I spent most of the winter planning an herb garden expansion so I could grow from seed most of what I won't be able to wild harvest. I only grew a few herbs last year for my own use, mostly as a study as I became more comfortable gardening.
As soon as it got warm in March I was outside, digging with friends into the ancient, crumbling asphalt of a former parking lot that surrounds our building to make a 16 x 4 raised bed. I lined it with some of the thousands of bricks that are stacked up around the building (not making a visible change to the stacks, despite using about 300). As soon as we outlined our future bed with string, before we started breaking up the asphalt, it was clear that it wasn't nearly enough room for both veggies and the herbs I want to grow. An herb spiral was necessary!
I read a lot about permaculture over the winter (while dreaming of warmer weather) and became enamored with the idea of creating an herb spiral.
It's a simple design that creates microclimates for herbs' different sunlight and moisture needs. The center is at the highest point of the spiral, offering lots of sun exposure perfect for mediterranean herbs. The spiral curves down as it loops around, making some south-facing parts of the spiral drier and sunnier and other areas shadier.
With thousands of bricks available my partner and I started building the spiral. Most herb spirals are simple, single spirals. Mine is made two interlocking spirals, for no real reason other than it looks great. After about an hour of building the spiral we filled it with rocks and bricks (and some of the chunks of asphalt that came from what is now our raised bed). Finally, we filled the spiral in with gravel, also freely available in piles around our building. The distance between the fill and the rim is between 2-9 inches throughout the spiral. Overall, it took us a little over two hours to build. We just need to fill it with soil once we get access to a truck. And then with lots and lots of herbs!