For the last two years mint's been growing in the garden and it hasn't spread ... It was contained by growing it in a chimney flue liner sunk into the ground. Keeping this in mind I planned our new herb bed, a way to limit the spread of the herbs. I wanted it to be in the middle of the garden, kind of a focal point, once the raspberry canes are moved to the edge of the garden in a couple years.
Step one was finding the middle of the garden, and sinking in the 12 chimney flues. I didn't worry too terribly much about them being perfectly level and square, they are pretty close and once the herbs grow it won't be noticeable:
Once they were in they were filled with 'Mel's Mix' a combination of vermiculite, peat moss, and various manures as per the instructions in Mel Bartholomew's book 'All New Square Foot Gardening':
Thinking about what herbs we use in the kitchen guided what was planted. A quick trip to our favourite local greenhouse yielded:
Adding sage and parsley from our old patch and chives from a garage sale planted out the 12 flues. The plan was to put something tall in the middle like an obelisk or bird bath. Instead it looks like dill will be living there :o) I need lots of dill for pickles and for borscht and for potato salad and for ...
Grandma supplied us with little volunteer dills from her garden and a baggie of dill seed. They are now all settled in and hopefully will give us a nice batch of leaf and seed heads.
All these herbs should be able to supply all we need for the year, now I just have to read about how to harvest and other ways to use them. We've been growing our own mint tea and the addition of chamomile should be interesting. My little tea grannies are already sniffing at the meager teaspoon of flowers we've harvested!