If you have the space, a spice garden will be a useful and exciting addition to your kitchen garden.

Picking Chilli Peppers

What is a spice? In the culinary world we talk about herbs and spices, both of which are used for their own flavour as well as to enhance the flavour of ingredients, but they are distinctly classified. Herbs are plants we use the leaf of (and occasionally the stalks), while a spice is defined by the use of any other dried part of the plant, such as the seed, the root, bark and the stem. This differs slightly from the botanical definition of herb, or ‘herbaceous’, which defines any plant that has no woody stem and which in cold areas dies down over winter and reshoots in the warmer months. In fact, some plants we call herbs in the kitchen are in fact shrubs and not herbs at all (such as rosemary), but we use the culinary definition rather than the botanical definition when we use them in cooking.

Some plants can be both a herb and a spice – coriander is a herb when we use the leaves, but a spice when we use the dried seeds. Kaffir (makrut) lime is actually a tree or shrub, but we often refer to it as a herb or spice when using the leaves. Lemongrass is often thought of as a spice, but is it in fact a herb? It isn’t always easy to define them!

For this design activity, you’ll first need a list of spice plants that will grow in your climate. Feel free to include some herbs if you wish. Draw circles to scale on your garden bed plan to estimate the space you’ll need to grow your plant.

Download our handy PDF for a table of spices and their growth height and diameter.

Equipment

What to do

  • 1. Draw the outline of your garden bed on the paper, to scale. You might like to try a scale of 1:10.

  • 2. Work out your planting list.

  • 3. Use the ruler to work out the scaled diameter of your first spice plant and set your compass to match. It’s a good idea to start with the tallest plants first.

  • 4. The point of the compass represents the centre of the plant on your design. Make a circle to indicate its ultimate diameter and write the name of the plant inside.

  • 5. Keep going until you have filled up the bed.

  • 6. Get ready to plant!

  • Related Articles

    Healthy Kids

    Garden treasure hunt

    Everyone loves a treasure hunt, and this activity tunes chil...

    Read more
    Healthy Kids

    A Broken Pot Garden

    Don’t be ‘shattered’ if you break your fragile garden pots!...

    Read more
    Healthy Kids

    Design and plant a herb garden

    Herbs are great gardening intro for little green thumbs.

    Read more
    Healthy Kids

    DIY garden signs

    Label different plants in your garden with DIY signs.

    Read more
    Healthy Kids

    How to plant a fruit crate garden plot

    Pick and choose different produce to make a themed garden.

    Read more
    Healthy Kids

    How to fertilise your garden

    Keep your garden flourishing and healthy.

    Read more
    Healthy Kids

    How to harvest food from the garden

    Harvesting your fresh fruits and veggies is a rewarding job.

    Read more