How to Build a Herb Spiral Garden

As a urban gardener, I love ideas that help create more growing space, are visually appealing, low maintenance, very do-able and are easily accessible.

The Herb Spiral is a nature-inspired vertical garden design that is highly productive and energy efficient. It allows you to stack plants in a pyramid to maximise space - a practical and attractive solution. It is typically 6.5ft wide in diameter at the base, ascending to 3.2- 4.2ft, with the center of the spiral at the highest point. The spiral ramp provides a planting area large enough to accommodate all your common culinary herbs but is certainly not limited to just growing herbs!

If you are interested in how the design works and all the benefits, you can read more about them at

I thought I'd share a tutorial on this DIY project which can be as cheap and cheerful or elaborate as your budget allows - the

Difficulty: Moderate
  • A compact herb spiral with stone filled gabion walls.
  • Herb Spiral concept drawing showing side elevation with an optional pond at the bottom.
  • Diagram showing location of the optional pond or bog garden at the bottom & dry/wet zones for planting a variety of herbs.
  • Gather materials & have ready to build your spiral. Choose long lasting edges such as rocks, bricks or pavers for a permanent structure.
  • Measuring the circle & pond position with a string & stake in the center.
  • Gravel base laid & pond put into position. Ready to build the vertical herb spiral structure.
  • Rocks are laid in a spiral design working upwards to the center and the ramp planting areas are filled with rubble, soil and organic matter.
  • The height is built up in the center, water added to pond and top layers of compost to plant into go in last and finally mulch.
  • Seedlings are planted into the herb spiral with sun lovers at the top and shady characters & water babies at the bottom!
  • A square twist on a herb spiral garden. Perfect for corporate courtyards or formal gardens.
  • Herb spirals can be planted with a variety of edibles, flowers & perennials as a feature in any compact space.
  • Rock wall herb spiral. Perfect design for adding a tall 'thriller' at the top, 'fillers' in the middle and 'spillers' over the edges and in cracks up the walls.

To see more:

  • Heather Patterson
    Heather Patterson Burlington, NC
    What about adding moss to the outside? Is that doable?
  • Pallavi Rao
    Pallavi Rao Skillman, NJ
    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful idea! I'm definitely going to make one in my backyard! Loved it! :)
  • Trisha Fitzjearld
    Trisha Fitzjearld Fennville, MI
    i would love to do this! (tiny frog pond and all) except for flowers and i live in a trailer park so itd have to be a tiny pond and i have no idea how to go about it especially because we have no funds to go about it! is there a cheap or free way to
  • Robin Turner
    Robin Turner Fresno, CA
    I LOVE THIS!!! But i live in a condo in drought stricken central california and my patio is concrete... what can i use at the bottom of the spiral gabion to retain the water and soil?
    • The Micro Gardener - Anne
      Robin Turner There are always solutions with a little creative thinking. Perhaps vary the design by adding a wicking bed at the base so the water wicks up in your situation? Or
  • Danielle
    Danielle Marshville, NC
    Am in love with this idea! I have a horribly awkward space to the side of my back steps that I've been at a complete loss to figure out what to do with, and a squared version of this spiral would be perfect! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    • The Micro Gardener - Anne
      Danielle so happy to hear you now have a design idea to solve your space issue. Would LOVE to see you share a pic when you finish your herb spiral. This concept can be scaled up or down to suit. Have fun!
The Micro Gardener - Anne

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