Thursday, August 4

Growing Culinary Herbs Again

Since leaving behind my herb garden in the city I've struggled with creating another garden. I think it's much like an artist looking at a blank canvas three times larger than they've worked with in the past.  I was overwhelmed.

We went from a city lot to ten acres in a rural area with a large field, horse pasture, a small wooded area and a bit of wetland scrub. At the time I had visions of grandeur where I created large, amazing gardens, a pond and fields of wildflowers.  While some of that may yet become a reality as money becomes available, it wasn't a realistic plan. My imagination was much larger than our wallet.

However, after much experimentation I finally turned part of our yard into a garden area, starting with a round herb bed.

Last year we placed the blocks and put down plastic to smother the weeds and grass. This year, in early spring we bought a yard of planting soil, which was a step up from topsoil. I worked in an organic fertilizer and allowed the bed to sit for about two weeks. This was the bed after I added a few pansies and the "centerpiece" of the bed, which is the top of a cast iron chiminea we've had for over ten years.




It's shaded in the morning, but only before about 11:00 a.m. or so. The rest of the day the bed is in full sun. Here is the herb bed now:



I planted annual herbs and flowers until the perennial herbs fill in the bed. I included:

Pansy
Moss Rose
Calendula
Nasturtium
Petunia

The perennial herbs include:
Oregano
Thyme 
Sage
Lavender
Catmint (Nepeta)
Chives

I also planted lemon verbena, although in Zone 5 it can't be overwintered. I simply couldn't resist the wonderful fragrance. I also planted basil in a long "windowbox" type planter and dill in another pot. 

I've been watering the herb bed in between rains. The containers always need more watering. After the perennials establish themselves they won't need extra water. Which is one of the many reasons I love herbs. They are easy to grow, lovely, fragrant and useful.

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