Making an Aromatic Herb Border

An aromatic herb border may be an ideal DIY project to plan for spring or summer. Start early with making decisions as to where you will place your border, and what types of herbs would you like to plant. There are many traditional herb-garden plants that have a great potential to be used in a low-maintenance border or bed. You will find a great number of them to be evergreen and drought-resistant, some of which can be planted in a rock garden as well. This border will also do well for perennials, as well as drought tolerant herbs, and sedges. You can have a wonderful perfumed garden in no time.

"Fragrant and Aromatic Herb Border"

Aromatic and Fragrant Herb Border

What Herbs Should I Plant?

There are many herbs that are very aromatic and fragrant. If you are not sure how these herbs smell, take a visit to a nursery and take a whiff of some of these. You can try rubbing a leaf  and then smelling. There are some that are popular that you may not enjoy as well as other varieties.

Here are some of the most common herbs that are planted because of their aromatic nature, but may not be as drought resistant as we need for our particular border. You will be well on your way to having a wonderful perfumed garden.

Lavender, Basil, Catnip, Chamomile, lemon balm, and mint are all fragrant, but I would not necessarily mix many of these fragrances together. Instead, I have a nice selection of aromatic herbs picked out for planting in an aromatic border.

"Thymus vulgaris"

Thymus vulgaris

You can get a contemporary feel from a herb border filled with aromatic lavender and common thyme and try to blend it in with a cream-flowered cotton lavender (Santolina) and giant, silver-leaved cardoon (Cynara).

Also include, wispy bronze sedges to weave through the planting, linking the various elements in your design. You may even like to add a few crocuses, such as Crocus chrysanthus at the front for a little spring color.

"Lavendula 'Fathead' "

Lavendula 'Fathead'

Quantity of Plants

  • 3 x Santolina pinnata subsp. Neapolitana ‘Edward Bowles’
  • 5 x thymus vulgaris
  • 1 x Cynara cardunculus
  • 5 x Lavandula ‘Fathead’
  • 7 x Carex flagellifera

Planting and Care

Herbs should be planted any where from spring to early summer. It is important to get them well established during the growing season so that they will be prepared to endure colder temperatures later on.

"Carex flagellifera"

Carex flagellifera

The soil should be of a good consistency. It should be reasonably fertile and able to drain very easily. If you happen to have a clay soil, you will need to dig in some grit or gravel to help loosen up the soil.

Plant your herbs in a sunny location that is sheltered from any high winds. The border or bed should be around 5 x 6 ft. (1.8 x 1.5m).

"Santolina 'Edward Bowles' "

Santolina 'Edward Bowles'

For weed free gardening, you may choose to use a type of material that can be placed on the ground that allows you to plant through the membrane of the material. This is a great way to keep out weeds and reduce your time spent maintaining your herb border.

*Tip- Clip over the lavender after it flowers in late summer and, in fall, take off any faded leaves and woody flower stalks.

"Cynara cardunculus"

Cynara cardunculus

*Tip- the following spring, cut the cotton lavender back to a low framework, and lightly trim the thymes. Also, trim any sedges close to the base in spring to encourage colorful regrowth.

*Tip-if you only have a patio or small space, you can plant some of these herbs and other varieties into pots and containers. Herbs make excellent container plants as well.

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