Create a Parterre Garden

A parterre is a pattern of boxwood or similar hedge plants, with the areas between filled with other plants. Traditionally, the hedging would be the permanent plants, and the infill made up of annuals and vegetables.

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Plant Up

With a sharp knife, cut a cross in the landscape fabric at each planting point. Make small planting holes. Insert the boxwoods and firm them in. Then fold the landscape fabric back around the stem of the plants.

Arrange Herbs for the Final Design

Place your selected herbs, while still in their pots, in the gaps between the hedging plants, and arrange them until they look right. Put the bay tree in its terra-cotta pot at the center of your parterre to create a focal point.

Herb and Bay Tree ParterreEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Apply a Layer of Slate Chippings

Plant the herbs, water them and cover the whole parterre in a layer of gravel. This will hide the landscape fabric and further help seal in moisture. Other mulching materials can be used, such as slate chippings. Tip: Allow the boxwoods to grow a little taller than their required height, but nip off the tips of the side shoots to encourage bushy growth. When the plants are tall enough, set a line of string at the right height and clip along the hedge with shears (Image 2).

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Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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