I've been debating on exactly what kind of herb garden to implement and after making up some rough sketches of various ideas on paper I decided to throw this basic design together. It has a somewhat formal look yet should be relatively easy to maintain.
I was considering trying to do a knot herb garden but that just looked like more work than I wanted to do, at least at this time. My second thought was a parterre herb garden layout but again to keep it looking as it should regular pruning is a necessity. I also considered a random arrangement to allow it to look fairly natural. The design above is sort of a hybrid of all three with a formal look that won't need real high maintenance pruning.
How The Herb Garden Layout is Designed:
The stepping stones (1) divide the 8 foot bed into four sections. Each section will have similar plantings except for the outer edge. The centerpiece of this herb garden will be the rosemary (2) (which is a perennial) and should grow quite large over time with the occasional clipping for kitchen use. Outside of the main rosemary four other plants will help create an evergreen mass. Next to the rosemary and the stepping stones a purple leaf basil (3) will add some color. In between the purple leaf basil another basil variety will be planted. Possibly a large leaf Italian basil (4). On the outside edge other herbs like thyme, parsley, mint (only in pots), and cilantro (5). I may add other herbs to fit into the open spaces. Mother of Thyme would probably do well in between the stepping stones.
One day I may try the knot herb garden. Maybe when my garden helpers are old enough to be out working!