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August 2010


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For The Love of Gardens


Create Your Very Own Herbal Knot Garden

Create Your Very Own Herbal Knot Garden

If you really want to make an impact in your garden and startle anyone who looks at it while passing by, you should do some wonders. One of the feats of expert gardening is the ability to grow a herbal knot garden. This type of garden is a) incredibly hard to do, b) great looking, c) practical for home cooks, and d) a great achievement for anybody who wants to call themselves a reliable gardener. The main thing about this garden is the ability to do the right planning for the landscaping project. It really is more planning and planting than actual work in the beginning, and it takes a bit of garden maintenance to get there after the herbs start growing, but then you get the satisfaction of being able to create this complex of a design.

Step #1 – Design the Pattern

The first step of planning is finding a spot for the garden and then marking it out. Get a wide area where you can have all the space you want; either use a small rake to set it apart from the rest of the garden or use a non-toxic spray for more vivid markings. This is your work zone, so make sure you do it justice. After marking out the area, you need to also draw (or mark, if the linguistic and artistic implications of the choice of the word is too much for you) the pattern you have chosen. Remember, symmetry is key, unless you want some abstract design only you will understand. Spray or rake it into the soil (it’s best if you start on clear soil and not on grass) and then the work can begin.

Step #2 – Prepare the Area

First of all, you need good fertile soil. Either add fertiliser of your own or buy fertile soil to replace the one you already have. The latter would probably mean you have to redo the markings, but it’s all worth it if the end result is a good spot for a herb knot garden. After the soil is set, you need to make a huge planter (or at least add borders to the area) which will contain said garden. Get long boards, remove any splinters, make sure the wood is not rotten or mouldy, and then put them around the area to separate it from the rest of the lawn. If you have any straight pattern designs you can even add internal boards to make planting easier on the next stage.

Step #3 – Pick and Plant the Herbs

Picking the herbs is easy as there are two things you need to consider: the herbs for the threads and the herbs for the compartments. Using only two herbs for a start is a good idea. Start simple, and when you get used to this sort of expert gardening, you can use more types as well, either for decoration or to expand the knots. Lavender, thyme, and rosemary are perfect for thread (or border) herbs, and basil, mint, or parsley will suffice for a starter’s compartment herbs. Use easy to grow and maintain herbs for your first go and don’t go wild with rare ones – after all, the first try might not be the success you seek. The other part is pretty self-explanatory: plant the herbs one by one within the markings and plant them in such a way that you give the herbs the space to breathe. Planting your herb every two feet might just be ideal for a start.

Step #4 – The Garden Maintenance

Your garden should be pretty complete after the planting, especially if you planted grown herbs from planters. All you have to do now is provide the right pruning to make sure that they don’t overstep their markings, water them to make sure they don’t die, and remove weeds in case some pests decide meddling in your new garden. The garden care required is pretty much the same as dealing with a standard garden, with the only difference being here you also have to do some cutting and pruning to make sure that the consistency is sustained. With more experience, you can even add flowers or other herbs between the knots, or surround them with an even better garden to enjoy.

And you are done. This gardening project has been completed and you have your own herb knot garden. Keep up with the garden care, replant if a plant dies and enjoy both the aesthetic value of your garden and the envious looks which you will be getting from the people around you.

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