Friday, August 22, 2014

The Herb Woman

Since moving to Oriental, I've started taking my herbs more seriously. I plopped my old herb pot on the back stoop, and it appears to be very happy there. This long planter has Greek oregano in it. It over-winters beautifully each year. Recently the first spring growth had become long, leggy, and flowered, so I cut it off. The second growth is doing well.
In the spring, I tucked a bit of lemon thyme in the far end of the planter too. It thrived all summer.
A neighbor gave me a wad of mint in the spring, and I dumped it into this planter. It's also done well.
Here's Miss Rosemary Bush. She nearly died at our last house, but I put her into the soil and now she's happy. Happy but little. She's too small to cut for cooking yet.
However, our new house has a huge rosemary bush out front. You can't tell from the photo, but it's really big. This past week I gave it some TLC; it had an infestation of bugs. I pruned and washed.
So -- I already have rosemary, oregano, thyme, and mint. But I want to start selling fresh and dried herbs at the farmer's market, so I stopped by the garden store to see what she had. Her summer plants were on sale for 75% off.
That plant on the right is not an herb, but it's lemony/limey smelling, and I bought a small one. I hope it looks this healthy later on!
Here's my homely back stoop. It gets full morning sun for many hours. The bricks keep it warm. The hose is nearby.
This cutie-pie is called Elven thyme. Even though it's not a cooking herb (so tiny you'd have a hard time harvesting it), who could resist? Not me! I think it's meant to grow among pavers or bricks, and be walked on. But I'm protecting it in this pot.
These are both lemon thyme. The one on the left I transplanted out of the long planter it shared with the Greek oregano. It'll be happier with its own house. The one on the right I bought at the garden store. I think it will flourish here.
The garden store lady said she'll get in lots more herbs in September. I want a bay laurel for sure, plus some others. I want sturdy herbs that will winter over in our climate with protection. I plan to place them against the house on the south side, with leaves and such strewn on top to cover them from the cold. Nobody else really sells herbs at the market. I'm hoping to become known as not only the "soap lady" but the "herb lady" too.


  1. Lovely! Have you tried lavender? It dries well, but make sure you choose the right variety. Can't remember whether it is the French or the English lavender which you can't dry. There's also coriander and dill, but I don't know if you can grow them in your climate.

  2. PS Seeds are easy to grow and much cheaper than plants

  3. A friend gave me a big beautiful bunch of oregano and I promptly killed it. I have no idea what I did wrong. But I can grow (and propagate) rosemary and three of those. I have several kinds of basil and mint, too, but rosemary is my favorite for cooking.

  4. I love fresh herbs and homegrown herbs that are dried are much more flavorful (to me) than grocery store herbs. I can't grow herbs in the winter here. Not even indoors, but I do dry everything I have left in the garden in the fall. Your farmer's market folks will love having fresh herbs for sale in what I consider off months. Good for you, getting those herbs at a discount!

  5. A bay laurel is a big tree, isn't it? Is that what you are thinking of?
    I love all these pots of herbs!! What is the name of the lemony-limey non-herb? Is it not edible? Seems like you are having fun being a budding herbalist. :-)

  6. Growing herbs is fun. They smell good and you can eat them, use them in potpourri, make wreaths, soaps, lotions, etc. You've got me wanting to buy some more. I have rosemary, basil, fennel, and a bay tree. My bay was $1 at a flea market I think, many, many years ago and was only around 4 inches tall. It is in a pot, and about 5' tall. I love cooking with fresh bay leaves. I've dried some and zip lock bagged them and put them in the freezer too.

    Your herbs look healthy and I think you'll do well with them.

    Have a nice weekend ~ FlowerLady

  7. Yay! I love herbs growing in the garden, but I don't quite now how to dry them/use them. The smells alone are uplifting! You're a good herb lady!

  8. I like the idea of an Herb garden but I'd be afraid of cats eating the plants. Those tires look pretty cool.

  9. I always plant basil. My kitchen garden smells like an Italian restaurant! A hint about mint: I always plant it in a pot, never directly into the soil. Some years ago I didn't heed that advice. I planted lovely chocolate mint, and it sprouted like crazy in places I didn't want it for years. It spreads like wildfire. I finally got smart!


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