In much of my garden designs I tend towards a more Asian or Japanesque design, which includes curvy edges, varied plants intermingled among each other, and all held together in a sort of ordered chaos.
An example of this is in my herb beds.
When planting herb beds, you want them close to the house, within an easy distance of the kitchen. I really enjoy being able to walk outside in between stirring something on the stove and grab some chives, rosemary, savory, or other herb that I can include in the meal to zest things up. Fresh herbs are soooo much better than the dried ones often gotten in the store.
I kept my herb beds to a width that I could reach into all parts of it from one edge or another, so nothing more than 6 feet wide. I also wanted the edges to be organic in appearance with no straight edges, so rather than brick or wood, I used cut rock.
I dug out the herb beds to a depth of almost 2 feet and replaced the sandy, rocky, and sometimes clay soil with a special garden soil mixture of compost, sand, and loam. I dug the herb beds to this depth to optimize the growing capacity of the plants I would put there. I have not been disappointed. Everything I have later planted in these beds has done incredibly.
I planted a couple of fruit trees, a dwarf apple and a dwarf Asian pear, in the center of a couple of the garden beds in order to add even more variety.
The first year, my perennial herbs were still really small, so I planted vegetables much more heavily. Since then my herbs have filled out more and more, until I have had to start cutting them back.
There are a few things I did to minimize problems with weeds, which for me is the biggest maintenance problem to be worried about.
I dug out the paths and put in about 12 inches of wood chips in them. So, there would not be any close weeds to spread seeds into the beds. This had the added advantage of giving me an area between the house and the herb beds that I was able to purposefully raise some Elm Oyster mushrooms in the wood chips, which are very tasty gourmet mushroom.
Due to the beds being raised, it is harder for weed seeds to blow into them
By not walking on the raised beds, weed roots don't become compacted, so weeds are much easier to pull out
Here is a later picture with some of the bounty of my herb beds the second year.
The woodchips need to be added to every year in the paths, especially if you have mushrooms planted in them, like I do.
I have things like artichokes, chives, chamomile, edamame beans, runner beans, sage, lettuce, carrots, savory, rosemary, radishes, and more all interwoven together.
This year, I plan on adding another level of cut rock and cementing them in to place.