So, we have looked at what we are growing in the herb garden and how the simple application of a new seating area and surface can really lift a small space. Yet, how can you manage a small growing space to give maximum impact? Remember that this is a front garden, and most of us want great looking front gardens but we don't want to spend time gardening. That is common in gardening, it's not that some of us don't want to garden we simply don't have the time to garden. Gardening is always at the bottom of the list for some people and other people just turn to astroturf. This is not and never will be an astroturf blog, we want to get people gardening by showing them that sometimes things go right and then there are times we cock it all up and go to the pub.
Most people never draw their garden. We don't mean taking a spray can and painting shapes on your garden, before Ground Force there were gardeners without spray cans, with pieces of paper, there still are gardeners with pieces of paper, all gardens start on paper. This is our herb garden with rough shapes we want to create with planting.
We initially draw our gardens in pencil, this means we can rub it out if we think it doesn't work and when we are happy we draw over it in pen. If we zoom in to the right hand side of the garden you will see that we have Wedding Present rose on the wall, this we know is vigorous, it spills over the wall and in front of it is a Peony and now direct sowed is Valerian, beside Anise and swimming in is Cumin Black and before it all a lovely low hedge of chives and strawberries. We like creating drifts in our garden, we like our plants to look natural.
So, when we planted our Safflowers, we didn't just place them in one block, we repeated them through the bed in two blocks. We did this with Nigella Damascene too, so that colours repeat. Repetition of colour is useful in any planting plan.
The Safflower is also under planted with Sweet Woodruff. Salad Burnet repeats around the herb bed too. Repetition works well in any bed. As we move around the bed toward the left, Valerian repeats around the compost bin, next to Alexanders and here the bed foliage gets taller to gives us seclusion from next door's porch and to give them privacy too but the growth is not solid, it will move in the wind and be frothy with the addition of Fennel herb. This doesn't appear on the planting plan because we have yet to harden them off! We leave areas for annuals, including salad and flowers, so that small sections within the small garden can be changed each year and that is the key to gardening, building up your perennial areas and this counts in food growing too with establishment of fruit beds. This means each year you can dabble in something new.