I need help with an herb garden.

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by BirdinMo, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. BirdinMo

    BirdinMo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    666
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    9
    I am putting in a long-ish herb garden. About 25 feet long. Not very wide only like 3 and 1/2 feet. I need some help from my fellow plant lovers. I have on my list, Lavender (French and provence) Pineapple Sage, Meadow sage, Chocolate mint, Spearmint, Peppermint, Orange mint, Cilantro, Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme and Lemon balm. I will be doing in-ground planting and potting, To give height and add interest. There will be 1 White Lilac, 1 large Rose of Sharon, 2 Spots of Daylilies, 1 Surprise Lily and 1 Climbing Iceberg rose. I still have lots of room to fill in this garden and thought herbs would be nice to look at, smell and cook with. This garden will be right outside my bedroom window to make it even better…….for me. LOL. So any and all tips/ideas are welcome.
     
  2. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Messages:
    7,002
    Likes Received:
    12
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    if you ever cook Italian, plant basil, Italian parsley, oregano, and rosemary
     
  3. BirdinMo

    BirdinMo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    666
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    9
    I forgot about basil and oregano! See I already have 2 more on my list now! thanks Nick4444!
     
  4. MickeyLee

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Messages:
    11,800
    Likes Received:
    1,828
    Location:
    neverhood
    dill. tastes good. smells amazing. looks pretty.

    ml
    dill never gets any love.
     
  5. BirdinMo

    BirdinMo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    666
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    9
    I never would of thought of dill, thanks ML!
     
  6. canuck_pa

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,198
    Likes Received:
    124
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Beautiful Vancouver Canada
    Chives is nice to have for sprinkling on dishes.

    Not herbs but to me a luxury... how about adding different types of lettuce. If you keep picking the leaves as you use them, you can keep lettuce going all summer. And tumbler tomatoes. Nothing better than vine ripened tomatoes.

    And when the lavender blooms make chantilly cream.
     
  7. D_Seymour_Dix

    D_Seymour_Dix New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    1
    Lemon Thyme is a nice one to have :)
     
  8. Viking_UK

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,245
    Likes Received:
    6
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Scotland
    Remember that mint's invasive, so if you don't want to end up with a plot full of it, make sure you have a barrier going down at least 12" around it. An old bucket or deep pot with holes in it is usually OK.

    Plant some camomile and echinacea too - great in teas. You should be able to grow ginger wihout any trouble, and whatever you do, don't forget the garlic. Poppies and nigella are great additions to bread and they look pretty good too, although nigella is really successful at self-seeding so it's hard to get rid of if you don't like it and it will spread all round your garden given half a chance. Remember sunflowers too for height and colour as well as the seeds. Fennel and rue are also great additions for scent and flavour. If you've got space in a sunny spot and like big leaves, I'd reccomend bananas and cannas. Thinking of big leaves, rhubarb is great too - excellent in jam with your ginger as well as all the pies and crumbles. I'm getting hungry at the thought of that. The old geraniums, gentians and marigolds, calendula etc are also good in teas and for making balms as well as adding splashes of colour. How about a lemon tree? They don't need much maintenance and nothing beats fresh lemon.
     
  9. midlifebear

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Messages:
    5,908
    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nevada, Buenos Aires, and Barçelona
    Also, fennel and anise are nice tall perennials that you might consider for The Show Me State. But plant them at opposite ends of your flower bed, because some varieties will cross pollinate and you'll end up with fennel that isn't terribly good in salads (foliage or base stems) because they'll have a distinct anise-like smell and flavor. Something most 'Mericuhns don't bother with is carrot tops. Plant some seeds at the back of your bed where you aren't interested in growing carrots (they take almost six weeks to germinate) and then just leave the damn things alone. The first year you get carrots and nice deep green foliage. The second year even the most experienced horticulturist will find it hard to tell the difference between the carrot blossoms (inflorescence) and Queen Anne's Lace. But fresh carrot greens are a staple in Mexican stews and green moles. I remember always getting way too pissed off when I'd pick out a great bunch of green grocer carrots and the bagger at the cashier stand would automatically tear them off, thinking he or she was doing me a favor. Not.

    Also, if you have the patience, instead of buying small potted herbs (especially caraway, anise, and fennel) buy the seeds at your supermarket right from the spice section. The majority of those spices sold as whole seeds are just as viable as a packet of 35 seeds for $1.95 at your garden supply or nursery.
     
  10. BirdinMo

    BirdinMo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    666
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    9
    Thanks everyone! I have 9 plants off my list because I bought the seeds today and have even more on my list now! I will post photos of this garden once everything starts to grow and I get them planted. I'm doing 90% of them by seed. Only ones I can not find seed for are the ones I will buy the plant. Unless I find a good deal like 9 plants for $1.00 I normaly find those deals at w-m. LOL.
     
  11. nudeyorker

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    42,918
    Likes Received:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NYC/Honolulu
    From my own experience with herbs I planted them with a southern exposure. The herbs did great and were partially shaded during the high heat of the day. I just planted herbs in window box's with northern exposure and am somewhat dubious but I will keep you posted.
     
  12. Joll

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    14,526
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    724
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Wales (GB)
    The rosemary and lavender sound cool. Maybe a bit of sage? looks really nice - as nice as catmint/nepeta when it's in flower. :)
     
  13. purplewhitemajor

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    As far as tips, make sure you work the ground up pretty well. I just planted a garden (enough to feed a city block) and added organic materials to my dirt. My favorite was adding manure, old egg shells, fish emulsion, etc. to the dirt. My garden is already starting to grow and it has only been one week. Hope this helps!
     
  14. BigDallasDick8x6

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,012
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    163
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Dallas TX (North Oak Cliff)
    You can keep lettuce going all summer in Canada, not so sure you can in the heat of the Midwest.
     
  15. BigDallasDick8x6

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,012
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    163
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Dallas TX (North Oak Cliff)
    Good soil definitely helps flower and veggie gardens. Sometimes it's a negative with herbs though. Many of the Mediterranean herbs are weeds at heart. They like poor, hot, dry soil and will have their most flavor under those conditions. Sage, oregano, etc. Mint is one of the exceptions of course. In Michigan it would grow along the streambanks and in "muck" lands.
     
  16. BigDallasDick8x6

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,012
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    163
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Dallas TX (North Oak Cliff)
    Three basils for your consideration --

    The "regular" basil for culinary uses.

    African Blue Basil to attract honeybees to your garden. Nothing beats it. Flowers all summer.

    Opal Bush Basil for attractiveness. Tidy, mounding habit with lots of purple flowers.

    After several years of having African Blue basil in my front garden, this year I am putting it only near my vegetable garden behind the garage to draw the bees to pollinate tomatoes, peppers, etc. But out front I am switching to Opal Bush basil which is much more showy.
     
  17. joyboytoy79

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,557
    Albums:
    4
    Likes Received:
    9
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    DC-ish
    More gardening advise, did you say? OK, i'll try not to write a novel this time:

    Thyme: a lot of thymes make great ground covers. They're pretty, conserve moisture better than mulch can, and they taste amazing in stuffing!

    Speaking of stuffing... Summer Savory. Brush up against it and you'll have a hankering for roasted chicken!

    Rosemary: can be tricky in the midwest. 'Arp' is reputed to be hardy to zone 5, and the stems can be used as skewers for grilling! It looks nice with lavender, too. Let me know if you want some, cuz i have some and it roots easily from cuttings (in water... for real).

    Nasturtiums! They cover the ground in neat mounds of edible foliage, have pretty, brightly coloured flowers (which are also edible), and the immature seeds can be pickled and used as a substitute for capers!

    Sweet violets: They smell nice, and, the flowers are edible. They make a very pretty/tasty garnish for cakes and cookies.

    Strawberries: Another great ground cover, they pull in bees like crazy, and you get fruit!

    Basil: everyone is telling you to get some for a reason. It's cheap to buy it as a plant, expensive to buy it as a spice. Therefore, it's a good investment. 'Spicy Globe' is a strong recommendation. It grows naturally into neat, spherical mounds that look like topiaried boxwoods. It has a nice, slightly peppery, traditional basil flavor.

    OK, i'll stop myself there, lest i go on forever. PM me if you're interested in any cuttings. I don't have all of the stuff i mentioned above, but i do have a lot, and i'm more than willing to share!
     
  18. HellsKitchenmanNYC

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,848
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    New York
    Some common sense herb advice from someone who's been there and have had lots of friends throw them away.
    *Don't get nuts w/it
    *Stick w/5 herbs you use alot unless you cook ALOT
    *The herbs grow fast and you'll be looking for friends to unload them on
    *Prune them so they get bushier instead of tall and thin and top-heavy

    Just a few observations. I'm a Horticultural Specialist even tho herbs are not on that list of specialties.
     
  19. BigDallasDick8x6

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,012
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    163
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Dallas TX (North Oak Cliff)
    I'll second the thyme recommendation. MANY, MANY varieties of various sizes from 1/4 inch to 12 inches (much like this site) and from yellow green to dark green to gray green. Saw a great garden on a garden tour here in Dallas a few years ago. Backyard was all fine gravel and various thymes. It was gorgeous, fragrant, evergreen, low care, no pruning, and low water. What's not to love?
     
  20. BigDallasDick8x6

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,012
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    163
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Dallas TX (North Oak Cliff)
    So what is your specialty?

    You reminded me of the famous Dorothy Parker quote using the word "horticulture." -- "You can lead a whore to culture, but you can't make her think." Not sure if it's a true story or not but it's a great quote.

    BirdinMo -- I didn't know bay laurel was cold hardy here in zone 8b but shortly after I moved to Texas I bought one and have to keep it pruned way back to keep it down to 8 ft or so. Gorgeous shrub, but would probably take too much space from the other herbs and might not be hardy in your area. But if it is, consider it for a foundation planting -- attractive and of culinary use. Great in spaghetti sauce of course. I planted mine hoping it would attract hairy Italian guys to my yard, but alas.......
     
Draft saved Draft deleted