I've been searching for a little herbal garden inspiration lately as I shift back and forth between simply adding herbs to my perennial gardens or delegating a piece of our land exclusively to the purpose of growing herbs.
At this time I'm leaning toward... both.
I'll continue to add to my perennial gardens as always, but only add functional or edible plants. This goes for my window boxes and decorative planters too. I'll intersperse my vegetable garden with beneficial plants like chives near my brassicas to assist in the assault against cabbage worms.
My pots are mainly terra cotta.... I'm loving the barrels!
This planter from High Country Gardens makes me eager to try nasturtiums this year.
This a clever way to make use of space makes me wish I had a rock wall!
But I'm also going to devote a larger, new garden to herbs and other beneficial plants that I'd like to grow and store for winter use like oregano, basil, parsley, mint, and chamomile just to name a few.
I struggle with a vision for the area and needed a little jumpstart.
My area will have a building, although it's not nearly as quaint as this one, but I like the pathway.
And the idea of a sitting area to relax and breath in the delightful, aromatic herbs.
I'm hoping to grow lots of lavender. (Not that the image looks like lavender, but it reminds me of it and inspires me.) It's so useful as an edible and medicinal flower. Not to mention for use around the home in cleaning, decorating, and gift-giving.
We recently collected a variety of decent sized rocks while clearing the pasture expansion for the pigs. I'm envisioning a pathway that would look like this leading from our garden to
the seating area under the mulberry. (Just don't sit there too much in late June ;D. )
Maybe some thyme growing between the rocks...
This is the area I'll be using. As to what I'll put where, I fly by the seat of my pants when the time comes. I'm simply horrible at visualizing what it will all look like when it comes together far ahead of time. I'll put in the structural elements and then fill in from there.
For areas short on space for the more urban homesteader, I fell in love with some of these ideas that I've come across:
I loved this one so much that I purchased these from Ikea and have filled 2 of the three pots with organic parsley and rosemary I found for $1.50 at the grocery store this weekend. I will be putting a florescent under the counter light above them for our darker days. In the meantime, they're struggling not to die. That's what I get for making an impulse buy.
I bought this galvanized pot in particular.
I thought this idea was so clever!
And imagine that it's set up much like this from Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills.
These cute ideas were from Better Homes & Gardens.
And I thought this drying rack was quite charming. I can easily imagine lavender bundles hanging there, perfuming the air with the delightful fragrance.
I'm so eager to begin this new part of our journey by growing and using fresh herbs! I have oregano, bush basil, Italian basil, chives, mint, lemon balm, and lemon verbena seedlings growing in the basement right now waiting for their new home. In my eagerness, I pinched off a leaf from the lemon balm and was surprised to find that it really does have a mild lemony flavor and was rather wonderful! Since growing lemons here in zone 5 is absolutely out of the question, perhaps I'll be able to use a homegrown herb as a suitable substitute. Won't that be exciting?
Do you grow your own herbs? What are your favorite varieties to cultivate?