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Herb - Garden World » Blog Archive » Chequerboard Herb Garden


Filed Under (Types of Herb Gardens) by herb-garden on 14-08-2007

Paving on sand can create ideal conditions for herbs that prefer a sunny and well-draining ground. Herbs such as Thyme can creep and spread out through the cracks. A Chequerboard pattern of slabs with plants in the spaces between is a simple design but effective showpiece for herbs, planted to create blocks of colors that highlight the design. Paving slabs come in a wide range of shapes and colors which makes it easier to blend your design with the surroundings and the herbs you are going to plant.

You can have several different materials, colors and/or shapes to create an informal effect or keep your design uniform. Slabs are usually square or rectangular but other shapes are available. First you will need to mark out the perimetry (use some pegs and string), level the area and with a rake smooth out the space. Take some planks make a frame that will surround the edges of the designated area and firmly hold to the ground using some wooden begs on the inside corners and middle of the wooden frame but, make sure you spirit level the frame as you go along.

Cover the base inside the frame with 6cm sharp sand, level and smooth out, and check with the spirit level to get a level surface. Lay all of the slabs in place leaving a gap equal to the length of a slab between each one. Make some sand-cement mixture with sufficient water for a stiff mortar. Lift slabs, one at a time, and place sufficient mortar in the center and each corner then replace the slabs back. Now place some mortar along the inside edge of each space to secure the slab. Tamp each slab with the handle of a club hammer against some piece of wood and make sure the slab aligns with the frame. Check again with your spirit level.

When you have finished with the slabs scoop the sand from around their edges and seal with mortar to keep the sand under the slabs secure. When the mortar is fully set fill the planting area with soil and plant your herbs such as Lemon balm, Marjoram, Nasturtiums, Tansy, Mint and/or Thyme.

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