How to make an orchard of aromatic and medicinal plants
The cultivation of aromatic and medicinal plants offers many advantages besides the economic and health benefits, due to the characteristics of these plants. So we developed this little guide so that you can design and carry out your aromatic and medicinal garden at home.
It is not necessary to have a very large land or invest a lot of money. Water, light and a good selection of plant species with beneficial properties for different ailments, can make your patio a real “green pharmacy”.
In a small space, an orchard of these characteristics can be easily integrated into a part of the existing orchard or inside the house, for example by taking advantage of windows and other spaces with enough light for growing potted herbs.
Why make an orchard of aromatic plants at home?
They are a living source of aromas and flavors and a natural pharmacy.
Most are small and require little space for cultivation.
A large number of them are perennial, biennial or are grown as perennials.
Large resources are not needed, especially if they are organically grown organically.
They are ornamental, they offer fragrances, colors, different shapes that brighten the habitat and have multiple uses.
They are magnificent companion plants of other crops and some exercise biological control of pests and repel insect.
Gardens as old and famous as the hanging gardens of Babylon and the floating gardens of Xochimilco in Mexico, unlike what some suppose, were not only cultivated with ornamental plants, they were full of edible, aromatic and medicinal plants. The orchards or gardens of aromatic and medicinal plants were developed throughout the history of humanity, from those associated with temples to proportional sacred plants of religious rituals or those that allowed embalming the bodies of Egyptian pharaohs even the most modern ones that served as a material base for the study of botany and medicine in European universities and that later became botanical gardens.
Designing the orchard of aromatic and medicinal plants.
There are currently many types of gardens of aromatic and medicinal plants. The shape, size, location, number of plants, the association of them, colors, aromas, in short, the design we make of the garden, depends on our tastes, our creativity, and our needs or preferences.
In any case, we always recommend stopping to think about the initial design based on the conditions and resources of the selected place. The design of the garden or garden is basic to achieve a good combination of distraction, productivity, and efficiency.
In the designs of plant gardens for culinary and medicinal use, the plants should be located as close as possible to the kitchen of the house or premises that perform the same paper, so that an easy step is achieved through the roads or paths to allow us to harvest or cut plants to fit our needs.
The plants that are most used or that require a greater amount of work, such as the annual plants that are planted every year (eg, parsley, celery or others), are placed on the edges or on the trails of the roads.
The orchard where aromatic and medicinal plants of multipurpose nature are mixed can be designed in a spiral, especially for places that have little space. It is ornamental and practical. The original ideas of this garden have come to us from one of the Australian creators of Permaculture: Bill Mollison.
These spirals are constructed by selecting a space of approximately 2 m in diameter and they are made into spiral beds delimited by stones and filled with fertilized soil until reaching approximately 4 levels or floors that reach a total height of around 1 m high.
In these spirals, almost all the plants that are needed are sown. The plants are placed according to the botanical configuration of each of them, taking into account their height, which provides shade over the others and other characteristics.
The orchards or gardens in the form of borders or clumps that can be delimited with stones on their outer edge have also been widely used for these purposes, especially for planting herbs of perennials.
Orchards in containers such as clay pots, vertical tubes, old tires, boxes and any other type of container, are widely used in places that have little space or do not have stone beds with soil. This is the case of cemented patios, balconies, roofs and others. If the spaces are very limited, it is possible to grow many plants at different heights of the level of the floor, on the walls, hanging, in steps and in many other ways.