Brick Herb Spiral

 With Rosemary, Chary Sage, and assorted flowery things.
The Herb Spiral

In the late winter of 2012 I built a brick Herb Spiral in the middle of my vegetable garden. It has garden compartments in which I've planted assorted herbs. Some flowers are allowed, though, and space can always be found for other oddments like Bowles Golden Grass, scented pelargoniums, and lettuces.

Earthquake Bricks

The spiral is constructed from what I call 'earthquake bricks' - bricks from a firewall in son's house. The wall fell down in the Christchurch earthquake of 2011, luckily not injuring anyone.

Trailing Rosemary (for remembrance) grows in the very top part of the spiral. Summer sees a host of annual yellow daisies and mahogany red nasturtiums, while forget-me-nots jostle with blue salvias in spring. Bright orange Calendulas seem to flower all the time. There is much self-seeding, and the jumble of colours just looks wonderful. Well, it does to me!

 Full of flowers in summer 2013-2014.
My Herb Spiral

The herbs include various thymes, golden marjoram (which I love), and the beautiful culinary sages (I love the variegated one). I've popped some daffodils in one of the spaces - why not? - and a Spiraea 'snowmound' shrub with white flowers. Hope it doesn't get too big. Large Clary Sages share the top billing, and their whorls look wonderful against the green Olearia hedge backdrop.

 And Calendula seedlings on the path below!
Herbs in the Spiral

I've only had one planting near-disaster. Allow me to quote from a journal entry in February, 2012 :

Herb Spiral with Flowers


How silly have I almost been? Today I realised that 'ginger mint' was a form of mint. A mint is a mint - amazing! A revelation! And therefore ginger mint was invasive. So I proceeded to dig the three ginger mint plants out of one of the herb spiral's compartments.

Phew. Just in time. The roots had spread far and wide, tenacious horrible fleshy white things, and if I'd left them a few more summer months I'd have been in serious mint trouble. How silly can I be? Please don't answer that.

The Path...

The path around the spiral is just hardened earth, and is much trodden by me and my cats. A curved garden border which half-hugs the path is filled with my newest David Austin roses. The other side houses my vegetable garden, though it's more than likely to be full of flowers too. Actually, at the moment the path is covered in Calendula seedlings....

Like me, Rusty the dog instinctively wanders around the spiral in a clockwise rotation. Phew! It's unlucky to go round a spiritual site 'widdershins' or anticlockwise. My Herb Spiral has a spirituality which I feel is inherent in its very shape.

 A flower spiral? Oops.
Flowers and Roses by the Herb Spiral

Then the bricks in its walls have their own shaky story to tell. Over one hundred years standing firm and strong - down in thirty-five seconds! I give thanks that they didn't harm anyone, and that I've been able to construct something good and positive from them. Even if my mortaring isn't exactly a thing of beauty!

 A lemon Thyme?
Herb in the Brick Spiral