Herb spirals are a permaculture technique to grow herbs with different environmental needs (full sun, moist, dry, shade, etc.), in a minimal amount of space. You also conserve water since each watering flows from the top down to the plants at the bottom, water reaching each of them. The one I made is not nearly as cool as the one in this video or in the links below.
I read about herb spirals in one of my books (Urban Homesteading) and decided to make one, decluttering my yard of extra plants and mulch at the same time. I’d used newspaper (to suppress weeds) and bark mulch around the two other trees in the front yard and they looked really nice and neat – it was very difficult to mow or weed whack around them. around the last tree I spread newspaper, added mulch that followed the angle of the ground around the tree already, used some river rocks to lay out a spiral pattern, added rich soil, and then chose the plants and herbs. It’s not really near the kitchen of our house but I think it will be pretty convenient and interesting looking once it all fills in. I used plants that do well in shade and mixed in leftover kale and chard starts with herb seeds that I am hoping will be decent looking within a month.
You can see that I adjusted the spiral once I starting adding in more rocks. I realized I wasn’t really leaving enough room for plants and the effect was leaving me a little dizzy.
This is the west side of the tree. From the top of the spiral down we have: cilantro seeds (probably not enough sun for it, honestly), lots of arugula seeds, chard, chives, kale, mint, more chives, and a Creeping Jenny.