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Seattle Fling 2011

Garden bloggers meet in Seattle in 2011

2012: Year of the Herbs

My chives in late April

Every year the National Garden Bureau chooses a flower, a vegetable and an herb to showcase, but they have declared 2012 The Year of the Herbs and are showcasing all herbs, not just one.

I have a long herb bed right in front of my piazza and the entry walk. Because it face south and is protected by the house it is the first garden I can work in in the spring and the last garden to be useful in the fall. I am a cook and it is wonderful to be able to step right outside and pluck a few sprigs of parsley or sage or dill to give the perfect piquance to any dish I am making.

Golden marjoram

The herbs in my herb bed include: basil, bee balm, chamomile, chervil, chives, cilantro, dill, garlic chives, golden marjoram, horseradish, lemon balm, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, rue, sage, and thyme. Not included in this handy bed because it is so large, is perhaps the most unusual herb I grow, lovage. Lovage grows to about six feet tall with celery-like leaves and flavor. It is wonderful to be able to throw a few lovage leaves into a soup or any dish that calls for celery – when you don’t have any celery on hand.

Lovage

The wonderful thing about herbs is that they are so easy to grow. They prefer full sun and well drained soil. The soil need not be especially rich, but I do spread a little compost when I weed and plant in the spring.  In general they are very adaptable but they do need the sun.

I have seen articles and photographs of beautiful herb gardens where the herbs are neatly groomed. Not in my garden. My culinary herbs grow vigorously and are unwilling to be clipped and pruned into precise knots. No matter. I want these herbs for their scent and their flavor.

Even if you have only a deck and a pot or two you can enjoy fresh herbs all season long.

7 comments to 2012: Year of the Herbs

  • Lisa at Greenbow

    I love having a few fresh herbs to use. Can you believe I can kill chives?? Others around here have a hard time keeping them from spreading. Ha.. Just leave it to me. I put some out often. I think I don’t have enough sun for them.

  • You’ve seen my garden so you know I love herbs! I have golden oregano and am wondering if it’s the same as your golden marjoram. It’s a great groundcover and I’d love to have more of it. I need to check with a local herb grower.

  • Pat

    Lisa – Sun is the absolutely necessary requirement for herbs.
    Cindy – I’m always a little unsure about the golden marjoram’s name. It surely is a good ground cover. I have to keep it in check.

  • I’ve always wished I had a herb garden–maybe one of these days. I do grow a few herbs–chives, fennel, basil, and rosemary, primarily. I grow them, though, as much for their ornamental appeal as for cooking. Fennel and parsley are reserved here for the butterfly caterpillars!

  • Pat

    Rose – I donate SOME of parsley and dill to the caterpillars. And glad to do so.

  • I love having herbs as part of my ornamental border, as well as in containers. You’re right; there’s nothing better than harvesting some fresh herbs and using them immediately in the kitchen!

  • Pat

    ROR – Herbs add beauty to the garden, and savor in the kitchen. One cannot ask for more.

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