How to Plant a Herbal Knot Garden

A knot garden made from herbs is a delightful way to showcase both your herbs and your garden artistry. This article sets out the basics to help you get started in creating an Herbal knot garden at home.


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    Design the knot garden. Plan your knot garden out on paper first, so that you have a good idea of the shape and design that you want. Take into consideration the type of herbs that you wish to grow, their growing size and needs, their compatibility, etc. when you are designing the shape. Look at basic knot garden designs in a gardening book to get ideas for the possible shapes. It is a good idea to keep it simple; the more complicated designs are better suited to hedge plants.
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    Prepare the area where the herbal knot garden will be situated. Remove all weeds, dig through the soil and rake neatly.
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    Transfer the design for the herbal knot garden. Use string attached to stakes and a tape measure to get the measurements accurate and the lines, etc. straight. You can also use flour or lime trails to designate where the lines go and where herbs should be placed. It is important to get this part of the designing accurate, so that it looks good and to ensure that the herbs are planted in the correct positions.
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    Obtain the herbs. The best herbs for an Herbal knot garden are small herbs that are yet to grow. This will ensure that the undergrowth produced from new growth will be strong and healthy rather than top heavy. While this will require extra growing time, the end result will be well worth it as the classic full-bodied knot design takes shape. Make sure that the herbs chosen are perennials. See "Tips" for a list of suitable knot garden herbs.
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    Plant corner herbs first. These will determine the spacing of the remaining herbs to be planted, and the spacing should be evenly distributed.
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    Plant the remaining herbs. Measure from the corner herbs and take into account growing needs such as height and breadth. A good guide is to leave 30–45 centimeter (17.7 in) between each plant.
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    Mulch the newly planted herbs. Don't mulch around the stem, however, as this might encourage root rot. Water well and frequently.
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    Pinch out the tops of the herbs and clip as they grow. This will encourage the herbs to bush out and grow into one another to form the knot.
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    Fill in spaces. The spaces in between the knot can be filled with various items, such as brickwork, gravel, mulch, flowers, other herbs, etc.
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    Be patient and attend to the knot garden regularly. The fully fledged knot garden won't appear for 2–3 years. During this time you must tend to it well to encourage its healthy growth. Once established though, the knot garden will take good care of itself with minor intervention needed from you.


  • Be sure to keep the herbs clipped regularly during their growing season.
  • The types of herbs suitable for creating a knot garden include:
    • Lavender
    • Dwarf box
    • Rosemary
    • Santolina (cotton lavender)
    • Germander
    • Hyssop
    • Winter savory
    • Upright thyme
  • Consider intertwining contrasting foliage for a more dramatic look.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper and pencil
  • Design ideas (borrow a book from the library, or look online for knot garden designs)
  • Herbs
  • String
  • Small posts
  • Measuring tape
  • Flour or lime
  • Mulch
  • Water

Article Info

Categories: Growing Herbs and Spices | Theme and Feature Gardens