Growing a Herb Garden

We asked garden designer, Emma Coleman, for her top tips for growing herbs, from a pocket-sized patch to the grandest of gardens. Emma is a renowned talent with projects ranging from a total redesign of an 18th Century farmhouse garden, wild cottage planting for a Victorian manor house, to modern planting plans for urban settings.

Here she tells us how to create a herb garden at home, no matter how big or small.

SEEDS OF SUMMER
Cheer up the grey winter months by planning which seeds you want to grow for the year ahead. I like to think about the herbs I use in my kitchen and also which ones double up as a fantastic floral feature. Nasturtiums are a favourite. This versatile little plant has vibrant flowers and foliage. Pop them in your salad for some summery decoration.

FIND A SUNNY SPOT
Camomile, basil, chive, coriander, mint, sorrel, lemon balm and fennel are just a few herbs that you can grow very easily from seed. It’s as simple as finely laying them on a shallow tray of soil, covering them to keep the warmth in and putting them on a sunny windowsill. A good rule to go by is that herbs love a sunny spot.

PLANTING YOUR POTS
In the spring, your windowsills will be bursting with your aspiring herb garden! By early summer you can plant your seedlings in their permanent home. Be creative, grow them in crates, old Belfast sinks, tyre stacks, vintage buckets, anything that has a bit of drainage in the bottom.

EMBRACE THE UNRULY
I love a very natural looking garden and like to grow herbs in and among other plants. Wild carrot plants are beautiful in a sea of cosmos flowers for example. Grow them together for a fragrant flowering combination which will last through late summer and early autumn.

FRAGRANT HERBS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
Evergreen herbs like lavender, rosemary and sage can create structure within your planting all year round. There is nothing better than brushing against a lavender plant when you go through your front door, or when you open a balcony window; I find the fragrance always uplifts you.

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