The purpose of your herbal garden should influence the design of your garden. So the first step to consider is your purpose. Is your purpose for looks, cooking, herbal teas, medicinal or herbal nutrition?
Once you have established your purpose you need to consider their soil and watering requirements and put them in compatible groups in the garden bed. At this point you also need to take into consideration the location. Is it mostly sunny, shady or sheltered by a wall, fence or hedge?
Now choose the herbs accordingly to which ones grow in your particular conditions. I call this the process of elimination.
Herbs will grow in most well drained soils. It is best to have a south sloping garden site. The plants that require full sun can be placed near the top of the slope, and the plants that require shade and more moisture can be placed at the bottom. The slope helps with drainage.
Make a diagram of your herbal garden on paper. Mark down where you want to plant each herb. Take into account the sun, shade, slope and drainage. Keeping in mind that the plants will spread out as they grow and will take up more space.
You can grow plants from seeds or buy young plants from a nursery. Place herbs in the locations you marked on your paper diagram. Be cautious of plant selections, some herbs will spread all over your garden. Borage is a good example.
Their are also a few herbs that do not respond well to being moved, such as chervil. Most other herbs can be safely transplanted to other areas should you change your mind about where you planted them.
You can also random plant in a regular garden. This will provide a “wild effect” appearance and works well for herbs that need to grow near rocks or be shadowed by taller plants. Others need full sun. Smaller herbs need smaller spaces.
Growing herbs in containers can be moved around to change the layout of a porch, patio or garden.