Plan to put your herb pot or plot in full sun. Make sure the soil is well drained and has some humus mixed in. If you want a raised bed you can get three 8-foot ties to make a good starter herb garden. Cut one in half and make the slightly raised bed 8-by-8-by-4 feet. More ties will make the bed higher, but you have to secure these together. Be sure to remove any sod or weeds, place the ties in place and fill in with good compost, topsoil and potting soil. Mix well because herbs like a friable well-drained soil. A small garden this size is easy to care for and can be kept weed free and harvested 10 minutes a day or less than an hour a week.
A few perennial herbs can be planted in the center and they will remain for years. Try lavender and a sage — both like full sun and well-drained soil. Then add a couple of boxes of parsley or plant a pack of parsley seed. No one ever has enough parsley and sometimes we have to share with the larvae of the beautiful swallowtail butterfly. Around the edges, plant some permanent perennial thyme, choosing lemon and other varieties as well as the old–fashion thyme. Plant pansies and nasturtiums in between the thyme to have edible blooms for salad and cakes. Both will cascade over the edges of the ties, giving the garden a quaint look.
Add other perennials, such as a chive plant, a rosemary or two, and perhaps a lovage and tarragon. Be sure to have several kinds of basil and plenty of dill. Sprinkle seeds of cilantro, arugula, and more dill in empty areas. Save oregano or mint for a place outside of this bed where it can spread in all its glory.You can plant it along the edges of the ties so you do not have to mow or edge. Remember, its blooms are also a butterfly magnet and it can be treated as a blooming perennial in any garden.
This selection of herbs is usually good for a small or first herb garden. Add other favorites of your family.