Landscaping your Terrace with Rooftop Herb Garden for Cool and Green Environment

Green rooftops are a panacea in this modern age of factories, industries and concrete buildings leading to global warming. The greenery helps to keep the house and the environment cool and healthy. This is a good option for high rise apartments in a crowded city with an open terrace or a mid-size roof-top. The essentials for rooftop home herb gardening is a well designed insulation that is guarded from the plant and the layer of soil. A well designed rooftop garden can provide several advantages including reduced energy, slowing urban heating, rain-water harvesting, purifying atmosphere and enhancing green space. A by-product of it is also hike in the property price.

Planning a Rooftop Home Herb Garden
Before planting, study the condition of the roof, the structure and the capacity of the load it can withstand. Determine the weight of the herb garden and the cost associated with it. Consider the special requirements of a green roof system, irrigation, drainage and selection of herbs and maintenance. Obviously you may not want to go for heavy, bushy shrubs and plants. Identify the area for the rooftop garden; this has to be stepped up from the terrace slab in order to take care of the various layers of filling that is rudimentary requirement of a terrace garden.

Designing the Slab and Drainage
It will be prudent to consult a structural or civil engineer for the guidance of extra strengthening of slab and providing a water-proof rooftop to avoid damage to the roof when the herbs are grown to their full potential. To prevent water seeping it is better to do a chemical based water-proof than a membrane based for excellent results. The final layer of concrete should be put only after the water-proofing. For drainage, perforated pipes have to be laid over the slab. Next is the layer placement comprising gravel, brickbats and sand followed by a filter fabric which is fundamentally a thick sheet where a stone grid is laid out. This is necessary to hold the earth in place by checking soil erosion and ensuring a good draining system that is not clogged by silt.

Soil and Manure
The layer of soil should be about six to nine inches deep to ease the roots to grow underneath the earth’s surface. Plants with invasive tap roots are not suited for rooftop gardens; they may even penetrate the waterproof membrane causing damage to the roof slab. Herbs that grow shallow roots and require less water should be preferred. Once the earth is laid, it is time to sow the seeds and the saplings according to the season.

Wind Break System
Delightful as these beautiful skyline gardens are, they do have their share of problems. A heavy wind or storm can snap the branches and tear the plants completely. Arrangements have to be made to shelter the herbs with fences and barriers. High walls can be built around the borders to shield and guard from wind-storms. Strong winds constantly dry out the soil along with hot sun, often plants need watering 2 or 3 times a day. Pergolas, lattice fences, laths and wood panels should be erected to provide shade to the scorching herbs but care should be taken to allow the essential warmth of the sun-rays and air.

A charming roof-top landscaping serves as a private retreat and gives the building breathing space with small pockets of greenery. Sustain an authentic flora with lush greenery and water bodies with this eco-friendly rooftop herb garden by adding more grandeur from various landscaping themes.

Herbs and Herb Garden Images and Posters

Send me a picture of your herbs or herb garden and I’ll post it on my site for the world to see! Just email naikshraddha (at ) aol (dot ) com with your pictures attached.

Here are some posters that you might like to decorate on your walls for inspiration. Enjoy!

The Nuances of Fresh Herb Gardening

Supplementing fresh herbs to foods is a quick way to transform ordinary cuisines into tantalizing extraordinary cuisines. This is where the nuances of fresh herb gardening comes in picture. Fresh herb gardening provides you with fresh culinary herbs.

Culinary herbs differ from traditional spices, although the two categories overlap. By culinary herbs we generally refer to fresh or dried leaves, while spices are seeds, flowers, fruits, roots and bark from herbs or trees. Spices like red pepper have sharp, strong and pungent flavour whereas culinary herbs generally have a mild flavor. Several common spices like cinnamon sticks, anise seeds and ginger roots are obtained from herbs.

“An herb is the friend of physicians and the praise of cooks.”
– Charlemagne
If you are a novice gardener, exercise restraint in planting all herbs at a time. For indoor or patio gardening, watch the sun’s changing pathway through the new, uncharted territory and plan well. Good gardens, like good friendships, don’t happen overnight – both take time, nourishment, and patience.

The Finishing Touches
Although the newly planted herbs look sparse, you can envision it in full and glorious abundance — your own small heaven of fresh herb resource with  fresh herb gardening. And all the herbs, they will grow — even in a postage stamp-sized plot of ground. You need to patiently separate the crowns and pull apart their fuzzy stems and tangled roots if they spread. Tuck needle-thin chives and doilies of parsley between neatly arranged spaces. Next, you can drop in the seeds of “Empress of India” nasturtiums which yield hummingbird-pleasing red flowers.

Finally, pepper the soil with “Window box” basil seeds to finish the whimsical edging. Planting seeds and propagating are two of the closest things to creating magic that a person can do to the “Mother Nature”. Plant the strawberry saplings steadily around the edge of every bed. Very soon, these unpromising looking pip-squeaks will produce offshoots called sisters and form perfect mini-mounds of green flecked with fairy-sized red strawberries.

Border beds with any of the unexpected herb species: chives, alpine strawberries, nasturtiums, sweet woodruff or dwarf basils. Fill vertical spaces with vines and tall creepers. Add pots of edible flowers — viola, borage and calendula necessary ingredients for fresh herb gardening.

First Harvest and the First Culinary Dish from Fresh Herb Gardening
• You’ll be surprised how quickly your herb garden is ready for harvesting. Before your fruits or vegetables are ripe, your borders and beds of herbs will produce fresh ingredients to liven your recipes.
• In early mornings, after the dew has dried, gather the flowers of basil, rosemary, thyme, nasturtiums, dianthus, violas, chives, calendula, sage, arugula and borage.
• Spread flowers on a screen or sheet of paper and dry them in a dark, warm location away from direct sun rays.
• Zest a lemon and dry the zest until leathery in a microwave. Add the zing of lemons to simple dishes.
• When flowers are completely dry, they will feel like paper, mix them with sea salt and dry lemon zest. Pour them into a decorative shaker with large holes such as a grated-cheese or sugar shaker.
• Use your gleanings to add color and fragrance in dressings of salad, soup and dips.
• After being washed and patted dry, green-stemmed herbs such as basil and cilantro can go straight into the food processor.

Landscaping for your Home Herb Garden – Tips and Tricks
My views as an opinionated gardener is that water in a landscape is a must, whether it is a birdbath, basin, or trickling fountain, it is an absolute necessity. A water feature can be the most expensive ingredient in a garden, but it is also the one and only element that infuses a landscape with life. You can place a stone fountain on a barren piece of land and the planted area will suddenly start breathing with life. The sound of the cascading water is ethereal, it can entice many a mocking birds. Water splashing onto the ground will result into an uncompromising beautiful aroma of the soil mixed in water similar to the first-time rain in the monsoon.

Grow a Mini Herb Garden

Did you ever consider contributing to the environment, greenery and the planet? It is time that everybody does their bit of stuff for the green revolution. Promotion of herbal products that are eco-friendly and that creatively formulate natural products to meet the everyday needs of mankind is a necessity. Not only will you help earth’s eco-system through your green living, you will also improve the health of your family and the nearest and dearest of your kins. A mini herb garden is a perfect choice if you want to start small and at your own pace.


  • Herb Gardens 2015 Wall Calendar
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  • Description:Cooks, gardeners, and anyone who cherishes the magic of herbs will enjoy entering this world of flavor, fragrance, and c…
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  • The Herbal 2015 Wall Calendar
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  • Description:Herbalist, writer, and photographer Susan Belsinger brings a new sensibility to The Herbal Calendar. Picturing, as always, a wide range of herbs, The Herbal Calendar includes recipes and gardening suggestions with an appealing, new photographic look.
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  • Herb Gardens 2014 Wall Calendar
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  • Description:Cooks, gardeners and anyone who cherishes the magic of herbs will enjoy entering this world of flavor, fragrance and color. Herbs have been used for centuries on every continent in everything from cooking and medicine to perfumes and crafts. The Herb Gar
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Growing your own organic plants is an excellent way to provide nutritious fruits, vegetables and herbs without addition of chemicals and genetic modifications. Buying local organic products is another way of contributing the planet earth. When you grow your own herbs you are in control of the toxic weed destroyers, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides that are used in your organic garden.

A mini herb garden is not at all complicated and has an added benefit of not requiring lot of preparation and space. A continuous supply of fresh herbs from your window sill or outdoor garden is a boon. Brighten your patio with delicately arranged herbs. You just need some small pots, baskets, herb seeds, soil and organic compost. If you don’t quite have the room for a large container then the Mini-Garden-in-a-Pail is for you! Get a small galvanized bucket (6” high and 5.5″ tall) with all the necessary ingredients to grow fresh and fragrant culinary herbs right into the pail .This size will fit right on you windowsill! . Mix and match the herbs.For eg. basic, garlic chives and parsley are companion plants and can co-exist.

Although herbs can tolerate poor soil, the addition of organic fertilizer is important for the natural growth of herbs. Adequate sun light and water with good drainage are important for the growth of healthy plants. Weak plants are more susceptible to pests. The preparation of good soil is essential in having an abundant growth and harvest of herbs.

Good garden soil contains at least 25% humus that helps essential nutrients and minerals for the growth of herbs. Humus is nothing but an organic material which can be compost, manure or peat. Use only processed or organic manure.

You can also consider giving a mini herb garden as a gift; your friends will simply love it. A mini herb garden kit with a galvanized bucket, a ceramic pot with lovely herb saplings and soil mix are great for people who love plants.

The Beautiful Edible Garden: Design A Stylish Outdoor Space Using Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs

Herbs For a Herbal Tea Garden

Tea time is a time to take a break, chat with friends or maybe relax alone. Hence it is like a ritual and should be performed as such. Tea is one of the many simple pleasures of life that even a common man can afford. It is an affordable luxury, and if you can grow your own tea herbs, nothing can beat the flavour and taste of the herbal tea – not even a tea that is brewed in a luxury 5-star hotel. While many herbs have health benefits, many of them are added for flavour and refreshments. In addition, home grown tea herbs in a kitchen garden are free from pesticides, chemicals if natural compost and organic fertilizers are used.

Tea herbs

green tea with herbsPure St John Worts teaBuddha's Herbs Natural Slim Herbal Tea

The herbs can be added individually or experimented with two or three herbs or more to obtain a distinct flavour. Add one or tea spoon of dried or fresh herbs to boiling water, let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes for one cup of tea. Adjust the quantity for more cups of tea. The tea herbs chosen here are simple to grow –

Mint is very good for hot summer because it makes the most delightfully cool Iced Teas, Mint Juleps, and Mojitos. It has large heart-shaped leaves and can be used fresh or dried, either by itself or in combination with other mints. Mints require lot of sun and water and spread liberally, thus pruning becomes a necessity. Hence, mint is preferred in container gardening

Lemon Grass
Lemon Grass is a tall, non-invasive, clumping grass that likes warm sun-light, moderate water and plenty of space. Lemon Grass blades grow to three or more feet in length and can be used both fresh and dried. It is famous for a spicy lemony taste and makes and very refreshing and aromatic tea. Lemon Grass Sun Tea over ice makes hot summer afternoons, cool and bearable.

Cardamom grows comfortably in a container and is known for its aroma. The leaves are most flavourful when fresh but do retain the fragrance when dried. They should be allowed to seep in the tea for around 15 minutes for good flavour.

Stevia is a small plant that prefers full sun and plenty of water. It takes a fair amount of fresh leaves to flavor tea. Dried leaves are more concentrated and can be used at about half the fresh amount.


This herb boasts of antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Dry the leaves to make an herbal tea used to increase energy, reduce flatulence, and stimulate blood circulation.

Sweet Basil
Steep the basil leaves in water to make an herbal tea that is used as an herbal remedy for indigestion. Basil is used in a variety of recipes.


Catnip is renowned for its mild sedative properties. The herb tea is taken as a natural cold remedy, during fever, headache and stomach upsets.

You can create delicious infusions and decoctions by just adding your fresh herbs to boiling water either individually or mixing with two or more herbs.

Check out related article –
Herbs for Tea – Aromatic Infusions of Herbal Tea

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Evergreen Herb Garden Designs

In ancient times, herb garden designs played an important role and the function of botanical gardens was to display herbs for medical use. Most of Italy’s botanical evergreen herb gardens were created in the 18th and 19th centuries. If you visit any Italian garden, you will soon realize that their pre-Renaissance fundamental features like distinct geometric patterns are still popular and used in modern era.

herb garden design

The basic structure of these gardens is designed in squares, and then separated by pebble-covered paths. The rolling hills and lush valleys surrounding the gardens give visitors the opportunity to view the gardens from a hillside perch. Vine-covered pergolas offer a shaded retreat to enjoy the company of friends and family over a delicious lunch.

Herb Garden

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You do not need acres of land to design your herb garden. Even with limited garden space, planting a small herb garden is a simple task that can be completed in just a single afternoon. Herb garden designs vary from formal to informal designs, your selection of a home herb garden depends upon the enthusiasm and energy level.
Zen Herb Garden design
Zen gardens or the Karesansui gardens, do not have water but has gravel or sand that symbolizes sea, river and lake. The aesthetic view of the raked gravel into a pattern of waves or ripples is to help in focusing and concentrating. The elements in the garden are placed intuitively according to the principles of Feng Shui for harmony. You can create your own Zen-style herb garden by following the tips:
Growing Tips
• Get Tabletop sand gardens and sandbox-sized trays from nursery garden.
• Get stones, turn them around to get the best angle or profile and then bury them partially in the ground after clearing the area of weeds etc.
• Traditionally Zen compositions have 5 groups of three stones, you can use the same number and arrange it asymmetrically. Pour 2 to 4 inches of sand or gravel for landscaping,
• Create an edge of herbs around the area (rectangular or oblong shaped).

Tropical Herb Garden Design
Tropical plants require heavy rainfall and warm weather. It may not be that difficult to grow tropical herbs in a cold climate unless the climate is extremely frost-bitten and windy. It is observed that Tropical gardens are no longer exclusive to tropical areas. Many gardeners in colder climates are adopting the tropical garden design, which is possible through careful choice of herbs and flowers. Tropical herbs have large leaves, lush growth and require low maintenance.
Growing Tips
• Get the saplings that were grown indoors or brought from garden centre and plan space for dense growth.
• Tropical herbs require adequate water, hence keep the soil humid all the time.
• Large plants like palm and bamboos can be grown as the backdrop for shrubs and brightly colored, tropical flowers and herbs.
• Canna, Basil, Lucifer and Crocosmia are some of the typical plants that are adaptable and will grow in the herb garden

Shade Herb Garden Design
Although it is true that all herbs require sunlight to grow, some of the herbs can thrive in shade and grow in partial sunlight. The exact amount and hours of sun that a specific herb requires depends on the climate and the region. Many herbs require protection from the immense summer sun-light, a filtered sunlight which is blocked by overhead trees is good for such herbs. These herbs may still require 4 to 6 hours of sun which four hours can be morning or evening sunlight. To provide and encourage herb growth in the shade of trees prune the lower branches of tree without destroying the elegance of such trees.
Growing Tips

Add compost or organic fertilizer to the soil before sowing seed or planting herbs.
• The transplanting of herbs should be done after the germination of the seeds and active growth of the saplings. This ensures that the herbs get acclimatized to the new environment.
• Water the herbs regularly as they prefer humid soil but not over-drenched soil for growth.
• Mulch with several inches of organic compost, leaf mold, shredded bark or home made manure to conserve and retain water for long periods.
Mioga Ginger
, Sweet Cicely, Wild Bergamot, Holy grass, Sweet Woodruff and Corsican Mint are some of the herbs that are perfect for shade herb gardens.

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Windowsill Herb Gardening- A boon to small spaces and small timers

The word herb is defined in more than one ways. Botanists describe an herb as a small, seed bearing plant with fleshy parts, rather than woody parts. Herbs in its wider form include trees, shrubs, annuals, vines, and more primitive plants, such as ferns, mosses, algae, lichens, and fungi. They are not only valued for their flavor, fragrance and curing properties, but also find favour among commercial and industrial uses such as natural pesticides, oils, scents and dyes. Added to that, fresh herbs are a gastronomical delights and renowned for their aromas. This is why you should have a home herb garden even if it is a windowsill herb garden with small plantation.

Herbs grow great in pots and are perfect for patio gardens. They look awesome in window boxes. Use equal parts of compost, sterile soil and sand for soil mix. Add organic fertilizer to this mix and water the plant enough without making it soggy. Sunny environment and hot weather are favoured while the seeds are germinating. Window planters should be exposed to the sun. Use glow-lights indoors if it is clouded when the seeds are germinating.

The truth is that we cannot live without herbs, herbs are a necessary part of our culinary life and medicines. Here is a list of ten top herbs recommended for windowsill gardening:

Summer Savory
This wonder plant spreads 7 to 30 inches wide and grows 4 to 15 inches tall, lined with linear dark green leaves and whorls of lilac purple flowers. Summer savory boasts a warming, peppery scent and is used to season beans, meats and stuffings. Both leaves and flowers are used in cooking.

Sorrel is high in oxalic acid and famous for its tangy, slightly sour taste, nutrition and palate-cleansing. It is one of the most useful of pot herbs and easy to grow in full sun or partly-shaded area. It requires rich soil and grows to a height of 16 to 24 inches with 15 to 18 inches width. The large, arrow shaped leaves can be picked throughout spring.

Plain Leaf Parsley
Flat leaf parsley grows to 10 -12 inches and is specially developed for use in fresh seasoning. The large, bright green leaves can be harvested as needed and continues throughout winter if the winter is mild.

Thai Basil
Thai Basil is as gorgeous and delicate as it is delicious on the dinner plate. The sturdy stems of Basil plant support extra large, 4 inch long and 2 inch wide bright green leaves. A highly ornamental visual effect can be observed with clusters of short terminal racemes of purple flowers borne on the very top of the plant.

Italian Large Leaf Basil
This Genovese-type Basil is favoured in pesto an Italian cuisine. The dark green, shiny leaves grow up to 3 inches long on a 18 to 24 inches high and 12 to 15 inches wide plant.

Lemon Basil
This heirloom cultivar offers a tangy flavour of lemon and loves hot summers. Pluck the pink flowers to encourage more side shoots. It grows to 24 inches height and 24 inches width.

Cilantro Santo
This strong zesty annual herb is unmistakable for its fragrance. Though slow growing, it can be harvested for a long season. The seeds can be used as an alternative to coriander seeds.

The plant best grows in full sun in north and flowers liberally during spring. Depending on the climate, it can grow up to 30 inches tall with bright yellow blooms. Both petals and leaves are edible. It repels insects and is termed as companion plant for vegetables.

Fern Leaf Dill
Fern leaf Dill is a “MUST” if you love the tangy flavour of fresh Dill in fish and vegetable curries. It is just 18 inches high and perfect for kitchen windowsill. Its feathery leaves are so lush and tasty that

This herb has starry purple-blue flowers and is harvested for tea and other summer drinks.

Herbs give a magnificent look to the window sill either arranged in pots or a cascade in a hanging basket. Plenty or modest unobtrusive sun-light available in window sill is good and essential for a healthy and abundant growth. Herbs that bear flowers can also be planted to give a majestic look to the windows. Proximity to kitchen serves you with fresh culinary delights and if planted in a living room window sill fills the room with an aroma and fragrance.

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The Right Collection Of Herb Garden Kits

Choosing a herb garden kit depends upon whether you are opting for indoor or outdoor gardening. Accordingly the requirements of herb garden kits will vary, when buying containers you should also think of the space and the size of the containers.

A simple sketch of the garden on a paper with the theme will greatly enhance the herb garden for space optimization and creativity. There are containers to suit all types of gardens and the demands of the gardener. A range and collection of pots diverse and varying as per needs is available in the nurseries. You should opt for the right collection of a herb garden kit that suits your home, garden or the yard.

Wooden Garden Plant Tray - Three-sectioned Tray for Herbs And Flowers

Wooden Garden Plant Tray – Three-sectioned Tray for Herbs And Flowers

Common points that need to be considered while buying a herb garden kit are listed below:

• Does the container need to be light weight?
• Is the container meant for indoor or outdoor gardening?
• Does the pot require frost protection
• Does the container need to be portable?
• Does the pot have good aeration and drainage?
• Does it rust or decay and requires replacement?
• How about the size of the containers?
• Soil mix and compost requirements?
• Selection of herb seeds?

Reclaimed Barnwood Planter Box Mini Herb Garden Kit – Grow Cooking Herbs from Seed: Basil, Dill, Thyme, Parsley, Oregano, Cilantro
Reclaimed Barnwood Planter Box Mini Herb Garden Kit - Grow Cooking Herbs from Seed: Basil, Dill, Thyme, Parsley, Oregano, Cilantro
Reclaimed Barnwood Planter Box Mini Herb Garden Kit – Grow Cooking Herbs from Seed: Basil, Dill, Thyme, Parsley, Oregano, Cilantro

Fiberglass Herb Garden Kit
Fiberglass is a good choice for herbs and extremely durable and light weight. They come in a varying array of endless styles: Classic urns, Pedestal urns, Squat urns, and so on. The kit looks like an authentic stone and the selection is exhaustive for residential and commercial usage.

Stone Urns and Troughs Kit for Herb Garden
With a scant growth of moss trailing through the crevices, the stone urns look terrific in the eyes of a connoisseur gardener. You too can cherish and give a terrific look to your herb garden using stone urns with ivies. Stone troughs are known for their robustness and perfect for a classic garden.

Polystone  Herb Garden Kit
Polystones are made from stone granules and synthetic fibers. The resulting product is less than half the weight of stone planter and strikingly similar in appearance. Compact and sleek in appearance, these planters are resilient to the effects of weathering. They bring life to a tired patio and are ideal for lining pathways and edging terraces. These contemporary pots are a popular choice for a large number of perennial and evergreen herbs.

Ceramic Herb Garden Kit
Same ceramic pots that are used as cutlery at barbeques and picnics can make excellent containers for window sill herbs. They are perfect on the kitchen windowsill or flowers in any room of the house and are often quite robust and strong. A wide selection of stylish contemporary ceramic pots is available. They come in pretty colours and beautiful designs that look great with green and purple herbs.

You can also mix and match with all the above mentioned various herb garden kits to give your herbal garden a stunning look .

Know more about the –
Herb Garden Kits