Choose between a formal or informal herb garden
Whether you choose a formal or informal design, with good planning, a herb garden can be as attractive as it is useful. Parterres and knot gardens are at the far end of the formal spectrum, but it’s possible to incorporate elements of formal design into a garden without ending up as a slave to your secateurs.
Use straight lines. Mark out a series of square or rectangular beds and hedge the edges with dwarf buxus or rosemary for a strong outline.
Plant buxus balls on the corners or a topiary bay tree in the centre of each bed for a focal point.
You don’t have to design an informal herb garden, as these plants are naturally inclined to flop and sprawl. All you need to do is choose a site. If there is no room for a dedicated herb patch, mixing herbs with shrubs or flowers in the landscape is practical and ornamental. Tuck some in an existing flower bed or border, or plant in that patch of gravel down the back.
Divide your herbs into beds or areas, so that those with similar needs (such as watering or frost protection) can be grouped together.