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Friday, May 30, 2008

Perennial Herb Garden Project

Our latest gardening project is making a perennial herb garden.

In the midst of pouring my heart out to my dear wife about the horrible tenacity of grass *, I lamented about how it might be nice if we had something useful growing in the backyard instead of grass. This led to talk of what ground cover plants we could cultivate. Eventually, we somehow decided that we would tear out the inedible or otherwise useless plants from the back right corner of our yard and make a perennial herb garden section out of it. After all, our long term gardening goal is self-sufficiency. Considering that we use herbs quite often, it follows that we would need to grow them ourselves. Most of these herbs also have clinically proven medicinal effects (I wrote about our interest in medicinal herbs in a past post, The New Face of Survivalism.)

In the top right section of this older picture from the end of March, you can see the mostly useless plants that we tore up:

Herb Garden Plot, Before

And here it is now:

Herb Garden Plot, After
From left to right, we have the following: bee balm, two common sage plants, lavender (transplanted yet again), the non-ground cover thyme that we had been growing, more hard-to-see ground cover thyme (purportedly, you can even walk on it!), chamomile, oregano, and stevia. We have peppermint which we are thinking of planting within the inner section, near the butterfly bush. We would, of course, entrench some sort of divider to keep the peppermint from totally taking over everything. Who knows, perhaps we will rue the day we ever thought to plant the peppermint in the ground. But at least it has its uses.

I must confess that we did not grow any of these from seed ourselves. You know, sometimes we just get these great ideas, but they come a bit late in the season...or we want to plant things for which the nurseries do not sell seeds. We do plan on saving lots of seeds from them though.

The problem with this herb bed is that there's nothing to keep certain anonymous bad puppies from romping around and trying to eat our plants. She's already ripped up half of one of the thyme plants, and she seems to like nibbling on the chamomile. She likes to bask between the sage and the thyme.

(I moved this entire paragraph down here, since it's somewhat extraneous)
* - The thing-to-do around our household these days is to complain about grass. To us, grass is a horrid weed, popping up in places where we were sure we'd pulled it all up. It spreads like wildfire, and in a way, it's worse than the equally invasive ivy. At least ivy invades with thick woody tendrils that make it somewhat easier to pull up; grass gives us no such luxury. It is thin and you cannot just pull...you have to dig up the ground all around it lest you leave a tiny piece of it in the ground. And if you do leave a piece of grass root in the ground, more grass will spring up in its place. It is quite fine at propagating itself, and I wish that tomatoes, peppers, lavender, and watermelons could be so resilient and persistent.

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6 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Harmony's Mom

    Herb gardens are so nice to have. I love the design; I told Harmony that it looks like a Chinese character.

  • Ginny

    Hey, I LOVE the herb garden. I am working on my veggie garden right now. I hope to have pictures on my blog, soon.

    :-D

  • veiledglory

    Mints in Pots!! Should be a gardening campaign slogan. ;) Seriously, mints WILL go everywhere. So will wormwood (forgot the common name for it...Roman something). Lemon balm is slightly less invasive, but still likes to wander a bit.

    ~Anna

  • Julie

    I am delurking to say that we hate grass to. We are in Florida and have this terrible thing called St. Augustine grass... it serves no purpose.
    I am already planning every square foot of my yard for the next planting season and doing what I can with what I have now!

  • JunkMale

    Hello Julie, welcome, and thanks for delurking!

    I lived in Florida until I went to college. St. Augustine grass is the kind that's all over Florida, isn't it? At the very least, that's what my parents have in their yard. I can imagine it would be quite a pain, unless you actually wanted it.

  • Julie

    Yes, all over Florida and a real pain!:)