Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Herb Garden Beginings

Last weekend I finally took the first steps toward my new herb garden. I have wanted an herb garden in the little rectangular patch of dirt outside our front door for a while now, and in a way, I've had one. It was, however, a flawed herb garden. Sure it had the sage, thyme, marjoram, etc. that any good herb garden should have, but it was smushed in under a couple of rose bushes and two invasive plants that didn't really belong there. Let me tell you, getting caught on a rose thorn while quickly trying to grab some sage for the dinner you currently have cooking on the stove is no fun, no fun at all.

So after finally getting the blessing from my please don't prune or rip anything out husband, I took the first steps toward my new herb garden by ripping out everything that was currently there, which was quite a bit.

The only plant I felt bad about ripping out was the rose near the door. Every year it has given us a plethora of the most beautiful magenta roses you've ever seen. It was so pretty and healthy looking I had to stare at it for a few minutes before I could get the resolve to start hacking away at it. Here is a loving close up I took of it's leaves during this period of introspection and struggle.

I reget nothing else I did that day. In fact, tearing out the succulent that was next to this beautiful rose was down right fun. I hacked it to pieces with a hatchet, and every time the blade cut into the juicy leaves green ectoplasm came pouring out. It also smelled amazing, like a mix of fresh aloe and green beans. I imagine it would make a very refreshing sent for a soap. The thing was also huge (the picture below is just one of it's many heads) so it was quite the work out.

Two plants technically survived the slaughter that was reaped by my hatchet and shovel. The first is a plant whose name I can never remember, but that my family call grandpa George plants. It was found originally in our backyard in a pot, forgotten under a pile of over grown horsetail reed. It was then moved to the front yard, and now lives next to our raised beds. I wasn't very delicate with it, but this thing is a trooper and should do well in it's new home.

Upside down and waiting to go in it's new hole.

The other plant that survived was a little baby rose that i found hiding behind the big ones. I didn't know roses grew little babies, but it was saved and put in a pot in hopes it will some day find a new home. I'm not a monster after all. Who could kill a baby rose?

Now that my slate is clear, I am ready to plan the herb garden. I've done a few sketches of what I envision for it. I want a little path with three stepping stones going down the middle. Looks wise, I'd rather have no path, but without it I'd have a hard time reaching all the herbs. Around the stepping stones I'm thinking either the low creeping mint or baby's tears. Then I want the ground to slope up to mounds on either side of the path where the herbs will be planted. I'll play around with it a bit once I get the plants and dirt, but I'm thinking the herbs should be oriented towards the path in arches. You can see some drawings that make this clearer bellow.

Birds eye view



ground view

If anyone has any suggestions or herb recommendations I'd be glad to hear them!


Theresa said...

First of all--by the photos those WERE Aloes you hatcheted to death, Molly! That was GOOD ectoplasm!!

Second--the Priborsky Plant is a Lamium. Which is a member of the mint family (but NOT a mint!)

Third--unless you want to be constantly at war in defense of your precious herbs do NOT plant Baby Tears anywhere near them! Baby Tears look sweet and fragile but inside they are sinister little viruses that spread like the plague whenever you turn your back on them (they refuse to do anything while being watched). You'll be ripping them out by the handful....then you'll find them in your sidewalk, your potted plants, your strawberries and before you know it your HAIR. (They might even hitch a ride under your bumper and transplant themselves to your office....)

I would go with something benign and in keeping with the theme. Wolly Thyme would be my first pick. If you want something "non herb" you could try Blue Star Creeper or even some Scotch Moss!

Have fun!

Robin said...

First thanks for the heads up on the baby's tears! I will avoid them. Jeff has often mentioned his love of scotch moss.

Second, no it's not the priborsky plants, it the grandpa george plant. Its a really common flower but for some reason the name always escapes me. Mom know's what I'm talking about. She should post a comment and clear it up.

Third, those aloe were not aloe vera and they were a home for colonies snails. I smile at their demise and the fact that I will no longer cut my hands on their spines while hunting out said snails!

T said...

Oh--I didn't know there was a seperate "Grandpa George' was kind of hard to tell with it's little feet stuck up in the air!

So those weren't Tiger Aloes? Don't get me wrong--I was just teasing about murdering poor, helpless, innocent little plants whose only goals in life were to provide a warm and safe place for homeless little hobo-snails!! ;)

Robin said...

Alrighty I admit it. I am a MONSTER!!!!! *runs off in tears

Kay said...

Official Word on the "Grandpa George" plant! My dad (Grandpa George to Robin), had a running battle with Grandma about how many geranium plants he could put in every year since they were more expensive that most annuals (in Iowa geraniums were annuals, here they are perennials). For many years he settled for 5 or 6 in a front flower bed. After my mom passed away, his yearly geranium bed expanded in size considerably. Geraniums now come in lots of colors from white to pink to lavender but the original geraniums were scarlet red only and that is the only one that my dad would plant. So, the definitive word on the "Grandpa George" plant is that it is a scarlet red geranium.