The Herb Garden

The Herb Garden

I love herbs.  I grow 20 different kinds and use almost none of them in my cooking.  But I could if I wanted to.  Basil, Thyme, Sage (both hardy and bicolor- which overwintered!), chives, oregano- they are all wonderfully easy to grow.   

I wish I had a herb garden the size of Mt. Everest or K2, but I don’t.  The first bed my husband and I ever dug (and possibly the second best day of my whole life) was the rose/herb garden.  The strategy: dig a big hole, 3 feet wide and 15 feet long, 2  1/2 feet deep.  Fill the hole with Miracle Grow potting soil.  Add roses.  Add herbs.  Enjoy for years.  It has been the lowest maintenance, most joyously wonderful garden we’ve had.  And one I get to look at every single day.  I have heard endlessly that herbs enjoy soil with low fertility, but I think they enjoy the potting soil quite well.  And it is so easy to weed because it is so loose and doesn’t have weed seeds that push themselves up all the time.  It really was the case of a $5 plant in a $100 hole- but it has worked.  Some of the roses were so large that we had to chop them out the first year because they impeded our access to the faucet.

The herbs couldn’t have been easier.  I’ve grown peppermint (not planted here, thank goodness), chives, basil, sage, dill (oh boy!)  thyme and greek oregano from seed.  I bought the golden oregano (which I LOVE), bay tree, rosemary, lemon balm, bicolor sage, lavender and lemon verbena as plants.  Every single one has been so wonderful.  My only regret is that I don’t use them more.   They are very low maintenance and require only a spring cutback and a shake of osmocote to keep them gorgeous.  (In the pre-dog days, I’d often sprinkle blood meal to keep out the rabbits, who enjoy the herbs in winter very much.)

I’ve also grown herbs in containers, and keep my Rosemary and Bay in terracotta pots that alternate between the herb bed and my kitchen.  The key with these is to keep them layered with sand to keep the fungus gnats out.

Don’t forget herbs in your flower arrangements- I love them for their fragrance and long life in flower arrangements (see here and here).    And given their proximity to my garden bench- they often make the cut.

The Herb Garden (with golden oregano featuring prominently)

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2 Responses to The Herb Garden

  1. nina says:

    why wouldn’t you use the herbs in cooking? fresh picked have the best flavour.
    I do think it’s pretty when chives flower

  2. gwendolyngarden says:

    Fresh herbs are great for cooking- the flavor is delightful! If only I had more time to cook!

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