The Herb Spiral is a popular and successful permaculture element, it provides a variety of positions (sun and shade) and levels of moisture (the top is dry and the base moist)for a variety of different herbs for your garden. It is great for those of you who may not have a lot of yard space for an herb garden. I have recently built an herb spiral of my out out of recycled bricks from a chimney we had to knock down. Here are some pictures:
Thefollowing information was taken from www.permaculturevisions.com/Herb-Spiral.htm
An Herb Spiral is usually 1 meter high and contains all the plants which are constantly used — the herbs: mints, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, sage, basil etc. It is a simple design. The center of the spiral is elevated and the ground falls as the spiral unfurls. This allows you to plant, dry soil plants like rosemary at the top and water loving plants at the bottom such as watercress, water chestnuts. You should be able to reach all the parts of the spiral without having to step into it.
Common name Sun/Shade Soil type
Lavender Sun facing, Poor soil, Rocks
Catmint Sunny, Fertile loam
Bee Balm Partial shade
Yarrow Partial shade
Comfrey Sun/part shade, Moist soil
Oregano Full sun, Good well drained soil
Thyme Sun, well drained fair soil
Tansy Shade/morning sun, Good soil
Borage Full sun, Dry soil
Sage Full sun, Dry soil
Sweet bay Full sun, frost tolerant container/Med. soil
Mints Shade/part sun, Moist fertile soil
Cumin Full sun, Poor-good soil
Coriander Full sun, shelter from wind, Poor-good soil
Violet Semi-shade, competes well with grass in moist soil,shallow rooted.
Rosemary Sun, Well drained soil
Garlic Sun, Well rotted compost, moist well drained soil
Parsley Full sun/part shade – likes afternoon sun, Fertile humus rich soil
Lemon Balm Full sun/part shade, Fertile moist soil
Just keep in mind what Zone you are in and how cold the winters are where you live. Rosemary, for example, is a tender perennial and does not do too well in New England winters. I keep my rosemary in a pot so it can be brought indoors during the winter time rather than planted in the herb spiral. Herbs such as oregano, sage and thyme are able to survive the cold weather outdoors. Also, keep in mind that mint spreads EVERYWHERE! I also kep mint in a container, otherwise, the herb spiral would be totally taken oven by mint.