I like herb gardens because they have a carefree look and are easy to maintain. If you are looking for an herb garden with a function try a Cosmetic Crafting Herb Garden.
You can either mix your own cosmetics for products that are fresh with no chemicals or supply fresh herbs for others who make cosmetics. It will only take a few months to raise the herbs you will need for a variety of herbal products.
This herbal garden will include Aloe Vera, Basil, Chamomile, Lavender, Peppermint and Rosemary.
Plant Aloe Vera in full to sun to part shade in very fertile, well drained soil. Start with a small plant. If you have a warmer climate (zone 6 or above) plant the Aloe Vera in the ground and place stones around the base of the plant to help with drainage. You can make a mini slope or mound shape in your garden and plant it there. Aloe does not need to be watered and should be placed where it will not get too much exposure to rain. In my zone 5 I use a mound to plant the Aloe Vera to make sure the drainage is adequate. If you live in Zone four or lower I would grow this plant on the porch or patio in a planter so you have more control over climate changes.
Aloe is not generally considered an herb but is essential to many cosmetic recipes. It soothes and moisturizes the skin and decrease redness.
Basil has cosmetic properties and makes a great spice. Once it get going its an easy plant to grow. It’s best to add compost to the soil before planting, as basil is a heavy feeder.
Sow the seeds directly into the ground once the danger of frost has passed. Scatter the seeds into the soil and press down with your hand. Cover with ¼-inch of peat or compost. You can also purchase plants for faster results. Harvest the basil as often as you like. Picking the leaves makes the plant grow even more.
Chamomile needs a site with full sun and rich, well-drained soil. Plant seeds in the spring or fall and thin the plants to about 18 inches apart. Chamomile is known for its soothing, emollient and anti-inflammatory properties. It is often used in lotion and facial cleansers.
Sow lavender seeds indoors and plant them outside in a sunny area with soil that drains well. I buy lavender plants for my zone. It’s just faster for my shorter growing zone. Lavender will need no special care and can be harvested as often as you like. It adds color and fragrance to you yard and is used to add fragrance to cosmetics. It also aids healing in the skin and reduces blemishes.
Rosemary is difficult to grow from seeds so buy the plants. It thrives in full sun with well-drained soil. This aromatic herb is known for its astringent properties, is very low maintenance and also can be used as a seasoning or for crafts.
Sow peppermint seeds indoors on the surface of moist soil. This herb needs moist, fertile soil in partial shade. Peppermint will grow and spread very quickly, so you may need to cut it back frequently. I grow it in hanging baskets so I don’t need to worry about it spreading. It is used in cosmetics to soothe and relax the muscles. It is also used in bathes and compresses.
Except for the peppermint all of these herbs can be grown in the same area. I would also add Plantain and Calendula to this herb garden. Both have wonderful properties that add to salves.
This garden can add fun to your yard and is a conversation piece for those who make cosmetics and those who would like to. Homemade cosmetics take a little more time but they have a richer feeling when used. They also have the benefit of no added chemicals.