A herb garden is a garden dedicated to the cultivation of cooking, herbal tea, medicinal, aromatic, and/or magical herbs.
During the medieval
period, monks and nuns developed specialist medical knowledge and grew the necessary herbs in specialist gardens. Typical plants were rosemary
. With the advance of medical and botanical sciences in Renaissance
Europe, monastic herb gardens developed into botanical gardens
. The section in which herbs were grown became known as a Garden of Simples
Herb gardens experienced a revival with the work of the British garden historian and horticultural, writer Eleanour Sinclair Rohde (1882–1950).
Herb gardens today
Today, modern herb gardens may be purely functional or can include a blend of functional and ornamental parts. They are usually only used to flavour food in cooking
, hereby sometimes also triggering positive medical side-effects. In addition, plants grown within the garden are sometimes also specifically targeted to cure common illnesses or maladies
such as colds, headaches, or anxiety. Especially due to the increase in popularity of alternative medicine
, this usage is heavily increasing. Making a medicinal garden however, requires a great number of plants, one for each malady. Finally, herbs grown in herb gardens are also sometimes used to make herbal teas
Herb gardens may be created which are either rectangular (intermittent and non-intermittent) or circular. The whole or parts of the design may also include raised beds
Also, ornamental plants can be used to make a small hedge to mark the separation between pathway and herb patch. This can be done through such plants as ligustrum, buxus sempervirens, or even strong herbs as rose hip, ... Usually, the herb garden is constructed so that easy maintenance such weeding) can be performed. This generally means that besides putting in place barriers as plants or stones, certain dimensions are respected. For instance the planting plots within the rectangular herb patch are usually no wider than 1 to 1.5metres, so that all of the patch can be reached from the pathway for weeding or gathering. When an intermittent rectangular pattern is used, pathways are laid of say, 80cm every two metres so that the rectangles are 1 by 2 metres followed by 80cm of pathway. When grass pathways are employed, the path's size is usually set to the lawnmower (from about 80cm to 1metre). When pathways are made from gravel, this is of course not required.
Herbs commonly used
Popular culinary herbs in temperate climates are to a large extent still the same as in the medieval period, although certain new plants have joined them including for example, borage
Popular medicinal herbs in temperate climates are: