• Choose a spot that’s sunny most of the day.
• If possible, position the spiral close to the house to make it convenient to harvest herbs for cooking or other purposes.
• Lay the walls of the spiral in the same direction that water travels. From top to bottom, the spiral should turn clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
• Make the spiral about 3 feet high and 6 feet wide. If you make it bigger, you won’t be able to reach all the plants easily, and some of the plants might get too much shade. If you make it smaller, you’ll compromise the ability of the stone or brick walls to warm the soil effectively.
• Care for the herbs as you would those in a regular raised bed. Expert Cynthia Druckenbrod recommends lightly fertilizing once a month or so and watering if necessary during dry spells.
A video showing permaculture instructor Dick Pierce overseeing construction of an herb spiral is on YouTube (www.youtube.com; search for “herb garden permaculture”).
Permaculture designer Vince Kirchner can be reached through his website, www.greatlakespermaculture.com, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.