Thursday, July 30, 2015

Herbal Containers With Rain and Heat!

Some Years Our Patio Is Just As Interesting As the Garden!
The Container with Rosemary, Sage and Thyme is Wonderful!
The Pot of Herbs de Provence is Growing Wildly!
The Silver Herbs in the Gray Container is Doing Well!
So Exciting!  A Swallowtail Caterpillar Eating the Dill in the Container!
The Salads and Sauces Container Needs a Harvest!
A Nice Little Herb Garden!

I just can't seem to blog these days.  I think I am struggling taking and uploading photos from my phone and then getting the time to post something.  It rained so much that I lost herbs in the ground and now it is so hot that I have lost more herbs in the ground.  I'm at a loss for words.  So we have turned to the herbal containers that I made in May for the class with the Long Vue Acres Garden Club.  Ladies and gentlemen, the containers are looking pretty good.

Sage, Rosemary & Thyme Container

Salvia officinalis 'Tricolor'--Tricolor Sage (Used it fresh or dry it for herb blends, teas or potpourris.)
Rosmarinus officinalis 'Barbeque'--Upright Rosemary (Use it fresh or dried in herb blends, teas or potpourris.)
Thymus x citriodorus--Lemon Scented Thyme (Use it fresh or dried in herb blends, teas or potpourris.)

Hopefully I can bring this container inside and it will survive in a south facing window for the winter.

Herbs de Provence Container

Thymus vulgaris 'Narrow-Leaf French'--Narrow-Leaf French Thyme
Ociumum basilicum 'Spicy Globe'--Spicy Globe Basil
Satureja hortensis--Summer Savory
Rosmarinus officinalis 'Prostratus'--Prostrate Rosemary
Lavandula angustifolia 'Thumbelina Leigh'--English Lavender

I think I will make a little blend of Herbs de Provence to give as gifts.

A Pot of Silver Herbs Container

Helichrysum italicum--Dwarf Curry Plant
Salvia officinalis 'Berggarten'--Berggarten Sage
Thymus vulgaris 'Hi Ho Silver'--Silver Thyme
Thymus pseudolanuginosus--Wooly Thyme

I think the only thing I would say about this container is that the wooly thyme was overtaken by the Berggarten sage.  So it was not as good as I thought it would be.  Otherwise the other herbs were outstanding.

Salads and Sauces Container

Allium schoenoprasum--Chives
Anethum graveolens 'Fernleaf'--Dwarf dill
Poterium saguisorba--Salad Burnet
Artemisia dracunculus var. sativa--French Tarragon

There was also a choice between Anthriscus cerefolium chervil or Coriandrum sativum cilantro and neither of those survived for too long in the container.  They are both short lived even in a container.  You can dry everything remaining in this container for winter use with the exception of the French tarragon that I would preserve in vinegar and then you can use the tarragon in the vinegar like you would use fresh.

So as you can plainly see, my herbs in containers were a success.  BTW, they do get morning sun and afternoon shade most days.  Most of my mints did very well too.  That is the only place for mint is in a container!

As August (Wow!) approaches, you should have been harvesting in your herb garden and your herbal containers throughout the season.  If you are just starting now as it looks like I am, never fear just take it container by container and look for recipes on this blog or another favorite herb site.  Here is a post I did in August last year with a lot of links you can use called Herbal Harvesting and Preserving Again!

Around the middle of August you should start thinking about herbs you would like to bring inside (lemon verbena, rosemarys or scented geraniums) in containers that will not survive winter.  It is tough to dig them out when they are going so well, but you should at least have a game plan.

So that's your pep talk, herbally speaking!  That was what I needed!  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be!  We are still hot here, but it is finally summer!  Tomatoes are finally ripening and the 'Fish' pepper that we are growing for the Herb Society of America and the 2016 Herb of the Year finally has multiple peppers on it finally.  I will talk about that next time or maybe the 2015 Herb of the Year, Savory.  Talk to you later! 


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Tale of Two Herb Gardens!

I Was Going to Talk About This Herb, Yerba Buena in the savory family!
Not a Good Year for Basil in the Herb Garden, My African Blue Basil Bit the Dust!

This Was One of My Favorites, Curry Plant!
A Square and A Round Patch of Thyme!
My 'Mabel Grey' Made a Baby!
'Empress of India' Nasturtium is Blooming!
I Never Have Luck with Agastaches and This One is Blooming!
A Sunflower Volunteer!
A Swallowtail on the Butterfly Bush!
Not Surprisingly the Lemon Verbenas Are Doing Great with All of the Rain!
I don't know why I'm surprised by all of the plants that have rotted in the herb garden.  We have had a lot of rain concentrated in the last six weeks.  I think we had about four days in those six weeks that were dry.  It has been tough.  I have a particular spot in the herb garden that retains water and I will have to amend the soil in that location to help alleviate the problem.

Along with the plants photographed above, I have lost several lavenders and a hyssop.   I have also made the decision not to plant basils in the ground.  I'm strictly going to plant them in containers.  I didn't plant many basils this year and what I did plant in the ground has rotted or is doing poorly.

On the bright side, the pink flowered thyme has migrated onto the patio of the herb garden and has made for a random pattern of square versus curved.  Everything that has been planted in a container is doing well thanks to the loving care of The Herbal Husband.  Have I mentioned he does a great job? 

So excited my 'Mabel Grey' scented geranium has made a baby.  She (I feel as though I should call it a she!) has been very happy in our  living room window for the winter and she came out just recently for the five days of sun and no rain that we are currently experiencing!

I bought an 'Empress of India' nasturtium from DeBaggio's in early May and that is the only one that is blooming at the moment.  An enthusiastic parsley has covered some of the seeds we planted in their usual spot and I'm hoping that once I cut down the lemon basil that is doing poorly, the nasturtiums will do better.

Continuing with exciting herbal news the orange agastache I bought is blooming.  I can kill these very easily.  So it is exciting when it stays alive!  Most of our sunflowers are volunteers this year and the goldfinches are already eating the seeds.  Also discovered this swallowtail butterfly on what else but a butterfly bush.

Last but certainly not least the lemon verbenas are loving the rain.  They were attacked for the first time by the four lined plant bug, but they have rebounded and it looks like I will be making some jelly and drying the rest of tea blends.

Well, as you can see there is a lot going on and I need to write a bit more often.  Next time we will talk about the herbal containers from my class in May.  I have kept some of them intact and they look beautiful.  Also I need to keep talking about the Herb of the Year, Savory.  Hope you have had a great day in your herb garden.  Talk to you later.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Haven't Had Much Thyme to Blog!

A Bit Overgrown and Wild Herb Garden!
Please forgive for not blogging these days!  It is all I can do to pick raspberries and make jam!  We have old 'Heritage' raspberries and they are producing like crazy.  That usually doesn't happen this early.  We think it is the combination of the cold winter and all of the rain.  I had yesterday in my herb garden by myself and I did get some weeding done and found some impostors trying to take up space.

So hope you understand.  I have had some rot of herbs because of all of the rain and hopefully I can talk about that in a future post.  Back to picking raspberries!  We have one beautiful dry, sunny and not too humid day, so I'm going out to enjoy it!  Talk to you later.  P.S. I am always here to answer your herbal questions if you need it.  And if you are growing garlic and you are starting to get some browning of the leaves, you had better start to dig it up!