Posts Tagged ‘My herb garden’

My Herb Garden

Friday, July 25th, 2008

What better time than the late days of fall and warm days of early winter, before the heavy frosts set in, to prepare the soil for the coming growing season. Sounds easy, sounds like fun, all that fresh air, you get some exercise in the process and hopefully healthful vegetables in the coming spring and summer. I was ready to rock and roll, I was quite confident, probably humming some little tune, as I got my tools from the shed, and set out to get things ready for the seeds that were already taking up a fair amount of space on our kitchen window (I am speaking of seeds in packets here, nothing sprouting yet). Things moved along smoothly for a few minutes until the spade hit something unyielding about halfway in.  Similar results a little further over. Stones, big stones, most of them more like rocks, lay waiting just below the layer of earth that I tried to turn. I’ll spare you the details, but it is amazing how quickly your muscles build up . I also learned that you have to move the stones further away from the area you are working in, otherwise you trip over them. Duh! At some point in the near future we are planning to build a wall, nothing all that high, but now there is this rather impressive pile of stones stacked nearby. Waste not want not, or something like it.

Since the work I had planned turned out to be more labor and time intensive than originally anticipated, when spring came I had only a fraction of my garden ready to plant. I needed a reward for my labors though, something that would show quick results, some plants that could be harvested soon. What could be better than herbs!

I had about a yard’s width of prepared good soil next to the path, and I could not wait to get something going. A friend had given me some cuttings of her rosemary the previous fall, miraculously they had all taken, so they were the first to take up residence. Next came thyme, parsley, oregano and marjoram, and of course chives. I added mint, a fabulous addition to a cups of tea or a glass of water, then cilantro, and it seemed I could not pass a display of plants without something getting added to the herb garden. The plants are now amazingly happy and healthy, with an occasional application of nettle tea as organic fertilizer the amount of herbs we can use in our kitchen does not make a dent in what is growing.

I have seen pictures of well designed gardens, where all the plants are neatly lined up in rows, with enough space between that allows easy access. My garden does not fit that mold. In my garden the plants mingle quite happily, the pink blossoms of oregano are intertwined with the tiny violet-blue flowers of ‘hyssopus officionalis’ (Hyssop, an herb native to the southern parts of Europe and Asia, an excellent addition to salads). Yellow marigolds peek out between them, bellflowers and summer asters, they all coexist beautifully.  It makes me smile just looking at them.