Lastly, getting physical is essential to start marking the site and preparing to dig.• Prepare the soil• Mark out boundaries• Use stakes, twine, cardboard box for angles, and lime to draw lines• Dig and plantFinally, rest, relax and feel great about what you just accomplished.Things to remember….• Time• Effort• Pleasure• ExpansionMost of us have limited time on our hands with work, family, and leisure it seems like there’s not enough time in a day. So, keep this in mind when you plan your herb garden design. It is best to start out small then build up or add onto your herb garden layout each additional year. Remember…baby steps…start small then expand your herb garden.Happy herb gardening!Why is this important?The sun shines from east, southeast, south, southwest, and west as it moves throughout the day. If your herb garden design is facing east or west, your plants will not get the correct southern exposure. They need full sun to grow to their full potential with essential oils and nutrients.You also don’t want to plant an herb plant that will cause shade or shadows on sun loving herb plants like rosemary and sage. If possible design your herb garden with at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.Wind is another factor to consider as it tends to strip away moisture and stresses the herbs that need warmth to grow. What about a nice place to sit and relax and breathe in the aromatic herbs?The Herb Society of America New Encyclopedia of Herbs and their Uses – DK , Revised edition 2001 – Deni Brown. Excellent reference for the cultivation and usage for more than 1,000 medicinal herbs. Each monograph includes cultivation, propagation, harvest, parts used and properties and usage. I use this book for researching cultivars and international plants. Looking for seeds or herb plants? Our Link Page has a list of herbal nurseries and seed sellers. We curate a dazzling Pinterest Board, filled with our favorite articles on herb gardening, permaculture, and garden design. We only share resources we personally trust, so each pin has our stamp of approval! Two Facebook pages with lots of good information on growing herbs: Strictly Medicinals (formerly Horizon Herbs) and our own page Cultivating Medicinal Herbs. If you enjoy my botanical bling and writing, visit my Instagram account, where I share daily snippets of herb cultivation, medicine making, botany and ecology. Medicinal Herbs and Non-Timber Forest Products – Useful links to many websites and articles devoted to the topic of cultivating medicinal herbs. Dr. Jeanine Davis of NC. Fedco Seeds – Cultural information and planting chart for herbs – Fedco chart We are developing the most extensive DIY online herbal course out there, which includes foraging, botany, cultivation, medicine making and therapeutics. The Online Herbal Immersion Program will be available Spring 2016. Hop on our Mailing List if you want to find out about the course’s launch date and early bird sale. Thanks to Ashevillage and Green Farmacy Gardens for allowing me to photograph their beautiful gardens.Speaking of rooted cuttings, if you buy fresh mint, oregano or marjoram at the store, and you decide you’d like to grow it, by all means choose a few healthy sprigs and try growing them as rooted cuttings. Just pinch off all but the top three or four leaves, trim the base of the cutting back to green healthy tissue, plant the cutting in a pot of moist soil, then cover with a plastic bag for a few days. I have rooted oregano right in the garden by covering the cutting with a flowerpot for a week (the pot protects the little plant from sun until it has time to grow roots). My mint got its start as a supermarket sprig, too, and after four years in a large pot it’s still going strong.Rosemary is not consistently winter hardy beyond Zone 7, and cold winter winds can damage oregano, sage and tarragon, even in areas where they’re rated hardy. The safest way to make sure your favorite perennial herbs survive winter is to move them to pots, allow them to become dormant, then keep them in a cold garage or outbuilding where temperatures seldom drop below 20 degrees. Or dig and store only rosemary, and surround your other perennial herbs with a 12-inch-tall wire cage filled with loose straw or pine needles. A loose pile of evergreen boughs arranged over the plants’ crowns also does an excellent job of protecting them from biting winter winds. Remove either form of winter protection about a month before the last expected frost.You may want to mail order special strains of some culinary herbs, or wait until spring and shop for plants at local garden centers or herb farms. As you examine prospective adoptees, take a moment to check the pot to see how many plants are growing there. Last spring when I bought what was offered as a single sage plant, I found four nicely rooted cuttings in the pot, which were easy to pull apart and put out in individual planting holes. Small pots of basil often contain more than a half dozen little seedlings, which can be divided and transplanted, provided you shade them from the sun for a few days as they become accustomed to their new home.If all of this talk of seeds and cuttings has you feeling confused, take a deep breath and relax. Your first venture into a kitchen herb garden is sure to be successful if you start with a simple planting plan like the ones shown here. Fill your garden with tried-and-true favorites, which are offered as collections by Mountain Valley Growers, Blossom Farm and many other herb growers. Start small, keep it simple, and you’re sure to be delighted by the fantastic flavors of your kitchen herbs.Contributing editor Barbara Pleasant has smothered the steps leading to her deck with kitchen herbs.• Round• Diamond • Square• Diagonal• Interlocking diamonds• Wagon wheels• Or a combination of the aboveThis is where you decide if you want a formal garden design, a geometric pattern design, or an informal herb garden design. Group your herbs together that will be used for culinary, medicinal, or organic pest control.Look at the different garden magazines and books to try and design the right herb garden for you.• Draw your herb garden with curved paths so you tend to linger and not rush through your garden.Now, start filling in the detail of sculptures, chairs, a fountain, or any type of garden accent to bring out the beauty of your herb garden design.Decorative herb planting was a popular yard embellishment in turn of the century homes. While now considered a bit old fashioned, it can still be an excellent complement to most yards, especially if you have a historical home.Decorative herb planting requires some advanced planning. Start with some graph paper and make a scaled drawing of the herb bed you want. Consider looking at old photographs and doing some research at the library for design ideas. Celtic knots and other intricate designs can all be achieved with herbs.There are three common herb garden layouts. Each has specific advantages, though some may be more appropriate than others, depending on the space and time you wish to devote to your herb garden.If you intend to grow enough herbs to dry and save for the winter, outdoor planting is an excellent choice. A basic herb garden is easily constructed if you have any other gardening experience. Once again, soil and sun preferences are paramount in achieving a healthy-looking herb garden.When planting the seedlings or seeds in a bed, keep in mind their height and branch spread. This will allow you to estimate the amount of space required for each plant to grow properly. It will also allow you to place the plants so that larger herbs do not overshadow smaller plants.If all of this talk of seeds and cuttings has you feeling confused, take a deep breath and relax. Your first venture into a kitchen herb garden is sure to be successful if you start with a simple planting plan like the ones shown here. Fill your garden with tried-and-true favorites, which are offered as collections by Mountain Valley Growers, Blossom Farm and many other herb growers. Start small, keep it simple, and you’re sure to be delighted by the fantastic flavors of your kitchen herbs.If you prefer informal herb gardens, take note: A casual bed devoted to all herbs can look delightfully cottage-gardeny, or it can look like a jumble. So make a plan on paper for this sort, too — set it up like your vegetable garden or your favorite flower garden — and then see what happens, making alterations as you see fit. Aim for a harmonious mix of foliage colors and types, with the occasional exclamation point of a flowering herb.You can choose from many types of herb gardens, but generally herb gardens are either formal or informal. You’d be wise to plan a formal garden ahead on paper, making a geometric design. Install the layout first, with edgings and pathways in place; use bricks, rocks, gravel, or even grass. Edging plants such as small boxwood plants, germander, or a sheared low hedge of lavender or dusty miller also work but require more care.