My Herb Garden!
Posted on June 1, 2018 Posted by Athena Scalzi 35 Comments
Hello, everyone! Today I’m going to be showing you my brand new tiny little herb garden!
As many of you know, I thoroughly enjoy cooking, and cooking often involves the use of herbs and/or spices. I’m sure many of you have experienced the struggle of needing 1/4 tsp of a spice and not having it at home, so you have to go out and buy an entire new container of a spice that you only need a little bit of. This is often the case for when it comes to herbs. Whenever a recipe calls for a sprig of rosemary or thyme, I’m always fresh out and have to venture to the store.
So I decided to plant the essential herbs! My little garden consists of rosemary, thyme, and basil. These three seem to be the ones I usually need more than others, so I figured I should have them on hand.
Here’s the rosemary:
Here’s the thyme (it’s so small!)
And here’s the basil:
Finally, here’s all of them (this was right before I watered them so the dirt looks a little dry):
I have always wanted a garden, but every time I’ve owned a potted plant, I always kill it. I even killed a cactus once! I’m hoping that since I planted these in the ground and not a pot, they’ll just kind of survive on their own and not shrivel up and die. Of course, I do water them, but I have the memory of a French baguette so we’ll see how long it is before I forget to do that.
Do any of you have a garden or flowerbed? I’d love to see pictures! Leave a comment and I’ll be sure to take a look. Hope you all have a great Friday!
Looks great! The Rosemary will get huge, compared to the others. Good luck!
I always like cilantro, too.
You could dedicate a drip hose, on a timer, to it. Don’t forget to fertilize either. Good luck.
The rosemary and thyme are perennial in the UK and ought to get through the winter round you, basil needs warmth and will die off at the first chill. Sage and oregano/marjoram are other good candidates for perennial outside herbs.
Not Simon and Garfunkel compliant. Needs Sage and Parsley.
Best wishes with the herb garden! I keep hoping to achieve one, myself, but I’m plant challenged, too. As in … a friend of mine once found a cactus in my glove compartment. It had been there for months — but she managed to save it.
REALLY plant challenged.
How do you keep the local wildlife from eating the herbs?
The rabbits and deer around here are voracious…
We live on a barrier island and have found that Earth Boxes are just great. Check them out on their site and get one. They are especially great for tomatoes.
I do container gardening now since we moved to a townhouse two years ago. My herbs are on the deck outside the dining room so they are easy to get to from the kitchen. Your rosemary might make it through the winter, but I always bring mine indoors. Never have been able to keep one going strong more than three or four seasons. The thyme can be invasive, and will grow everywhere. Not a bad thing as it makes a nice ground cover. Basil. Ah, basil. You may find, as I did, that it is nearly impossible to plant too much basil. But it does like warm weather. It won’t grow well if days and nights aren’t warm. But once they do warm up, it will grow like mad if you keep it watered. And if you end up with more than you can use at the end of the season, just make a batch of pesto, freeze in tablespoons in ice cube trays, wrap each little cube individually and put in freezer in a ziploc. One or two make a quick pasta meal.
You can see my herb stand in the pics on my pinterest board here:
Rosemary is the easiest one to grow and to propagate. Just cut a bit of fresh growth that’s 6-10 inches long and stick it the ground. It’ll probably root and make a new plant.
And you should give that a go when your original plant is a bit bigger. Sometime rosemary plants just die off, and you’ll want to have a spare or two for if that happens.
They look great! A couple of tips (I have exactly the same set of three delicious herbs in my garden) – First, keep pinching the flowers off the basil. It’s an annual, and what it wants to do is bloom, make seeds, and die. Frustrate it. Second, rosemary will keep growing for years if it’s sheltered in the winter. (I know your Ohio winters are harsher than winters here in New Jersey, so you might want to mulch it in the fall or put up a sort of burlap shelter around it – uncover it when the weather warms up next spring.)
My sister lives in Las Vegas and the climate is perfect for Rosemary. They use it for landscaping hedges–no lie, 3 ft. high and as thick as can be. Good luck!
This is making me hungry for my Grammy’s meatballs with a leaf of basil rolled into each one.
Looking good. Now, you need some tomato plants to go with the basil. Not sure if your Dad would go for water buffalo in the back yard, so you may have to buy the mozzarella for a caprese salad,
Just be careful not to spend too much time wandering around nurseries and reading seed catalogs, or you’ll end up like a sad case like me, with a blog entirely dedicated to gardening.
What about the parsley and sage?
I’ve killed about 10 basil plants thus far. WORTH IT.
I am crap at posting pix, but I love your herb garden! I almost always manage to plant sweet basil (Yours looks like a different kind of basil?) and parsley.
I planted rosemary a few years ago but never seemed to use it. But omg I use the parsely and basil all the time.
One year a bunch of monarch butterfly caterpillars ate all my parsley and I couldn’t even be mad because MONARCHS.
I can always manage herbs even when it’s too hot for the tomatoes to set. I’m with you — they are easy and fun and to cook with them is sublime.
So for me it’s always been basil and parsley.
Thanks for the post.
I’m an avid gardener and write a blog about it, in case you want to check it out. Good luck with those herbs!
Herb gardens are not just useful for cooking, they can also be medicinal. For example, thyme heals all wounds.
Good luck with the herb garden
I grow a lot of herbs in containers on my deck, mostly for cooking purposes (I spent $4 on basil tonight for dinner as mine isn’t ready yet), and also to feed black swallowtail caterpillars, dill, parsley and cilantro
My then four year old daughter spotted a black swallowtail caterpillar on my parsley and we have been both been fascinated with them since
I would reccomend container gardening for the annuals like basil. You can buy the seeds for about two to three dollars. I sprinkle Thai basil, Purple basil and basil seed onto some troughs and get more basil than I can eat.
I wish you the best of luck, I have found gardening and cooking to be amazingly satisfying.
I found some nice pics of my herbs, excuse my idiocy but how do I attach to my comment
I second (and third) what everyone says about the rosemary: it’s incredibly hardy and can stand being planted in the ground as a perennial. I have one that must be near ten years old now. In my Texas garden, I’ve also found that marjoram and orégano are way hardy and will do well planted in the ground as perennials.
For some reason, I can’t get thyme to do well-maybe it’s too hot here. Basil, if watered well, will do great until first frost. So will cilantro (you can’t do without cilantro in Texas because salsa picante and pico de gallo).
My local supermarket has a huge bulk section with lots of spices in it. So if I have a recipe that calls for 1/2 tsp of allspice, I don’t have to buy a huge jar of allspice that I’ll never finish; I can just go and buy a teaspoon worth. That’s one of a number of things I love about it.
Plant more basil. Seriously, like 10 plants. If you end up with too much, then its pesto time.
Also, planting marigolds around the herbs discourages aphids.
One of the biggest things I miss about losing the house in the divorce is my garden. I hate paying $2.99 for 4x the herb I need, knowing the rest will be forgotten until it rots.
My rosemary bush was there when I bought the house, 15 years later it was a good 5′ high (San Diego weather). If you plant mint do it in a container, that stuff is worse than crabgrass.
Terragon is another terrific herb to grow, and goes great with sauteed mushrooms.
Hey, Huehueteotl, I kill cilantro every time I plant it–my parsley thrives beautifully. Does cilantro need more shade or more sun or…?
Athena, your herb garden looks lovely! We also love to cook, so I try to keep your herbs, plus oregano, parsley, chives, dill, and sage. (Also lavender, but more for the smell of it than for cooking.) Good luck with yours this year.
I live in the city, so it’s earthboxes for me as well! currently have 4 tomato plants, 4 hot peppers, and am trying some new stuff this year – ground cherries, sunflowers, chard, lettuce, carrots and beans. So far the squirrels have only ripped out one sunflower plant so I’m pretty pleased. Trying to let the cats out on the deck more to discourage them :D. The ground cherries are really interesting–super soft leaves and are getting huge already. https://imgur.com/gallery/BsyKJd2
oh also, as for remembering to water: we got an automatic timer that turns the hose on for the boxes for travel, and I have exported all the ‘remember to do x’ tasks I have daily to habitica, so I just need to keep that website and check the list to see what I have to do in a day. I forget so many fewer things now!
Living on top of a mountain gardens are must. I love yours.😎😎😎 to
Definitely plant more basil if you ever use it for pesto! I find I use most of a plant when I make pesto. You live in a cooler climate, so you might have success with cilantro not bolting straight to seed, if you like that much debated herb (good for burritos!). I’m in a subtropical clumate and cilantro grows quickly but bolts to seed on me.
If you get a decent rainfall, you should find your little garden can handle watering lapses after it is established.
PS: I am really enjoying your writing. You have a great voice and write interesting entries. Thanks for taking up the internship.
Yay, I’m not the only person who killed a cactus! I’ve also killed a spider plant and a couple of jade plants. I’ve given up on plants.. Good luck with your garden! It’s adorable!
Having recently moved from AZ to NM, we’re starting over. The essentials are basil (the other green leafy vegetable — too much is never enough and was perennial in AZ), oregano (watch that stuff — it’s a mint and spreads wherever there’s water), rosemary (which is a perennial bush both in AZ and here where it actually gets cold in the winter WARNING In your climate it’s not the cold that will kill rosemary, it’s the wet cold ground. DRAINAGE, and lots of it. Do not water in the autumn.). You’re two out of three on those. Marjoram (there’s the third) is nice for things like tuna salad.
All of them love sun — you won’t be able to overdo them. Just don’t overwater, and $HERSELF reminds me that the essential tool is a soil moisture meter. Live by it! They’ve gotten quite reasonable lately, so even on a threadbare intern’s pay purchasing one shouldn’t hurt too much.
Then you get serious with the sages (too many to count, and the differences matter.) Some are also perennial here, others have a hard time getting established. Most of the kitchen ones are going to be annual, but you might be able to convince the old folk to let you plant a decorative Russian sage. Don’t try to cook with it (they’re bitter) but they’re pretty and smell nice.
Mints. Might or might not survive your winters, but they’re perennial and (as noted) spread by rhizomes wherever they can get water. Summer and mint — this is important.
Then there are the peppers. Lovely, glorious capsicum tribe. Your growing season’s a bit short but you should be able to get a few. My favorite is the serrano, which is smallish but fierce with plenty of meat and a nice flavor both green and ripe. You might not have had much exposure to them given Ohio, but John’s a California boy and so bets are off. He could pick up some dried ones come August, although the picking season is beginning and they might be available fresh. A whole world of interesting possibilities awaits.
I have a pretty extensive garden with lots and lots of herbs. Some observations:
Basil will go to flower pretty easily, particularly when it gets hot, and flowering basil is DONE basil and will give you no more leaves. Just chop off the tops when they start putting up flower stems. Each cut bit will branch into two more leafy stems. Basil benefits by heavy pruning.
The thyme will spread out and become a ground cover and take over everything. This is not a bad thing.
I have never had any luck getting rosemary to winter over, but other people manage it, so call it 50/50 whether it happens.
If you’re looking to add to your herbs, may I recommend:
•Basil comes in many varieties. You probably know about purple basil, but I also grow a little dwarf variety that’s very sweet, and a striped variety that is very slow to flower.
•Chives are the first thing to come up in the garden each year (they’re perennials), go brilliantly with eggs, and also give you pretty flowers after the first year.
•I’m very fond of flat-leaf parsley. Just adds a nice pop of freshness to everything. Also, I’ve become addicted to chimichurri sauce (basically parsley pesto).
•Tarragon and marjoram are underused herbs in American cooking, but standards in much of Europe.
•Oregano comes in both Italian and Greek varieties. I’m partial to the Greek version, which I think is more mellow. (I’ve never had oregano overwinter, but it is brutally hard to dig out. Those roots go deep.)
•I cannot cook any chicken dish without sage. I grow a purple variety every year. It does battle with the oregano for dominance of the planter.
•Catnip is a nice thing to grow for the critters, but it can take over a space (see mint, below), so always better to grow it in a pot.
•Mint will take over your entire yard, and the neighbor’s yard, and the farm across the way, etc etc. If you want to plant mint, put it in a cement planter that is raised off the ground and never ever ever let it go to seed. It is the Gremlin of the herb family and once loosed, cannot be eradicated.
I see other folks in the comments loving EarthBoxes. I have, uh, ten. (Bought over several years, not all at once!) I love them, particularly for tomatoes, melons, cukes, and corn.
Hurrah, herbs are wonderful things to plant! I’ve been meaning to pop in and say hi. Love that you’re blogging, what a great internship :-)
I killed my cactus too, but I’m quite handy with other plants.
I love to put tea leaves and coffee grounds a few inches away from the roots for organic matter that slowly breaks down and bullds the soil… though herbs don’t need a lot. I do like how virtuous it makes me feel, especially coming from a land with ancient soil.
The nice thing about most herbs is that once they get established they shouldn’t need a lot of watering. Pruning, once they get big, and dead heading after or even before they flower is pretty important.
I could geek out a whole lot more about herbs and edibles, but that is probably enough. I’m away right now and don’t have pics, I suspect that the sage will have devoured half the garden by the time I get home. I don’t even eat sage much (despite how delicious it is fried in butter) I just love the smell, its hardiness and how it monsters about!
My container tomatoes: