A Backyard Herb Spiral, Another Permaculture Technique


Go ahead and laugh at the picture above, I am! I knew I had what seemed like a lot of randomly shaped rocks and landscape bricks all around the yard. I’ve already used about half of them to make this tiny spiral. I think the position is good, but the materials stink. I need a lot more rocks, bricks and pavers to make this the way I want it to look. I’m keeping my eyes on craigslist for materials I can use to finish up.

The purpose of an herb spiral is that it’s a raised bed that has more growing space because of the conical profile than flat garden beds do. It also contains different microclimates within a very small space. As you build the spiral up from the outer edge to the center, you are creating a low place, and a high place, a wet place and a dry place, a place that receives full sun and places that receive more shade as the day goes by. Herbs are perfect for this spiral because if you use rocks to build it, the rocks can retain a lot of heat and many herbs like to grow where it is hot and dry. This is considered a permaculture technique because when you place plants in the conditions that are best suited for them, you can step back and let them thrive instead of having to intervene with a lot of tending or care. Also, many herbs are perennials that come back each year under ideal conditions, so that won’t need to be replanted. I’m also hoping that the small flowers on the herbs I plant will attract beneficial insects to the area which will protect the apple trees planted all around it providing natural pest control for my small orchard.

Here are some dreamy pictures of herb spirals I found online…