Where Are Your Herbs?

Does that sound like a strange question–where are your herbs? If you’ve been reading for a little while, you’ll get the idea that “in the garden” is not what I’m looking for,”–or maybe not all I’m looking for!

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having herbs in the garden–I have them in 3 different gardens in fact! Let me show you where and why.

chives

I have a few herbs in the “wildlife” or pollinator garden. I need to get some more down there. I don’t pick them and I don’t use them for cutting. I let them flower so the pollinators can use them. My chives in particular down there are a huge clump and are lovely when they flower. Occasionally I’ll dig up a smaller clump and move it somewhere else to have for more pollinators! That’s them behind the milkweed in the foreground.

vegetable garden

Then I have more herbs in the vegetable garden. Again, these are mostly for pollinators, although if I have something out there that I don’t have elsewhere, I may go get it for cooking. My dill and lemon balm are out there and that’s the only place I have those. (The garden is looking a little bare right now because I’ve cleared out all the lettuce. I may do a fall crop that’s why it’s still so bare).

work vegetable garden

I have a garden at work and I have ringed that garden with herbs–two kinds of sage, two kinds of oregano (including the variety “hot and spicy!”) two kinds of thyme, lemon balm and chives. Why? We have a woodchuck (aka a ground hog) and for some reason this helps keep it at bay (actually we have a family of groundhogs, and have had for years!). And yes, it is a little weedy right now. We’ve had a heat wave. I don’t weed in that. I’m not complaining about the heat, but I’m not going to get heat stroke by weeding in it either.

The oregano (front right) and lemon balm (right rear) are in flower. Since I have no flowers here and no one uses the herbs for cooking, I just let them flower.  The sage in the front left just finished flowering.

We can’t grow everything we want–no lettuce or beans, for example–but peppers and tomatoes seem to fare pretty well when “protected” by the herbs. So we have built-in salad fixins’ should we choose.

potted herbs

But where are my “real” herbs? Right outside the door to my house where I can get them when I need them. They’re potted of course, which means they’re a bit thirsty in the summer but most of the herbs are Mediterranean herbs so they like it hot and dry anyway.

more potted herbs

I have parsley  and chives (which do not fall into that category), 4 types of basil, 2 types each of sage and thyme and  a spearmint as well as 3 small potted figs. The way the figs are growing it will be a few years before I reap figs but that’s okay.

At the end of the summer, the perennial herbs go into the garden and the basils get nursed along as long as I can until they become compost. The spearmint goes onto the sun porch for the winter–that never goes into the garden!

You can see the ‘Genovese’ basil struggling a bit. I just discovered why when I put out the latest batch of recycling in that large blue barrel. Its pot is cracked. Although I hate to do it, I may have to re-pot it. That may get it through the rest of the summer for me without it drying so fast.

 

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2 thoughts on “Where Are Your Herbs?

  1. Never thought of planting herbs for pollinators rather than for cuisine. 🙂 Can’t use any herbs myself (most are high oxalate which I must now avoid) but I used to grow basil, marjoram, and rosemary. But for some reason I never could grow parsley decently!

  2. Parsley and chives are not Mediterranean herbs, so if you were growing those high heat loving herbs, (the ones you mentioned) perhaps they were frying a bit. It’s something folks don’t think about but parsley, chives and to a lesser extent some of the variegated herbs like the thymes and some of the sages will even take a little shade! This is especially true the further south you go. If you’d like to try again, if even for your pollinators, give parsley a bit more moisture than a lot of the others and you could even try a bit of shade, particularly in the afternoon. All of those herbs get sun only until about 1 pm in any of those gardens pictured.

    Karla

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