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Herb Spiral

 
gardener
Posts: 548
Location: N. California
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Last year I enjoyed Nicole Alderman's post "Herb Spiral of Randomness!"  and I was inspired.  I wanted to do something like that.  Behind our garage is this big cement thing.  I should know what it is, because my son has told me several time, but I don't really understand, so I can't seem to retain it, it has something to do with an old ag well, or pump.  This thing has been full of weeds as long as we have lived here, which is 25+ years.  I decided it would be a perfect herb spiral.  I took the weeds out and the garbage.  We never put garbage in there, but there was old glass and tin cans, well pieces any way. Once I got down to the dirt I treated it like a hugel.  The biggest chuncks of wood I could find the would fit (old fire wood, very soft and light).  Then soil, then sticks, soil, 2 year old wood chips, leaves, soil and compost.  I finished it late fall, early winter.  I planted Spearmint in the center column, I have Spearmint growing in my veggie garden path, so I just dug some up and transplanted it. I planted that cool curly rosemary,(top right) and the lavender(bottom right center) both of witch I got on clearance. The thyme I bought for 1.00 each It is bottom right and the one coming out of the front left. On the outside with the black rim is peppermint also dug up from my garden path.(planted in a large plastic pot to keep it from taking over the world)  I tried to grow all the rest of the herbs from seed, but wasn't very successful. The parsley grew in the spiral it is on the bottom closest to the edge on the right.  The basil is on the left The one in the center I grew from seed in the greenhouse, it is lemon basil, the middle one is purple basil, and I had to buy that one next is sweet basil I grew from seed in the greenhouse.  On the left above the basil is cilantro, and in the back is Oregano, I had to buy those and the chives which is bottom right behind the parsley.  Behind the peppermint is stevia, behind that is echinacea plant.(which isn't looking to happy, but I watered, and mulched it, so it should feel better tomorrow)
I am happy with the results, and looking forward to when it fills in.  It isn't super big, but big enough since we are just learning to use fresh herbs, and I grow herbs in the veggie garden too.  Mostly I'm happy I used an ugly eyesore we have always ignored and made it into something useful, and soon to be pretty.
Thank you Nicole for the inspiration, it would still be an ugly eyesore, if it wasn't for you.  I enjoyed watching your Herb Spiral of Randomness evolve.
IMG_20191116_163711317.jpg
large chunks of wood and wood to help create the spiral.
large chunks of wood and wood to help create the spiral.
IMG_20191116_164851011.jpg
soil
soil
IMG_20191116_171311131.jpg
leaves ect.
leaves ect.
IMG_20200501_190438688.jpg
Done.
Done.
 
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: WV
46
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Awesome!  I too have been fascinated with Nicole’s post and hope to make a spiral this year.  

Nothing better than using the elements already on hand.  I’ve always loved collecting chimney stones, old bricks, drain tiles and large rocks for use in my gardens and could easily gather enough materials to construct one.

I’m in 5b and in my current herb bed (about 10 years old) the only plants that have survived since day one are chives and oregano.  I’m on my second plant of lemon balm, but I attribute it’s demise to an extremely dry summer.  Sage and lemon thyme only made it a few years.  Of course the mints are flourishing but I keep them in a separate area.
 
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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Jen, I love your herb spiral! I think it's amazing the things we can do when we repurose the things we have lying around. Every year I have different materials on hand when making garden beds, and so every year my new garden beds look--and acts--a bit different than the one's I made in previous years. But, I think that adds to diversity! There's a LOT of great ways to make something--use what you have!

Michelle, I really look forward to seeing what you build! Chimney stones sound like such a fun and beautiful building material!
 
Jen Fulkerson
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Posts: 548
Location: N. California
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Michelle your idea sounds so cool, I hope when you do it you will post pictures.  I am new to growing herbs. I have been growing lavender for years, but in my clinmen it is very easy. I water it once in a while, and that is it.  I had rosemary that was doing very well for about 3 years, and it didn't come back this year. I don't know why it died, maybe not enough water. The rest will be a learning experience.  Thank you.
Nicole thank you.  My veggie garden is full of different materials, and different shapes, and I like it that way.  It started that way because I couldn't afford to do it any other way,  now even if I could change it I wouldn't.  It is more interesting, fun I think.  I enjoyed the pictures you posted on the victory garden post. Thanks for sharing.
 
Michelle Heath
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I do envy your lavender growing abilities. I managed to keep one for two years.  Usually they never come back.  I've never had any luck with grafted roses either but the old-fashioned ones do great.  I guess it's just our climate.  

When I first started gardening I used all sorts of reclaimed items, logs, rocks, etc.  I still like the look although I am doing uniform raised beds, but all but two are from salvaged lumber.  Though I'd like to jump in and start my herb spiral, it may be late summer before I tackle it, but already mentally making notes of what materials I'll be using.
 
Jen Fulkerson
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Posts: 548
Location: N. California
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I confess I wanted to plant an herb spiral mostly because I love the way it looks.  I am trying to learn to use herbs in my cooking, and very recently have been learning about medical herbs, but in all honesty I just wanted it.  Another motivate was last year my daughter hung herbs in the house to dry and uses them.  I am not surprised she is using them, but I am surprised and pleased both of my sons have started to use them.  
We have a cement sink in the back of the barn.  It came with the house. My son and I where behind the bard looking for something else and he asked me what I was going to do with that.  I told him I didn't know, but not to destroy, or get rid of it because someday I will probably use it to plant something in.  Last weekend I finally persuaded the same son to move the rest of my wood chips to the place I needed them with the bobcat.  As I am smoothing out the chips here he come and dumps the cement sink by the herb spiral and said he thought I needed to plant more herbs. It made me very happy.  It is extra special to me especially this son because although he likes the fresh veggies out of the garden, most everything I do is met with an eye role of mom's on her save the world kick.  When my family embraces even a very small step like natural herbs instead of some dried stuff that has been in the spice cupboard there hole life. It makes me happy and gives me hope.  (they will embrace composting and wood chips some day!)
 
Michelle Heath
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Posts: 212
Location: WV
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Sounds like you have an awesome son!  

We just moved our inventory out of a market we had been at for eleven years, so looks like I may get to my herb spiral sooner than I thought.  I've been eyeballing my "supplies" and have decided to use my round chimney stone for the center and a combination of drain tiles, bricks, and rock for the rest of it.



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