come visit my herb garden!

i’m not much of a monday person.

we enjoy our long, lovely weekends.  we kick them off with our date night on friday, work in the garden and grill out on saturday, and conclude them on sunday evening with a glass of wine on the back porch.

monday morning is an abrupt back to reality slap in the face, usually starting off with an early morning airport run where I kiss my sweetheart goodbye for the week.

i’m not much of a monday person.

yesterday, however, was something of an exception.

yesterday, my husband and i made a trip together out to the country dairy for our raw milk and cream.  the drive out and back gave us a chance to catch up after his trip last week.

yesterday i enjoyed the hum of my washing machine while i deboned a chicken making me feel all warm and housewifey inside.

yesterday, i planted my herb garden.

or rather, i finished planting my herb garden as i simply added some annual herbs, and other new things alongside the perennial herbs already growing.

this is my herb garden:

it is the result of about two years worth of work, much of that time spent shuffling things around trying to find the right place for my plants.  the garden is situated in a narrow, west facing bed up against the brick wall of the house where the mediterranean herbs such as rosemary and oregano can absorb the heat of the afternoon sun. i suppose it is rather odd that the herbs are not located with the rest of the kitchen garden but I like it here: it is just to the right of the kitchen doorstep for very easy access when i am cooking. i can pop out and grab what i need without having to take the pot off the stove.

my garden is not a showcase of every specimen of herb known to man.  there are several things you won’t find here.

i don’t grow cilantro.  cilantro prefers the cooler weather and about the only time i want to use it is when i am making my salsa with my homegrown tomatoes, which happen to be a warm weather crop.

i don’t grow dill.  i just don’t.

i don’t grow fennel because my husband doesn’t care for the taste.

i don’t grow parsley.  i don’t use it often enough to justify the use of limited space, and i prefer not to share it with the swallowtail caterpillars even though i really enjoy the butterflies.

i do grow….

a nice healthy patch of oregano, one of the perennial herbs that comes back year after year,

a brand new patch of variegated sage, chosen more for color and texture than anything else.

a certain variety of thyme.  at least that is what i think this is based on the scent.  this was given to me last fall as a cast-off from someone else’s garden.  i was thrilled that it took root and came back.  are you noticing my vintage table knife markers?  i found them at napa style and i. love. them.

and of course, here is common thyme.  i grew this little baby from seed under my grow-lights.

rosemary.  planted last year and protected from the blizzard under a garden cloche.

 and because i think every garden should have flowers, here is a rose.  i call it the grocery store rose because that is where it came from: one of those small pots wrapped up for valentine’s day in pink cellophane.  i tossed it in the garden and didn’t expect it to last this long.  it has been moved a few times which is probably why it isn’t blooming just yet.  i am also very aware that it needs to be shaped.

this is sorrel.  this is an experiment as i’ve never grown sorrel before, nor have i ever used it in my cooking.  i started this inside along with a few other things and have nursed it along.  it lopped over in the wind while i was taking this picture.  i planted it amongst the dutch iris, another flower i have in my herb garden.

this is a very young patch of lavender, planted last fall.  lavender doesn’t do well here in oklahoma as our springs are usually too wet. lavender doesn’t care to have wet feet.  i have a rule in my garden: i never give up on any one thing until i have tried it three times.  this is my third lavender plant.  if it doesn’t flourish, the space will be given to something else.  you can see that the leaves have a little bit of damage due to the hard winter but it is getting ready to bloom so there is hope.

this scraggly lookin’ thing is catmint.  this was another cast-off that i salvaged and brought home. it doesn’t look like much now, but when it gets going it will spread to 30″ and send out lavender colored spikes. very pretty.  although i would have done better to position it opposite the lavender for a balance of color, but oh. well. there it is.

and this is lemon balm,

and sweet marjoram which is new.  i planted this because i had a recipe a few weeks ago that called for marjoram.  i didn’t have any and it was difficult to find in the store so i thought i would try growing it.

and basil.  which i love.  if i had more space i would grow it in drifts of every color and texture available.

up front i have a sad little tomato.  i struggled with starting these under the grow lights.  more on that later, perhaps in the form of a tutorial entitled “how not to start tomatoes indoors”.  i think he’ll make it though.  as to whether or not he’ll produce….we’ll see.

i have mint in a pot on the doorstep.  mint tends to be invasive, so i’ve been told.  i have two other varieties: pineapple mint, and apple mint yet to be potted up, perhaps with some annual dianthus.

and while you’re here, please have a look at my dutch iris getting ready to bloom….

and my traditional iris, planted about eighteen months ago but getting ready to bloom for the first time.  i am stoked.

so that is my herb garden.  you’ll have to stop back later on this summer to see how it is progressing along.

anyone else growing herbs?  what kind are your favorites and why?

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2 Comments to “come visit my herb garden!”

  1. Herbs are one of the few things I have growing. Right now I have parsley, chives, thyme, a very healthy patch of something unknown – maybe lemon balm, sage, and a little scraggly bit of peppermint. That is all stuff that overwintered. I’d love to expand it, but we’ll see.

  2. Hooray for herb gardens!! Mine has already been quite handy this year. I have traditional basil, purple globe basil, dill, parsley, cilantro, oregano, thyme, lemon thyme, sage, and a purple sage (really pretty!), rosemary, two varieties of lavender, and lemon verbena. In pots I have peppermint and chocolate mint. I have more planned for next year, but this is a good start! We have already enjoyed the dill in quite a few dishes, and I will soon have to make pesto for a second time to keep our basil under control!!

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