The history of garden design dates back to 1500 BC. The earliest evidence of horticulture and landscaping is in the form of Egyptian tomb paintings depicting lotus ponds surrounded by symmetrical rows of acacias and palms. The famous Hanging gardens of Babylon were known as one of the wonders of the world. Temple gardens contained vegetables and herbs that were considered sacred. In the middle age, sophisticated herb garden designs and horticulture techniques were developed by monasteries. Monks grew medicinal herbs and treated the sick fellow monks and the community who were suffering from ailments with these healing herbs. The wealthy Romans built villas with water cascades, topiary, rose and shaded arcades. Much of the present modern herb garden design is influenced and inspired by the intricate, traditional Persian, Zen and Italian Renaissance gardens.
Your herb garden design should reflect the inspiration and theme. Herb garden may be one of the various design styles and techniques brought out below:
Knot Herb Garden Design
Knot gardens are symmetrically-designed gardens using geometric patterns with fantastic view obtained from trimming the plants in a knotted shape. It requires constant grooming and keeping the defined shapes by the precise pruning of edges. Herbs that work well in knot gardens are those that can be trimmed and designed into hedge. Varieties of dwarf herbs, such as Thyme, Chamomile and Lavender are good choices. Some possible patterns for a modern knot garden can be Diamonds, Oblongs, Diagonal crossings, Triangles and Wheels. These patterns can have divisions for different herbs that can be segregated according to hues, contrasts and fragrances.
English Cottage Herb Garden Design
There are two types of English herb gardens. The informal types are called Cottage gardens and are used for culinary and medicinal properties. The second are the formal gardens built for aesthetics and visual appeal. These gardens were structured and used knots and overlapped with row plants. Lavender and Thyme are ideal and widely used in English herb gardens. English cottage gardens are popular in American circles and widely emulated for their wild abundance of perennial flowers and herbs, vine-covered arbors, and plants tumbling over walkways.
Tuscan Herb garden Design
Tuscan herb gardens incorporate traditional elements in style and the design contains elements, that are characterized by both plants and the accessories. One of the important features in Tuscan garden design is the use of vases, urns, and terra cotta pots to grow your herbs in. Though you are expected to use a hoard of garden containers to create your Tuscan garden design, you don’t really have to spend a fortune for buying vases and pots. The herb garden looks perfect in its rustic look even when it is cultivated in chipped and cracked pots. Use of Italian herbs is best for the Tuscan design with optional inclusion of poppies and flowers. Use of a trellis and grape vine or grape ivy to create a look of Italy’s tradition of fine wines will give a stunning look to your Tuscan herb garden.
Topiary Herb Garden Design
Topiary is a formal garden design that uses the art of pruning and training plants and shrubs into decorative shapes. It goes as far back as the Romans, but many of the artistic forms or prunings were developed in Europe. Massive topiary shapes of animals, birds and sculptures can be created out of tight evergreen bushes or hedges. You are not expected to craft elaborate sculptures out of the herbs, use simple topiary design that will enhance your herb garden giving it an artistic view.
Landscaping the herb garden doesn’t require high degree of professional skills. Using stones and rocks in home gardens provide a seat of tranquility for reflection and relaxation. Caring and tending for a garden can lower blood pressure, ease anxiety, divert stressful memories and help in conjuring good thoughts that have a lingering beneficial effect on the subconscious mind. Reserve a part of the garden to enjoy a few minutes of solitude, meditation and prayer. The mind can rest and the eyes can feast on diverse muddle of colorful herbs, blooms and flowering plants, distributed in a seemingly haphazard but pleasing style, apparently evoking thoughts of a “natural landscape.” The symphony and aura of herbs with flowers in the overall composition, and the wildness of the arrangement gives rise to a closer communing with nature.