Gardens aren’t just beautiful; they can also provide us with food. And if you design your gardens well, they can do both! If you don’t have room to grow vegetables, or if you already grow vegetables and you’re looking for your next fun project, a spice garden will add variety to your cooking and color to your yard.
You can plant a spice garden directly in the ground, in a raised bed, or in pots clustered together on a patio. Raised beds or pots are often preferred because you can better control the soil condition, and struggle with fewer weeds.
We drew inspiration for this blog from the urban spice garden in the Morocco pavilion at Disney World’s Epcot park. Morocco is known for its vibrant culture and spicy food, as the country historically served as a major trade thoroughfare during the Middle Ages. In fact, back then exotic spices were difficult to obtain, and were often considered more valuable than gold.
A spice garden could feature cinnamon, cumin, mint (watch for crazy spreading with this one!), ginger, parsley, saffron, sesame seeds, black pepper plants, and much more. Technically, we call something an herb if you use the leaves and flowers for seasoning food, whereas a spice comes from the seeds, stem, or root of the plant. In fact, some plants are both! You’re probably familiar with the leaves of cilantro herb plants, but the seeds from those same plants are actually the spice known as coriander.
For the purposes of your spice garden, you can certainly use both herbs and spices. Choose plants in a variety of textures and colors to create an eclectic look, and consider the height of fully mature plants when designing your garden bed. Varying heights creates a more full look, and taller plants can provide for shade-loving varieties.
And perhaps most of all, choose plants that provide the flavors you enjoy! Cooking can be such a creative endeavor, and it’s even more rewarding when you’re using snippets of herbs and spices that you grew in your own garden.
If you need more input on where to place your spice garden or incorporating it into your existing landscape, call us for our expert advice.