Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Herb Garden in 2010

 I'm not sure when in the summer I decided I was going to do a post on the herb garden through the season.  I never got around to doing it, but since I have enjoyed seeing some posts on gardens or areas of them through time, I decided today was the day I was going to do it.  Well, it took me awhile to start seeing the herb garden in my iphoto library, then I ended up exporting over 40 photos, and I didn't even get all the way through July.  I decided to post what I have, and finish up in another post.

The first one I found was from March 26, when the chives were coming up.

April 12, the woodland phlox were up in the tub.  The chives were up well, with salad burnet and a few kinds of thyme to the right of them.

 I thought this was the year I was going to have to replace the sage, but I cut it back to see what it would do.  The tarragon was coming up in the corner.

Here's a wider view.

I don't remember how long we'd had the rosemary plants outdoors, but they were looking a bit rough after being inside for the winter.

The next few photos were taken May 2. 

I don't show this part of the back yard often.  The deck is on the left, and the herb garden on the right. My father-in-law put lots of cement down, in an effort to stop water getting into the basement.  It still does, though. A few years ago, I tried to talk Larry into letting me hire someone to take out a couple of the squares, but he didn't like the idea. We had to put the fence around it to keep Heidi out when she was a puppy.  The reason the extra fencing is over the chain link is because Heidi used to jump the fence.  One of these days, I'd like to tear down the deck and build a smaller patio. 

I also grow herbs in pots.  The little area here is awkward to me.  I would still love to take out some of that cement.

I have shown this woodland phlox before.  I moved it from where we lived 13 years ago.  I plant some out of it in the ground from time to time.  It doesn't live more than a few years where I put it, but it thrives here in full sun, even though it's supposed to prefer some shade.

The chives were getting ready to bloom here, and the sage leafed out nicely.  It's hard to see, but I think the salad burnet was getting ready to bloom, too.

On May 8, the sage was full of flower buds, too.

Here's the salad burnet.

The chive blooms were closer to opening up.

When I was a girl, we used to eat the green seed heads of this clover. I still do once in awhile, but they are more sour than I remember.  There was lots of this in the herb garden this spring.  Can you see the dill coming up?

Here it is.

May 15, the chives and salad burnet were looking quite lovely.  The ones on the left, that are more of a purple, are onion, or giant chives.  The blades are larger than other chives.

The sage was still holding its buds.  That's a mint of some kind on the other side of the fence.

I tend to take care of other areas of the garden before tackling the herb garden.  On May 22, I stopped to document the mess here.

By May 24, the sage had joined in with its flowers.

Oregano was coming up nicely, and rabbits decided they wanted to eat the woodland phlox.

The tarragon grows pretty fast once it comes up.

The dill plants that weren't as crowded were larger.

I did some thinning and weeding this day and the next.  I don't remember if I ate the lamb's quarters that was growing in the corner.

 May 25, I went ahead and cut back the salad burnet and chives before they went to seed.  I usually don't get it done this soon, but wanted to go ahead so they could regrow and I could use them for cooking. 

I used to use thyme more often in cooking than I have been lately.  There are salad burnet seedlings coming up in the thyme here.  I don't remember which kinds of thyme I have here.  I know there are some citrus, variegated, English, and silver thymes.

I used to pull parsley plants that came up in the spring, because, as a biennial, they bloom the second year, and the flavor isn't as good, but lately, I've been leaving them for the swallowtail caterpillars.  But, this summer, I read that one shouldn't let them bloom because the wasps that eat caterpillars are attracted to them.  I already have flowers that the wasps love, so I don't know if parsley blooms are going to cause any more to show up.  I'll have to look into it some more and decide what to do.

I have summer savory come up from last year's plants going to seed each year.  Sometimes it gets a bit leggy.  I cut this one back so it will bush out more.

Oh, I see I didn't eat the lamb's quarters.   I did munch on the lambs quarters from my garden across the street from time to time.   Here's what ended up on the compost pile.

I don't remember when I planted these basils with the chives that lived in the pot over the winter.  This is from May 29.

The thyme in this pot also lived there over the winter.  I added a different kind of sage, parsley, and I think the little plant in the back is a lemon verbena, which I used fresh to make tea with.

Look how nicely the chives regrew by June 8.  The thymes were blooming at this time.

The salad burnet was coming back up, too.

I planted more basil in the corner.  The oregano that I cut back the days I was tending the herb garden was bushing back a bit here. 

The summer savory straightened up and started bushing out.

I wanted to include a photo of what was in this container covered with the "pretty" silver tarp.  On June 19, I got some photos of our grandson playing in the sandbox we provided him.

On July 8, the garden was looking pretty full.  Look, the chives bloomed again a bit!  I'm thinking it was because I cut them back before they had a chance to produce seeds.

By July 20, the dill was blooming, and the sage was looking like it never had any problems over the winter.

The 2 oregano plants are blooming.  It looks like I didn't keep up with the deadheading on the basil by the fence.  The pretty black eyed Susans are in our next door neighbors yard.  They look nice with the herbs.

Even after finding the photos, it took me a long time to do this post, because I accidentally put duplicates in it, and then, when I tried to do the dates, got so confused, that I had to start over, and do a few at a time, putting the dates in as I went.  I was glad to hear we were having a snow day today, so I could finish up.  Even though it took so long, I look forward to finishing up the rest of the season.

This winter storm is covering a lot of the U.S.  Wherever you are, I hope you are safe and warm.  I always say that I don't mind this kind of weather in the winter, but once April gets here, I want 60s and 70s, with rain, but not too much for planting, and no snow.


  1. Good morning Sue. I absolutely must do a variety of fresh herbs. I am learning to cook with the fresh stuff so I need to grow it. Yours look so good and healhy. And you have so many. I heard about the weather. Ya'll stay safe and warm and hope it isn't too bad where you live.

  2. Great post Sue...I love these sort of posts...it's so fascinating to see the progression throughout the year. You've reminded me I simply MUST plant chives this year...so beautiful with the benefit of being delicious! I've never seen Salad Burnet...I have to look it up, I might want some of that too! Can't wait for more of these posts!

  3. i use a lot of herbs even in juices do you?

  4. First of all, I love the new look of your blog! Great job.

    I really enjoyed looking at the progression of your garden. Very cool! I just LOVE finding the first little green bit to push itself through the soil in the spring.

    Our weather gets too cold for most herbs to last through the winter, darn it. But the chives, dill and rosemary do well. I think this year I'll try putting in things I don't think will live over the winter and just see if they do. Doesn't work to put them in pots, really, because I don't have a good spot for them to winter over in my house.

  5. Hey Sue, great post! I LOVE love love fresh herbs. My favorites are basil, oregano, & dill. I definitely will put out some chives this spring.

    I love your spring countdown, too!
    Cathy @ Country Cathy

  6. The way those herbs took off as the season progressed is nothing short of miraculous! And the picture of them in full flower together is stunning!! I now want to rush right out and tend to /inject some love in my own neglected herb patch! This was such an inspiring post, Sue - thank you!

  7. What a nice post Sue, you have a decorative as well as a usable herb garden.I let the dill come in a few areas and pull lots when it is small to dry.I make a gravy with it(Czech) and like to put it in a number of dishes.

  8. That "clover" is actually wood sorrel. The leaves are edible too. The taste is similar to the cultivated French sorrel.

    Anyway, I love seeing the progress from spring into summer. Especially like the shot from July 8th--so lush! I've noticed that I have pretty good luck with dill reseeding and was curious whether you sowed those dill plants yourself or let nature do the work?

  9. Great post, Sue, and thanks for working so hard on it! I get so confused too when I do long posts with lots of pictures. I have an herb area in my raised beds, I love cooking with fresh herbs.

    I'm glad to see Tarragon returns after dying back in the winter. Mine is just long bare stems right now, this past year was the first time I've grown it.

    Stay warm and safe!

  10. Sue, thank you for taking us down your memory herbal lane, It helps cheer up some of those winter blues. Your herbal garden is just as pretty as a plot of flowers... Love it.

    I grew a couple of chives last summer. I did not realize how beautiful they were in bloom.

    P.S.. Thank you for the compliment you left on my Happy New Years post. Unfortunately I changed the look of it again, trying to make extra space for my gardening catalogs. I forgot that every time this is done, I have to re-format EVERY BLOG I EVER POSTED!..UUUG!

    P.S It would be cool if there was some sort of diagram that showed how many blogging friends we have in common. That would be a nice idea.

    A winter storm is on it's way to my neck of the woods as well.. I went out and got lots of hot chocolate!

    Take care, and be warm and safe..

  11. What a great timeline of photos of your herb garden.

  12. Oh wow Sue, you have the most amazing Herb garden. I am so jealous. I have such a hard time growing herbs. Not sure why but my chives and dill grew horribly from seed.

    BTW, I'm hosting a herb seed garden giveaway on my blog. Not that you need more herbs!


  13. Kids never want to sit on the outside of the sandbox and reach in to play, they want to sit right in the middle of the sand. Cute boy.

    If you are persistent about wanting some of the cement blocks removed, I bet Larry will eventually agree to it. That area would make for a nice flower bed.

    The blooms on chives are so pretty, aren't they?


  14. Oh, you make me miss my herb garden! Thanks for the great post.

  15. I've decided that this is the year I finally put in a small herb garden. I'm also bringing back my vegetable garden after not having one for a few years, so I have to figure out where to put the herbs, but with a new kitchen coming, I think fresh vegetables and herbs would be just the thing.

  16. Mmm, all those herbs make me think about savoury stews and fresh salads!

  17. This wonderful post has made me determined to get my herbs in one place and have a real herb garden!

    I enjoyed this so much. I do realize what a job it was to put it together. Thank you.

  18. I don't think there is anything prettier than chives in bloom---
    Love all the photos...what a nice sight in the dead of winter!

  19. Hi Sue,
    Thanks for your comment on my blog. To answer your question, in China, Chinese New Year is celebrated all month and typically business close down for a few weeks. The New Year starts on Feb. 3rd, so if they are celebrating 15 days, You probably won't see that invoice until after Feb. 18th.
    I hope that helps.


I welcome comments and questions from anyone, including those who do it anonymously. Some people find my posts by doing searches, and I like hearing from them. I guess spammers won't even read this message, but I will delete spam as soon as I see it.