Herb Garden Design with Essential Fruits and Vegetables
Before planning an edible garden, think about the purpose of the garden first. These four window boxes were designed so that the client can easily open her windows and make a selection, or water everything from the convenience of her kitchen. We chose all my client’s favorite herbs and edible flowers: garlic chives, marigolds, parsley, several varieties of basil, creeping thyme, cilantro, and even a couple of strawberry plants.
Some herbs are also “perennials” and will last year round, while others (like basil) are seasonal. Group seasonal items together so that they are easily replaced with something else once their growing season is complete.
When replacing plants, don’t forget to replenish the soil, especially if you are planting in window boxes or containers. Valuable nutrients pass through containers quickly, so fresh soil amendments will ensure that the new plants get off to a great start.
Theme gardens are popular right now. Consider grouping herbs and vegetables together in a raised bed for cooking purposes. If you love Asian cooking, you might want to grow lemongrass, Thai basil, Vietnamese coriander, Chinese eggplant, and dwarf pepper plants (like ‘Baby Belle’). A great way to introduce children to the concept of gardening is to grow something they will also consume. Create a “Lemonade Garden” with all the plants you might use to make fresh lemonade: pineapple mint, orange mint, basil, cucumbers, and lemongrass. Plant a Meyer lemon tree, dwarf blueberry bushes, and strawberries in containers to complete the Lemonade Garden. Don’t forget to make ice cubes with the blueberries and strawberries for the lemonade.
Get creative. Did you know you can regrow many herbs and vegetables from your own garden, or re-root favorite edibles from the farmers market (celery and mint, for example)? Mother Earth Living provides a great how-to, HERE. Many of these can be started indoors on a sunny window ledge, and then transplanted outside after all danger of frost has passed.