Thursday, February 3, 2011

Herb Garden Part Two

In the last post, I left off in early July.  I forgot to mention I also have herbs, such as rue, sweet woodruff, and winter savory in my flower beds.

July 20 I took a number of photos of the herb garden area.  There is a baptisia plant that volunteered in the oval pot.  It's behind the thyme, just to the left of the pot of rosemary.

There sure wasn't much dirt showing!

I forgot to mention in the last post that I dry my dill thinnings.  I also try to keep the dill cut back, and dry that, as well.  At some point, the dill gets away from me, and produces seeds, which will keep me in more dill for the next season.  The dill seeds are brown in this photo.

In the back, are 3 basil plants that I got at the farmer's market.  They were awesome, and did not keep trying to bloom.  I forgot what they were called, and when I asked, they said they were a kind you could only buy seeds for if you bought larger amounts, or something like that.

The sage was nice and bushy by now.  The tarragon didn't seem to grow too fast after I cut it back.  I see there are morning glory plants growing through the tarragon.  These were the pink and white kind, so I let some of them grow.  It's hard to see, but in the middle of the bottom of the photo, is the summer savory plant I cut back earlier.  It bushed out nicely, too.

I see some pots are in different spots than they were in some of the photos from the last post.  Larry and I move pots around from time to time.  Sometimes he moves one, and then, I put it back where I wanted it.  My mints didn't do as well this year as in the past, maybe because the pots weren't big enough.  I think I'll set aside some of my wash tubs for mints this year.  I leave them outside over the winter.  There is the pot with the baptisia growing in it.

The pineapple sage is to the left of the parsley in the white pot.  I got a different kind this year, but don't remember its name.  Here's a link to a post I did awhile back, showing how I make tea with lemon balm, pineapple sage, and the different kinds of mint I like to grow.

The basils in the pot grew very nicely, as did the ornamental sweet potatoes. 

Less than 2 weeks later, on August 2, I took another detailed set of photos.  There is something in here that for some reason, didn't make it into other photos.  It's in the  back corner near the rain barrel.  Do you know what it is?

I haven't been drying this oregano, because I decided I don't like the flavor of it dried.  I let it bloom usually, because I think the flowers are pretty.  It looks like violets have taken over the woodland phlox.  I hope the rabbits didn't set them back to the point they didn't survive the winter.  I don't remember if I got the violets pulled out.  I let them grow in a certain area of the veggie garden, but try to keep them out of pots that have flowers in them.  Oh, and I'm thinking I planted this sage in case the other one didn't make it, since it wasn't looking good the beginning of spring.

There isn't much different in this photo from what I've shown before.  I love the neighbor's black eyed Susans on the other side of the fence.

I don't use the tarragon as much as other herbs in cooking, but when I'm in the mood, I'm glad to have it here.  Plus, it's a perennial, and comes back reliably.  Look at all those dill seeds!  I should have a good crop this summer.

Now, you can see the volunteer oxheart tomato plant that somehow escaped the camera earlier in the season.  I have read one shouldn't let tomato plants volunteer because of disease problems, but I have cherry/grape tomatoes every summer.  Next year, if these reseed, I'll move them.  I imagine that what I read probably said not to do that, either, but I've tried lots of things, including crop rotations, but my tomato plants usually get diseases toward the end of summer.  They give up and die after I've gotten a crop.  Last year, though, the tomatoes were very late in ripening, and I didn't get as many as usual.  (I don't remember if this was before or after I cut back the basil plants to make pistou with.  It's like pesto, but without the nuts or cheese.)  I see more morning glory seedlings that I'm sure I pulled at some point.

I really like these mild tasting tomatoes.

Garlic chives bloom later in the season than regular chives.  They are budding up here.  I'm pretty sure I ended up pulling the baptisia.  It doesn't like to be transplanted, and I decided the pot was not going to be big enough for it.

Oh, I see there were a few flowers that had opened.

Not much had changed since the last photos.  I guess I was happy with these pots.  There's a scented geranium in the photo, too.

I see the rosemary in the white pot is back where it had been.  ;o)

The next photos I found were from a month later than the last ones, September 4.  I don't remember how long the garlic chives had been in full bloom, but it must have been shortly after the previous photos. 

I'm glad a variety of insects enjoyed the flowers.

On September 15, the bush basil had gotten so bushy, it fell over the side of the pot.  Both of these were good for snipping to add to cooking, and they took awhile to start blooming.  I think there are blooms here on the bush one. 

These herbs continued to do well through the season.

These are the basil plants near the oxheart tomato plants.  They sure grew fast since the last photos were taken!

On October 5, the garlic chives were pretty much finished blooming.  This may have been the day I cut them back, like I do the other chives.  I do not let them go to seed, and will not plant them in the ground, because they tried to take over my garden in the place we lived before here.  

I'm thinking November 6 must have been our first frost or freeze.  Basils are one of the first to go when the nights get cold.

The perennial herbs were still doing fine.

I was hoping this kind of pineapple sage would bloom before the cold temps got to it, but alas, it was just in bud.  Look how pretty the bloom was going to be!

I ended up not doing much with the basil that went to seed.  I wonder if I'll have some volunteers come up this spring.

Poor basils, so sad!

I included this photo because it was taken from the driveway, a different angle.

The next two were taken the evening of November 12.

The next day, November 13, found some of the perennials defying the cold and snow.

This was taken November 25.  We had fresh herbs for Thanksgiving.

I don't remember when I moved these pots inside, but by December 16, I had bought a pot of mixed herbs, and was enjoying having these in the garden window in our dining room, which is really a bedroom.

By December 30, the outdoor herbs were finished for the season, covered in a blanket of snow.

On January 21, there was even more snow.

I wonder if there are any birds that eat basil seeds.

There is even more snow on the herbs now, but I haven't made it out to take more photos.  I decided that another photo was not needed, besides, it's a new year, 2011.   Much of the country has seen enough snow by now, more than what they are used to.  I myself, hope the rest of winter goes by quickly, because this is the point where I am really ready to be back out digging in the dirt.

Again, I hope you are safe and warm.  I have a Baker's Creek seed catalog that belongs to a co-worker that I plan on picking seeds out from this evening.


  1. Hi DSue,

    I was fascinated reading all about your herb garden.

    Do you plant your herbs from seed, or do you buy transplants?

  2. Your herb garden is spectacular! You've inspired me to devote a whole raised bed to herbs!

  3. What an incredible journey through all the seasons of your lovely herb garden, Sue! It is clear you really are a passionate gardener and this comes through so strongly in the health of your plants! Your herb garden really is one of the best I've seen, in terms of size. You have an astounding variety in the relatively small space. You're quite amazing and this has been a most interesting and very enjoyable 'tour' :)

    You've inspired me to want to put in a lot more effort with my own tiny 'patch' (mainly a few pots). I can see there's room for much improvement and expansion.

  4. I really enjoyed seeing the herb garden all year long. I like how it all looks. My theory is if no ground is showing, weeds are smothered out.

    Now I am really thinking about where I need to put a dedicated herb bed......

  5. When my yard was flooded in 08 the only annual that survived ws my basil, after 2 weeks under water.I use Thai basil for salads, and like to rub meats with it also. I made some foccacia bread with some of my last dried basil two days ago.

  6. Your herb garden is wonderful. And it sounds as though you truly use it well. Something to look forward to, Sue. :-)

  7. Nice post, Sue...I can practically smell the herbs! I love those washtubs you've used as planters...I'm totally going to try to find some this year. I'm thinking growing herbs in pots will solve my problem of the neighbor's cats "marking" the ones in the ground ;-)

    GOD is SOOOO Good....and it is amazing how he made plants that can be so beautiful in the summer and then be frozen and under snow for a few months and then come back and be sooo Beautiful again and give us food to eat......
    Prayers, Bo

  9. Your herbs are fantastic! I like that you dry your dill thinnings -- a very sensible way to get dill weed for the garden-free months. Those potted plants look so healthy!

  10. Winter does seem long this year. It's nice to look at your summer endeavors and dream of a warmer time. My blogging has been very erratic since last summer; I've been exploring other interests. However, now that I can't spend long hours outside in my garden, I spend it indoors catching up on all my internet reading and writing.

  11. your herb garden looks great, I am sure they will come out beautifully in spring

  12. I've been trying more and more herbs every year. My ultimate favorite is Blue Spice basil-which I put in a pot right next to the door. The scent is incredible-you simply must try it! I don't know about cooking with it, but the smell alone is worth it!
    I love your collection of pots and planters-I'm always on the lookout for them at tag sales,etc.

  13. I sure enjoyed those pictures!

  14. Dear Sue, I enjoyed following your herb garden through the seasons. I love that you expand it into pots! I am going to copy that idea this year as there is never enough room in the raised bed that I dedicate to herbs. P x

  15. Oh Sue, thank you for sharing your garden. I am ready for my herbs, too. There is nothing quite like fresh herbs. So many are intimidated by them, but they're so easy, tasty, and healthy!

  16. I am amazed how well your herbs grow in containers! I am not so lucky, maybe because my herb garden doesn't have full-day sun.
    Thank you for your comments on my blog, Sue! I am in zone 7b, state WA.

  17. You have wonderfully managed to gracefully garden with the frost & snow coming.
    Hope all the best for the coming spring.

  18. Spring can't come too soon, after a winter like this! I really like the photos taken at night with the snowflakes falling-gorgeous. Here's to Spring!

  19. I love my herb garden also and I'm looking forward to fresh pesto! Great post-I can't wait until spring :)

  20. I loved the tour and I LOVE herbs. We grow some shade tolerant types all summer long. I wish, wish, wish I had more sunshine instead of just shade.
    There's nothing like fresh herbs...don't you think?
    Keep warm. David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston

  21. I'm sooooo looking forward to spring! You've got my green thumb itching, Sue!!! I'll have to be extra careful, this year, because of the wasps, yellow jackets and hornets but I'm bound and determined to continue gardening!


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