Sunday, June 03, 2007

Growing Herbs

In working on my garden in the past five years the primary focus has been on filling in shade ground covers. It's a small yard with three large Norway Maples and close neighbors. I like having a green screen around my space, and I like having low maintenance leafy contours and textures. The shrubs, trees and ground covers have done so well I have very few fully sunny spots left. Fortunately my side garden gets full sun all afternoon, but the irises, lilies, ivy and vinca have completely taken over the garden slope and choked out the herbs I used to grow there. There is no room at all for the tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers that I would like to grow.

This year I am growing four Big Boy Bush tomato plants in two large pots. They are next to the kitchen door where they will get full sun all afternoon. As long as I remember to water them everyday they will produce more tomatoes than we can eat. I am so looking forward to picking them warm from the sun. The tomatoes you buy in the grocery store? Not real tomatoes. No comparison!

tomatoes, one week.JPG

In the first photo the tomatoes are one week in the pot. Here they are today, after two weeks of growth:

tomatoes, week 2.JPG

Next to the tomatoes I have some pots of herbs: rosemary, chives, basil in individual pots and one big combo pot with sage, oregano, parsley and marjoram. I can step out the back door and snip a handful of these for cooking spaghetti sauce, pizza, soups, salads and casseroles. Yum!

herb combo.JPG

Many years ago I fell in love with growing herbs and started collecting books on how to grow them and how to use them in cooking and crafts. My all time favorite is Rodales' Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs. It is fantastic. It tells you exactly how to grow each variety as well as the history of its use, medical properties, crafting, cooking, and healing recipes and techniques. I learned how to make basil tea for headaches, a necklace of rose petal beads, and lavender sachets for my drawers among other things. Every time I walk out my kitchen door I have to smile at my pots of herbs and tomatoes. Their fragrance and juicy, vigorously growing leaves fill me with cheer.


What's happening in your garden this week? Please send me a link to one of your garden-related posts from the last week. Just use the Mr. Linky below, and then come back later to take a tour of other gardens around the blogosphere. It's the Sunday Garden Tour!


Saints and Spinners said...

You've inspired me. I want to grow herbs in pots, too.

Anonymous said...

I love your herbs. I've always wanted to grow rosemary but my house is not sunny enough in winter to bring it indoors and leaving it outside is certain death for it which makes me too sad. So I will gladly admire yours :)

Suzanne said...

What a great idea. I've got my camera battery charging and I'll post pics tonight. Thanks for doing this.

BrightStar (B*) said...

Thanks for inviting me to participate in the stroll! My photos are from a local botanical garden rather than my own garden -- hope that's okay!

Anonymous said...

You've reminded me: I have to head to the nursery to get some tomato plants tomorrow or else winter will come before I have a harvest! Those grocery store tomatoes are like eating cardboard.

I love herbs too, but other than the obvious uses, I am never sure what to do with some of them. I'll check out the Rodale's.

Overwhelmed! said...

Does it have to be an herb garden because I don't have one of those...yet. All I have is flowering plants in our front yard.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Any kind of gardening post is welcome! You can write about whatever problems you are facing, tell stories about your favorite plants, just post photos, tell about a garden you visited... I just love hearing and seeing it all! It is inspiring to me to find out what other people are doing in their gardens or what works for them.

Thanks to all of you for participating!

BrightStar (B*) said...

Thanks for organizing it!

Suzanne said...

The tomatoes you buy in the grocery store? Not real tomatoes.

I feel the same way.