The picture is of the Old Ruth Barn and Historical Society Herb Garden in Long Grove Illinois
The Simple, Essential Herb Garden
by Sandra Bowens
Resolutions often come with Spring. As the days grow longer we will feel more motivated to make changes, to do things, than we did at the beginning of the calendar's new year. Maybe you have decided it is time to become more active, get outdoors more. Or is it time to start eating better--more salads and vegetables, less junk? Perhaps your plan is to beautify your living area and get to work on fixing up that patio. An herb garden is a solution that addresses all three of these perfectly sensible goals.
As with any new project, the first inclination is to dive right in. Your eyes, and taste buds, dance at the thought of the dozens of herbs you will grow and the ways you will use them in your kitchen. Again, a perfectly good goal but you might want to start small, get your feet wet.
Start with the simple, essential herbs first and see how it all works. Six is a good number; basil, chives, dill, marjoram, thyme and rosemary grow well in the garden and are important in the kitchen.
Perhaps the single most critical factor in the success of growing herbs is providing them with enough sunlight. This is where we run into trouble trying to grow herbs indoors. Look for a place where your plants will get at least six hours of light each day. Keep in mind that you are not limited to a tradition "in-the-ground" garden. Herbs grow well in pots.
There are certain advantages to container gardening. You can move the pots around, in and out of the sun or inclement weather, and it is harder for the creeping, crawling garden pests to get at them.
Also consider the part of the country where you live. Some climates are extreme at particular times of the year and you will need to do a bit more research for gardening in your area. The local county agricultural extension office and the library are good places to learn about the special care your plants may require.
Yesterday I blogged about terra cotta pots in the garden. I will continue this today.
I went to my storage area and found the ones that I will use this year in my herb garden. Most of mine are just ordinary pots but I do have a couple that are shaped differently and are more interesting.In the past, I have sunk pots into the ground ..partway...to plant mint or other invasive plants. The really interesting ones will be in the back of the garden...they are taller and will be more protected there. I usually put them on saucers, even in the garden, as I don't want the bottoms to crumble. I want to plant low flowers in and around the herbs. Lamium and Ajuga probably , because they are already in my garden and I won't have to buy more. Then later in the year I want to put in small bulbs of spring flowers for color. Now I will have to decide what herbs I will grow. Still concerned about the sunlight in that area.My garden will be nothing like the above picture. I only have a small area next to the house. I love to look at pictures of knot gardens and herb gardens. I don't know why I am always drawn to them. My hubby always wants big colorful blossoms, but I do prefer simple green plants with interesting scents and leaves. Viva la difference!