We have a herb section in the middle of our garden as we grow fresh spices for cooking along with teas and tinctures to keep us healthy. I started off mainly wanting to have fresh herbs to cook with. Now, we have a library of reference material on herbs by reputable herbalist and we are much more interested in the healing capabilities and qualities derived from our herb garden.
The hardest part for me initially was figuring out how to identify the sprouts as they came up. I’d kill them as I weed until it got easier to recognize them. Almost all of the images available online are of blooming, fully mature plants which do not look very much like a mature plant when they sprout out of the ground. I really wish that the seed packets would put pictures of what the sprouting plants look like. The cultivation success rate improves along with the ways we utilize the herbs as we learn more about them.
It is important to figure out which herbs are annuals needing careful seed retrieval to replant and which were easy self-seeding varieties. Also, which herbs are truly perennials hardy enough to survive our winters in the Inland Northwest climate. Do I need to protect them with a straw covering over winter? If it dies over winter I put straw over the next year to see if it can survive. It has become easier as we dedicate areas for each herb allowing the perennials room to grow and the annuals places to drop their own seeds.
The herbs established in our garden so far include basil, borage, caragon, caraway, chamomile, dill, elderberry, horseradish, hyssop, lavender, mints (lemon balm, peppermint, spearmint), mullein, oregano, parsley, poppy, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme, valerian, yarrow. Following posts will show information and photography of each one of these separately along with information about successfully cultivating.
Garden flower zen. A stroll through the garden provides bright colors and fragrant discoveries painted by blooming flowers planted throughout. I may be weeding but my ears are soothed to hear the song of many birds and bees buzzing by. The time spent is full of surprises like an occasional ladybug, butterfly, or dragonfly! Flowers are an essential part of an artist’s garden. I cut flowers almost every day to make our house feel alive in summer.
The work seems easier…
…as my eyes feast on the beauty surrounding me in the garden.
It is amazing what you discover when writing a blog. Looking through the photography of the garden, I see that we plant 20+ types of flowers in the garden on a regular basis. No wonder, the bees like our garden so much. I could probably write a post about each variety from the various pictures shot over the years that show the growth progress, colors, and best angles. But don’t worry, that is not the intention of this post. The goal of this post is to show you what flowers we grow in the garden as an introduction to further articles that show more intense information about each variety.
Alyssum, a ground cover that I like to plant around other bigger guys.
Bachelor Button, a frequent bloomer gives a touch of color wherever they are.
Baby’s Breath, a small white flower used in bouquets.
Bleeding Heart, the bush springs up just as the snow melts with heart-shaped blossoms appearing as we are ready for planting. Notice Mr. Butterfly on the top right.
Carnation, the cinnamon scent of these blossoms make it a pleasure to snuggle them with your face every time you pass by.
Coneflower, a hardy bush that grows up tall and spreads arms wide showering the garden with yellow blossoms all summer long.
Cosmos, a favorite wildflower blooming throughout summer.
Crocus & Daffodil, 2 short-time early spring guys who pop their heads out of the snow, with heads that turn to follow the sun.
Dahlia, comes in a multitude of bright colors, shapes, and sizes.
Daisy. We had daisies and red roses at our wedding.
Geranium, I have to take into the house over winter.
Gladiola, a flower that I love but so do all the gophers, an ongoing war.
Iris, is planted all around in and out of the garden. The deer seem to leave it alone, most of the time.
Lilac, lavender spring bush blossoms with a heavenly fragrance.
Marigold, 2 years ago I scattered a coffee can of dried flower seeds. Wrongfully, thinking were no good. But, they were just fine, notice the height of those marigolds.
Poppy, a wildflower self-seeder.
Roses, one of my favorite flowers.
Snapdragons are very fragrant and colorful blossoms.
Sunflower, pale yellow, orange, to brown. Check out the bee zooming in for a landing here.