My new herb garden is an indispensable part of my new garden. I absolutely love cooking with fresh herbs. They can transform a humdrum dish into a gourmet delight, and raise the level of my mediocre culinary skills considerably. Plus most of them are really easy to grow! Many herbs attract beneficial insects and repel unwanted pests, deer generally won’t eat them and (other than basil) they aren’t prone to disease.
The key to making good use of herbs (for me) is convenience. They need to be close at hand because if it’s bucketing rain and I have to slog out to the back of the yard for a handful of Italian Parsley, well, it’s just not happening!
The first year in my new garden I planted a small herb garden just outside the back door to the right of my patio. The problem being that I was reluctant to build a big garden in this spot because of my two dogs. At our last home we had a ground level patio similar to this one and I had gardens on either side of it which my dogs loved to race through every time they went in or out of the house. Of course this behaviour resulted in much tracked-in dirt and debris, and I really didn’t want to repeat this mistake. Hence the little garden…
After a while I realized that this wouldn’t be an issue here, mostly because we don’t allow the dogs to go in and out through that door. They use the side door, so their muddy footprints are tracked into the mud room (go figure!) rather than into the main living area.
So I decided I could expand the size of my herb garden and transplant the herbs I’d put in the back of the yard right up close to the house where I would use them more. Still, I decided to plant a few buxus (boxwood) beside the patio to create a low hedge in case anyone gets the urge to run through the garden, but the dogs don’t seem interested in that corner of the yard. At least not for chasing each other around!
It’s wonderful having my favourite herbs just a few steps from the kitchen, I can nip out there regardless of the weather and collect the seasonings I need, no jacket required!
There are a lot more herbs I would like to plant, but it’s still not that big a garden, so I’ve tried to limit myself to the herbs I use most often. This includes:
- Greek Oregano;
- Bay (laurus nobilis);
- Garlic Chives;
- Lemon Thyme;
- Italian Parsley;
- Triple Curled Parsley;
- Summer Savoury, and
- Winter Savoury.
I have tucked garlic cloves in wherever I could find room and the annual herbs will shuffle around from year to year as the perennials grow larger. This new herb garden will eventually need expanding, as I find new plants that I must have, but hopefully we’re good for a couple of seasons!