Herb Gardens

A couple of decades ago I was so inspired while looking at a cookbook that I set out to create my own herb garden. I lived in a tiny 200 year old house where space was at a premium. It didn’t hold me back, though. I started my herb garden in pots on a baker’s rack, next to my kitchen door. I tried many new herbs in different ways. I was hooked! Herbs quickly became my favorite thing to grow.

Whenever possible, use brick for paths. They radiate heat back into the planting areas.

Through the years, at each new house, I have always planted an herb garden. Here in the Northern Virginia area we are known to have awful soil and intensely hot summers, usually accompanied by a drought. Herbs love this, so many are very well-suited to our region.


Of all my gardens – ever – without a doubt my favorite was my herb garden at my last house. I was lucky to have extra bricks left over from when the house was built, and a sloping, west-facing area, not very suitable to growing much of anything but herbs. Laying out the design, I made sure to leave plenty of walk paths, so that each section could be accessed easily. The overall size was about 25′ x 20′, and it had 8 planting beds. After preparing all the soil, I planted at least 20 varieties of herbs and kept two beds for starting perennials and vegetables.

Although many of the veggies were eaten by wildlife, they usually left the herbs alone. It was a fantastic place to be. The scent of the herbs on a hot afternoon after a rain was intoxicating. It was also one of the most beautiful areas in the entire yard. Always one that drew notice, as well as being totally practical!

My Williamsburg Style Herb Garden

There are many perennial herbs that provide the basis for my garden – oregano, chives, sage, rosemary, lemon balm, and mint are a few, and I always plant basil, cilantro and catnip each year. Which herbs will you have in your garden?


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