Herb Bed! Recreating A Loved Space

by Suzan Ferreira
Herb Bed! Recreating A Loved Space with a simple new herb bed design and herb bed ideas

Having to recreate an herb bed that was loved & enjoyed for 15 years was bittersweet. Sad to see it go, but enthused to get the creative juices flowing for herb bed ideas as well as herb bed designs.

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Rewind the clock to two winters ago. We experienced an extremely severe winter that year…high winds, strong storms. Nothing unusual for our Northeast climate. We fared fine. My beloved herb & cut garden fence and arch did not. We woke one early morning to witness the demise of it all 🙁 .

I was so in hopes that my very handy man, who had originally created the structure to meet all my original herb bed design ideas flawlessly, would be able to reconstruct or recreate it. The answer was a big fat NO. The wood had rotted through & through.

For the past year, we have been on a mission here on the hill to reduce our overall maintenance & manual labor time and efforts. One way we have begun to accomplish this is to recreate spaces that were originally high maintenance, aka weeding & pruning:), and replacing those spaces with lower maintenance but still beautiful areas. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out how we recreated a large perennial bed into “Fire Pit! Building A Beautiful Space To Enjoy All Year” to see the progress we are making in the “downsizing” of our labor efforts.

The original idea for this space was to create a visual separation from our large lawn area (I know, we need to “downsize” that somehow as well) as well as offer a space for my cut flower garden & herbs. Great thought, but soooo time consuming to maintain! Time to re-think, and come up with some new herb bed ideas & designs.


In keeping with our new mindset of creating low or better yet no maintenance areas, a new approach to the fencing was established. Stone. Once laid, stone is maintenance free, will outlive us all, and look beautiful. As cobblestones were used for edging our beds, it was determined that cobblestones would be carried over to delineate the herb bed space.


Finding a layout that would work in the space, be beautiful yet functional was the next step. After hours spent on scouring herb bed designs & herb bed ideas, it was decided. Factors that were considered and thought of included ease of maintenance, functionality, and beauty.


Lessening or “downsizing” our maintenance requirements for this space was first on the list. It was important that only herbs that were used often would be planted. The planting area would be heavily mulched, keeping weeds at bay (hopefully) and moisture in.

Herbs planted would be the ones used most that I harvest, dry, & store for year round use. The placement of the plants was taken into consideration as well. Herbs that are prolific & spread were planted separately in the individual sections so as to allow for easy reductions.


The design needed to take into consideration the walkways. Countless hours were spent in the original walkways weeding despite the depth of stone dust that was laid. Why fight nature? Nature wanted to have green in the walkways. Therefore, the spacing needed to be wide enough for a mower to pass through with ease as well as my garden cart. Let nature take its course 🙂 .


With all the landscaping on this property, a formal approach is definitely preferred. Creating a formal space that was visually pleasing & inviting was top of the list. Plants were purposely scarcely planted, knowing how they spread rapidly. This was the most difficult to accomplish, as patience is needed (limited supply here). Knowing that it would be a least a full year before growing to their most beautiful state was definitely a commitment.

Once the herb bed design, including all the factors of maintenance, functionality, & beauty were taken into consideration, the real work began.


Removing the old fencing & arch definitely included some heavy manual labor. Some pieces just fell apart in our hands…well my handy man’s hands anyway.

Weeding the mess and transplanting what we wanted to save took time. Progress is slow but steady! A few of the fence pieces required more than just muscle. Break out the chainsaw & in no time the last of the fence was gone.

Laying out the grid was most likely the most involved aspect of the project. Who knew how hard it is to create a square? We finally figured it all out, laying out string & markers to help along the way. Determining the size of each of the corners, center circle, and making sure that the pathways remained even was a feat in of itself. Apologies for having no photo’s of this process, no excuses…just forgetting 🙁

Once the beds were laid out, quick work was made of laying the cobblestones down. Our herb bed idea was coming to life. New plantings, some transplanted from the old bed & some purchased at my local organic nursery, were put in the ground. The beds were heavily mulched with organic mulch to retain the moisture in this full sun bed & keep the weeds at bay.

Herb Bed! Recreating A Loved Space image of final bed layout
Ready To Be Planted

Although only 95% finished (still need to move one rose bush, plant lavender around the center ring, and seed in the walkways) and certainly not fully grown (I will try to update next year when fully mature), we are very happy with the space. It ties in nicely with the fire pit and the side garden beds.

I made a short video showing the semi-final results. I have planted a climbing rose in the center and added an old rod iron trellis that was on hand. Not fully convinced that this should be kept. Thinking possibly a solar-powered water fountain for the center. Suggestions from all you gardeners out there?

Are you looking to create an herb or gardening space? If so, here are a few tips & suggestions gathered along the way.


Determine what style gardener you are. Don’t already know? Ask yourself, what type of garden always catches your eye and invites you to explore. There are so many design options available. Here are a few:

  • Formal
  • Cottage
  • Modern or Freestyle
  • Courtyard
  • Rock


When in the beginning stages of designing a garden space, one of the most important factors is location, location, location. How much sun does the space receive daily as most herbs require 6+ hours of direct sun? Exceptions to that rule are cilantro, parsley, mint, basil, which will tolerate 3-4 hours daily. What type of soil is available in that space? Most herbs grow well in well-balanced garden soil with the exception of rosemary, lavender, & bay which prefer a more sandy based soil. These questions will determine what type of herbs & plants will successfully thrive.


Determine what type of herbs you prefer to plant in advance. Is your space going to be for fresh eating & culinary uses? Do you prefer a strictly medicinal garden? Or perhaps, a combination of both? Will you be growing your own from seed (plan ahead for germination/grow times as many are slow growing) or purchasing established plants?


Plan on planting your herbs the same depth as the original container and space apart according to the tag directions. We recommend planting a bit further apart than you would perennials as most will spread easily (hint mints & oregano). Water when the top 1 inch of soil is dry.


Plan on harvesting several times throughout your growing season. By cutting several times you will reap the most tender sections of the herb and promote a fuller herb plant. Herbs can be frozen & stored for use in soups etc. Bundle & hang to dry for long term storage and use. For in-depth instructions on how to dry your herbs, check out our article “Beautiful Basil”.

Many herbs can be utilized not only for their culinary uses but also for medicinal uses. They can be infused, refer to “Calendula Oil” for how to create infusions, or tinctured, refer to “Elderberry Tincture” which can be referred to for how to create tinctures.

When planning & growing herbs grow what you use most & ALWAYS plant more than you think you will need so you will have plenty that can be used year round. Do you already have an herb bed you would like to share? What are you presently growing & how do you use them?

Be sure to grab your FREE copy of our ebook, “Canning A Beginners Guide” if you haven’t already and put those herbs to good use 🙂 . Happy growing!

Love, Light, & Laughter ~

Herb Bed! Recreating A Loved Space a pinnable image

This article was shared & featured on the Farm Fresh Tuesday blog hop!

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Ruth Iaela-Pukahi July 23, 2019 - 5:22 pm

Wow! I think your new design is better than your first!!! I’m so excited to see the herbs growing in. It already looks so beautiful!!!

Suzan Ferreira July 24, 2019 - 12:27 pm

Thank you so much, Ruth! That’s so encouraging to hear.

Annette Durbin July 20, 2019 - 4:27 am

Great use of your space!! I love the edible gardening!!

Cindy July 17, 2019 - 8:27 pm

I love your new herb bed! It’s both beautiful and functional! I look forward to seeing photos as it matures.

Junell DuBois July 17, 2019 - 3:39 pm

Such a great project! We love having our fresh herb garden in the back yard too.

Suzan Ferreira July 18, 2019 - 9:31 am

They do bring joy 🙂

Nicole Cruze July 17, 2019 - 4:28 am

Great tips!

Magan July 17, 2019 - 3:36 am

Great tips! We’ve considered creating our own, but we haven’t done it yet. I love your ideas!

Suzan Ferreira July 17, 2019 - 11:03 am

Thank you, Magan!

Jenna July 17, 2019 - 3:27 am

Our current yard is too small for any sort of garden, but I am hoping to move to a bigger space in the near future. I’m going to file way this information to use later!

Suzan Ferreira July 17, 2019 - 11:04 am

Thank you, Jenna!

Jennifer Morrison July 17, 2019 - 3:15 am

I so very much love the space that you are creating!!! We are just getting started on our acre after 20 years of neglect. Ugh. Love to see inspiration like this as we start little by little.

Suzan Ferreira July 17, 2019 - 11:04 am

That’s awesome, Jennifer! So rewarding. Be sure to share your projects…I love to see the transformations!

Karla July 17, 2019 - 2:57 am

Oh, so beautiful. I never, ever thought to consider what type of gardener I am…. modern, it seems, which is why some of my gardening attempts have gone better than others.

Suzan Ferreira July 17, 2019 - 11:05 am

Thanks for reading Karla!

Jen July 17, 2019 - 1:23 am

Oh my gosh! It looks awesome.

Suzan Ferreira July 17, 2019 - 11:05 am

Thank you, Jen.

Wendy Hammock July 16, 2019 - 10:19 pm

Your herb garden turned out amazing.

Robin July 16, 2019 - 9:21 pm

Great job and beautiful yard!! Thank you for sharing!

jen July 16, 2019 - 7:55 pm

Gorgeous post as always. I love your space and the beautiful things you grow and create in it.

Suzan Ferreira July 17, 2019 - 11:06 am

Thank you, Jen, for reading!

Haley Kelley July 16, 2019 - 7:28 pm

So creative! I love projects like these!

Ramae Hamrin July 16, 2019 - 4:58 pm

What a beautiful place for herb gardens. A solar-powered fountain would be lovely. I just got my vegetable garden up for the first time in years this summer, and the herbs are in pots closer to my house. They are not nearly as organized and pretty as yours, but at least they are in colorful pots!

Suzan Ferreira July 17, 2019 - 11:07 am

Growing in whatever space you have always nurtures the soul. Thank you for stopping by Ramae!

Jennifer July 16, 2019 - 3:51 pm

Wow! It is amazing!!

Jane July 16, 2019 - 3:06 am

You have a beautiful home Suzan. Do you live on an acreage in the countryside? It’s my type of place, close to nature. The landscape design is stunning! You really know gardening well.

Suzan Ferreira July 16, 2019 - 11:49 am

Thank you, Jane. We live on almost 7 acres in the country. Thank you for reading!

Tricia Snow July 16, 2019 - 3:04 am

I love your yard and the herb garden looks lovely!

Suzan Ferreira July 16, 2019 - 11:49 am

Thank you, Tricia!

Kendra July 16, 2019 - 2:58 am

Such a beautiful garden space! I love how it turned out!

Suzan Ferreira July 16, 2019 - 11:49 am

Thank you!

Melissa Jones July 16, 2019 - 2:36 am

What a great idea!

Stacey July 16, 2019 - 1:11 am

This is so cool! I am so bad at gardening, but my husband is good at it. He would really enjoy doing something like this!

Angela July 15, 2019 - 11:09 pm

We have a small herb garden to accompany our tomatoes, squash and strawberries. The basil and mint thrives every year but the cilantro and parsley seem to get woody and flower so quickly – I need some help!

Suzan Ferreira July 16, 2019 - 11:52 am

Hi Angela ~
I would recommend harvesting often to prevent bolting. You can always dry the cuttings if they aren’t needed immediately. If you have space, I always allow a few cilantro plants to go to seed as they self-sow and provide free plants the following season. Good luck!

Kate July 15, 2019 - 8:00 pm

Suzan, love your herb bed! We just got done redoing ours. Luckily most of what was on your checklist we thought about in our planning. The idea for your pathways is great! I might have to use that for our next bed. Can’t wait to see pictures next year!

Suzan Ferreira July 16, 2019 - 11:53 am

Enjoy your space & thank you for reading!

Katie Wolfe July 15, 2019 - 7:44 pm

Gorgeous! I just killed a pot of lavender and a separate pot of mint on my deck….your garden seems like an unattainable dream!

Suzan Ferreira July 16, 2019 - 11:54 am

Don’t give up! I cannot tell you about the disasters I’ve had throughout the years. Thank you for stopping by!

Michele July 15, 2019 - 7:21 pm

What a lot of work…bittersweet I’m sure. But your landscaping is beautiful and you will be up to your eyeballs in herbs in no time!

Suzan Ferreira July 16, 2019 - 11:54 am

We hope so, Michele!

Linda July 15, 2019 - 4:17 pm

Suzan, your setting is beautiful. how special to have an herb garden. Love the design. A solar powered fountain would look awesome in the center. Thanks so much for sharing at “Love your Creativity.” Have a lovely week.

Suzan Ferreira July 16, 2019 - 11:55 am

Thank you, Linda, for stopping by!

Malia July 15, 2019 - 3:43 pm

Your space is beautifully landscaped! I just love the feeling it evokes. And I’m glad you can just mow the walkways instead of needing to weed them. Letting nature take its course is a grand idea!

Suzan Ferreira July 16, 2019 - 11:55 am

Thank you, Malia. This is our respite area for sure from all the real work on the other side of the property 🙂

Kippi July 11, 2019 - 1:31 pm

Stunning landscape!!! Your herb garden is wonderful I would love to have one like yours.
Have a great summer,

Suzan Ferreira July 13, 2019 - 11:35 pm

Thank you, Kippi! You as well.

Lori Roach July 10, 2019 - 5:06 pm

Seeing your projects always makes me wish I were back East with a large yard! I do miss having gardens right out back, instead of a 10-minute drive to my community garden plot. Your project turned out beautifully, I look forward to seeing it again when the herbs have had time to grow in.

Suzan Ferreira July 13, 2019 - 11:36 pm

I will be sure to update Lori. Thank you for reading!

Pam July 10, 2019 - 1:28 pm

Oh, it’s amazing!! I vote for the fountain. And, can I just say, I would love to live near a wooded wonderland like that! I am in awe!

Suzan Ferreira July 10, 2019 - 2:20 pm

Thank you, Pam. We are pretty wooded! I am leaning toward a custom fountain as well…maybe one made using a bluestone. Thanks so much for stopping by and your input!


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