest point and in low rainfall areas this where all your moisture will congregate. Your plants will love you for it.

In high rainfall areas the soil works like a sump and draws the moisture upwards. The lowest point maybe too wet most of the time and the herbs need the soil to dry occasionally.

In heavy rains walk down to the area you have chosen and observe water flows so your future prospected garden works to its natural benefits. Just stick to the rules above.

You may also live in an area with irregular rain and need to irrigate your herb rock garden.

On a hill you can put a small tank and pump up water to the tank and use a gravity fed system to irrigate.

An irrigation line can be set up on a sprinkler or drip system. Always connect a filter system, as these tend to clog easily.

Fertilizing and mulching your Herb Rock Garden landscape

The best way to do this is to prepare all your landscaped area before planting. The method is to place all your organic material first so it can settle down. Compost, cow and horse manures should be added first, and even some worm castings, if you can get your hands on some.

Add chicken manure and blood and bone approximately one month after planting. These fertilizers are very strong and young plants are prone to root burn.

Put your mulch on top, preferably Lucerne or hay for starters. These are great soil conditioners and will help increase worm and microbial activities. Healthy soil: healthy plants.

When your plants are more mature and stabilized, you can change your mulch to woodchip, if this is more pleasing to the eye.

Planting companions

I like to follow beneficial companion-planting principles in my herb rock garden landscape. Not only does this engender health and deter pests, companion-planting has a very natural appeal and beauty. Such practices will also improve your success two-fold.

Where to plant your herbs throughout the landscape

Different herbs like different situations, so the key is to plant the following varieties throughout the dry areas.

Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme,

These herbs prefer a little more moisture so plant in the landscape areas that has moist ground.

Basil, Bay leaf, Bergamot, Borage, Burnet, Chervil, Chives, Dill, Lemon balm, Mint, Parsley, Savory, Sorrel, Tarragon,

A Small Herb Rock Garden example

This photo depicts how to start your home herb garden landscape. I have created a step-by-step guideline for you to follow using this photo.

Here they have created an outline using some lime to make the shape, and then preceded cutting out the border with a spade and shovel.

The soil that has been dug has been thrown into the centre of the garden and made into a mound. As this is being done organic matter has been added.

Old organic matter has been dug through with some added lime and also dolomite to nourish. This will improve and condition the soil.

The rocks that have been brought in are Blue stone. These are a fabulous rock for creating landscapes and dry stone walls.

The largest rocks have been positioned at the bottom of the slope to hold the soil and prevent erosion. With the smaller ones placed above as a border.

The base rocks are dug in one third their height.

The black plastic has been used to control the grass, and held in place by bricks. Then heavy mulch has been added over the plastic to stop the invading grass sending in runners into the landscape.

At the bottom of the landscape some bricks have been used as a border. I feel that this is unpleasing to the eye, but the rocks have run short. They will serve their purpose for now.

As the base of the landscape has been created, it is now time to add the plants into our herb garden landscaping site.

The plants have been placed around in pots so they can be evaluated to see if they suit their position.

Finally the plants are dug into the soil and watered into their final position, in the herb rock garden.

They have been given a solid watering in the pots, and also in the ground, after the transplanting.

These were planted late in the afternoon to avoid shock and to let them settle.

As you can see in the photo, some herbs are still in their containers. These are checked to see if they are suitable for their positions. The overall balance of the garden is important.

Finally the mulch is added. The key is not to put the mulch hard- up against the plants but to give them a little space. The space will prevent stem rot.

Over time, observe the growth. Move the plant to another position if the present one wasn't favorable.

Add organic matter, and mulch every spring.

Follow the tips and procedures in this article and you will produce beautiful herbs for teas and cooking.


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