Spiral gardens: what is it and how to make a spiral garden?

Hello to all agrohuerters! In today’s article we are going to talk about spiral gardens. These types of orchards are beginning to be seen a lot and are really attractive. At first you may not know what we mean by the term » spiral gardens » but throughout the article you will discover it… So let’s get to it!

Spiral gardens with aromatic plants

What is a spiral garden?

I had not seen any spiral orchard until I was in Switzerland for a few weeks. There, these types of orchards are very common and you can find them in private gardens, farms or parks.

When I discovered them I was very curious to know more about their function, structure and about the type of plants that we could grow. So I have been informing myself to tell you all the surprises they hide.

A spiral garden is a structure of stones, wood or bricks arranged in a spiral to grow different plants inside it (mainly aromatic and medicinal plants). This technique is widely used in permaculture and allows us to take advantage of the different positions of the sun and the amount of moisture in the soil to grow crops.

Below, you can see one of these types of spiral gardens that I found walking around Switzerland:

Spiral orchard in Switzerland

Benefits of spiral gardens

Once we are clear about what we mean when we talk about « spiral gardens » we will see what the benefits of this technique are compared to traditional cultivation.

Here is a list of the most important ones:

  • Creation of different micro-climates throughout the spiral. Depending on the position of the sun and the height of the plants, the amount of light and humidity changes. Therefore, we can choose the different plants based on these parameters.
  • Increased biodiversity in the orchard. This type of structure allows us to increase biodiversity by putting different types of plants in the garden.
  • Auxiliary fauna attraction. Normally, the auxiliary fauna likes to take refuge among stones, wood, bricks, etc. In other words, the materials with which we build the spiral garden will in turn serve as a home for the beneficial insects of the garden.
  • Association between beneficial plants. In turn, we can take advantage of the proximity of some plants to establish beneficial associations.

How to make a spiral garden step by step

Next, we are going to learn what materials we need and how to make a spiral garden step by step. Do not forget that each person can then adapt this type of orchard to their needs and available space. We will give you some general guidelines and from there it is you who have to surprise us.

Necessary materials

As you know in a garden, we can recycle countless materials and containers. In this case, the most used materials to build the spiral garden are stones (as we see in the photo), bricks or pieces of wood.

As we have mentioned before, the small holes that remain when building the spiral will serve as a refuge for the beneficial insects of the garden.

However, surely you can find spiral gardens of other types of different materials. There are no rules here, let everyone’s imagination live!

Spiral gardens with aromatic plants.

Construction of spiral gardens

Once we know the materials that we can use, we will see the different steps to build it:

  1. Make a circle on the ground approximately 2 meters in diameter. The height of the spiral will be around 1 meter.
  2. It is recommended, but not required, to place a small pond of water at the beginning of the spiral (at the base of the spiral). This small pond of water will provide the garden with a certain amount of humidity and even breed small beneficial amphibians for pest control.
  3. Once we are clear about the beginning of our spiral, we begin to place the stones/wood/bricks until we form a spiral approximately 1 meter high.
  4. Fill the spiral with substrate and compost.
  5. Sow/plant the plants that we want to grow. In the next section we develop this point further.

What plants to put in spiral gardens

One of the tips to make the most of the spiral garden is to place the plants that require more light and less water on top of the spiral, since the water will fall by gravity to the lower plants. The lower plants will have a greater amount of humidity and more shady areas.

It is usually used for the cultivation of aromatic or medicinal plants. However, you can also vegetables or ornamental plants.

Rosemary plant

Here is a list of some plants that you can plant in the spiral:

  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Chamomile
  • Sage
  • Cilantro
  • Basil
  • Tarragon
  • Valerian
  • Balm
  • good grass
  • Mint
  • Anise
  • Calendula
  • Chive
  • Parsley
  • watercress

Of course, this list of plants are just some ideas. From there you can grow what you want as long as you take into account the advice of the sun and humidity.

If you liked this idea to build a garden in a small space, do not miss the following article where we talk about small gardens to grow in small places: « Mini garden: How to make an urban garden at home «.


That is all for today. I hope you liked this new discovery of spiral gardens. If you dare to build one or you find one out there, we will be happy to see the photos in the comments. Let’s see who finds the most beautiful spiral of all.

See you in the next article.

Have a nice day!

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