Posted by: Brenda Kula | April 6, 2008

Herbs In Our Garden

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My blogging friend Curtiss from http://curtissannmatlock.com asked me to write about the herbs in my garden.

The red pot above I just clipped back yesterday. The sage had lavender-colored flowers, and all the plants were taller. But I always opt to clip, often even when there are beautiful flowers blooming. I do this so the plant does not become "leggy." I will be rewarded with a much prettier plant in just a few weeks.

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The tall plant above is Pineapple Sage. It is starting to have red blooms. (Full sun to partial shade for this plant.)The scent of this herb is one of my all-time favorites. Next to it is another more common sage. I’ve planted seeds in the rest of the pot.

A tea of sage is said to settle the stomach. And sage is often cooked with poultry. It is also a perennial. 

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This lemon balm (above) is tucked up next to Shasta Daisies. Lemon balm is also a favorite perennial of mine, and is much loved in cottage gardens. It smells like lemon-flavored candy. Like mint, I add it to iced tea for a little kick of flavor. The leaves lowest on the plant are said to be highest in essential oils. It also repels insects. This is why many people plant vegetables and herbs together. They are natural neighbors.

Lemon balm is rarely bothered by pests itself. But bees love lemon balm. In fact, Lemon balm is Melissa Officinalis. Melissa is Greek for "bee." When planted by beehives, it will attract new members to the colony. 

Each fall, you should cut down the stalks so you’re ready for next year. Lemon balm will take full sun to partial shade.

As many herbs are native to the Mediterranean region, they like any sandy, well-drained soil. Also allow good air circulation and most will want full sun. (Though some will take partial shade.) Don’t over-saturate your herbs with water. They like to be on the dry side.

Herbal theme gardens are very popular. The knot garden is particularly intriguing. Herbs with various textures and colors are planted carefully and trimmed neatly to create the appearance of ropes looping over and under each other.

There are Biblical gardens, scent gardens, tea gardens, witch’s gardens, kitchen gardens, and apothecary gardens, just to name a few. 

To read on…

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Here is thyme at the back of my pond next to some sedums. I mix herbs into most every garden. Once again, many repel insects. And I love the leaf texture next to flowers. Many are evergreen.

One rosemary plant has been growing quite happily in a terra cotta pot for three years. I trim it back quite a bit, as it will become a bush. Cut it back and it will become fuller and nicer in overall appearance.

Here is the one I keep cutting back below. The pots are at either side of an archway. I am growing vine seeds at the outer edges to climb up the archway and flower.

Many plants can’t take being up against the heat of a brick wall in this East Texas heat. But rosemary is quite hardy once you get it growing!

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There is simply not enough praise I can give to herbs. I can go on and on. So I think I will leave it at this for today, and devote more of this week to this very subject.

If you have questions (for which I have answers!) please comment or email me. And if I don’t know, I will make every effort to find out, and write more about herbs tomorrow.

 

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Responses

  1. All your herbs look so healthy — and I LOVE that red pot!!

  2. Brenda–
    Thank you! Your info is go helpful and encouraging. I am so enthused to get some herbs going in pots. We have perfect soil– sandy– for herbs, but if I grow them in pots, should I add sand to the soil?

    I never thought to put the herbs with other plants. I’m excited to give it a try!
    Hugs,
    CurtissAnn

  3. Over the weekend at a nursery, I had a chance to smell several types of sage. I like the pineapple, and the chocolate mint. I may have to do a pot or tow of these.

  4. Oh my gosh,

    I just scrolled down and saw a little corner of your gorgeous garden! BEAUTIFUL! I am working on my back gardens this year and what you did is very inspiring! I agree, the garden is as fun as the house to decorate…especially if mine turned out as pretty as yours! Thanks for the info on the herbs. I love the container idea. I think I may do it. Many herbs never do well here or they go crazy and spread.

  5. I always wanted to try herbs. I think they look so lush and green – sometimes prettier than flowers.

  6. Oh Brenda, I feel at home here! Such a darling blog you have. I’m so glad you find me so I can now found you! I have never cultivated herbs in pots, but what a good idea. And they look so pretty too!

    It’s been so nice meeting you. Blessings to you and yours,

    Cielo

  7. I like that red pot, Brenda! Pineapple sage is a favorite here, and hummingbirds sometimes come to our plants. But rather than become invasive the way it did in Illinois, in this garden mint just barely hangs on if planted in the ground. It does okay as a ground cover under container trees for me.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose


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