Posts Tagged ‘hanging baskets’

Herbs are magic

April 15th, 2010

Basil

I love to grow herbs, I love to come in from the garden with a lavish bunch of basil or rosemary and use it in my evening meal.  A small amount of herbs can totally change the flavour of a dish, lifting it from boring to gourmet.  At other times they can be a glorious extravagance, like pesto.  If you don’t have a herb, buy a pot of it!  It will cost about the same.  In this way you can eat your herb and still have it next week, and maybe next month, even next year!

Lemon BalmOur seasons are marked by the herbs we eat.  I indulge in lashings of basil in Summer!  I don’t dry any herbs, I like to eat what is fresh, and let my life flow, just a little with the seasons.

Their use and their generosity as plants in my garden make them a very worthwhile addition to my gardening pleasure.   It is difficult to generalise about growing herbs.  For example, basil is an annual and loves to be fed, in fact it is almost impossibe to overfeed it, like its flavour, it is a strong rampant grower.  But basil has little in common with a bay tree.  Both are ‘herbs’, in other words, useful plants.  That is the definition of a herb – a useful plant.  Aren’t they just! 

I like to grow my herbs in amongst my other plants, for they are beautiful as plants themselves.  At the moment, my rosemary is flowering and the small blue flowers are really lovely! If I had the room I would love to plant out an old fashioned basic herb garden, maybe in the shape of a wagon wheel, perhaps with a bird bath in the centre!  How lovely that would be. 

Most herbs need the sort of care you provide any of your plants.  They need to be mulched, they like a feed & although many of them are hardy, even drought tolerant, they do need to be watered over the summer months.  Prune herbs in Spring to late Summer.  New growth is better at resisting heat, cold and disease.  But if you pick them often you won’t need to prune.  Because herbs are useful plants, you need to use them!!  Herbs need to be used!  After all, that is why you grow them!  Herbs that are picked often are healthier, firstly because the more you use a plant the more you’ll notice it needs feeding, mulching or picking off the odd bug.

Rosemary

If  you don’t have a spot for a herb garden, try growing them in hanging baskets or in a large pot or barrel by your door.  Herbs are fun and rewarding. 

Happy gardening!

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Mandy’s mini missions for December

December 11th, 2009

Christmas is just around the corner and I really must do some shopping, cooking, cleaning…but first…just a few minutes in the garden. I guess Christmas will happen no matter what. So, out into the garden for some mini missions and a quick look around.

keep dead-heading to keep the flowers coming
keep dead-heading to keep the flowers coming

Roses: If you can keep up with the dead-heading of your roses you can expect a second flush of blooms this month.  Always lovely!  When I am cutting the dead-heads off the older bushes I take quite a bit of the stalk too, like picking a rose to put into a vase.  This helps to keep my bush, well, bushy, not lank and spindly.  We really wouldn’t want that now would we? 

Giving the plant a little feed, maybe a little blood & bone that always helps too.  While I am at it I take a few in to brighten up my desk.

Tomatoes: Yes, there are now little mini ones – could be some for the Christmas salad.  And if I don’t hurry up and get these mini jobs done and get out there into the shops that’s all we will have for Christmas dinner! 

looking like we might have some for Christmas

looking like we might have some for Christmas

But the mini mission with these are to tie them up.   I like doing this job, they smell wonderful and after I have done it my vege patch looks organised.  Of course it helps the plant too.  Last year I got behind with this and some bad wind came along and broke off some of the branches.  I feed my tomatoes every week and of course they absolutely love getting my duck poo mix..I put this under the plant being careful not to get any on the leaves.  But more of that in a latter post where I shall share my secret duck brew with all you other duck lovers. 

Hanging Baskets:  I really need to keep an eye on these because they dry out very quickly esp. during hot weather.  They need a good soaking in a tub of water.  Sometimes if I know a very hot day is coming up I just hook them down and they pretend they are just ordinary pot plants for the day.  They chat with the other pot plants and enjoy a rest in the shade.

Must take myself off to the shops…happy gardening…

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