Herb garden around shrub

CaraRoseMarch 27, 2013

Hi all,

We have a small dwarf colorado spruce that was pruned to have a long trunk and branches at the top.

I want to build an herb garden around and under it with the shrub in the center. I'll build a border around it, maybe add 1-3" height, and plant it with perennial and annual herbs. I'm thinking thyme, basil, chives, oregano, ect.

My mom is worried that the herbs could be unhealthy for the shrub. I can't imagine that even if the area got choked full of oregano that it would do damage to the shrub. The worst that seems like it could happen is that the shrub shades the herbs a bit too much and they don't do well.

What do you all think?

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Several problems spring to mind. Firstly, trees (and that is what a spruce is, even if it is dwarf) do not want their roots buried any deeper by covering with soil, even a few inches. Secondly, trees can impoverish and dry out the surrounding soil and only certain plants adapted to the conditions will thrive there. Thirdly, the herbs you name need full sun and will not be happy under a tree. Basically the tree will adversely affect the herbs, not the other way round.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 10:59AM
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Thanks for the response.

It's small enough that it's going to minimally shade any plants, especially south facing side. When it gets bigger I may need to rearrange things. I think I'll give it a shot though.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 12:41PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You missed part of what flora was warning you about. Woody trees and shrubs do not like having their root systems disturbed, either by adding more soil or by doing a lot of digging around the roots.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 3:05PM
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