Bloom Thyme Friday: Welcome to My Herb Garden

This week I had some extra time to just “be” in my herb garden. It is a very special place for me. The fence was the first structure that Mr. G built for me after we moved into our “new” home. That was over 30 years ago. Pardon me while I shed a few tears. Looking back, 30 years seems like a blink… have you noticed that — looking back is like a quick vapor and looking ahead seems like forever. Those 30 years are filled to the brim with memories. Mr. G building the fence with 2 littles in tow. My daughter and son planting seeds; picking herbs we would use in cooking; harvesting lavender and other flowers and herbs that we used in crafts — some we sold as the Ladybug Herb Garden.  (My daughter’s “baby” name was Ladybug.)

I wish I had a list of all the herbs, veggies, cutting flowers and roses (they’re herbs too) that have had a home in this happy, fragrant 16’ x 18’ space.

Let me show you around…

Basil that has gone to seed and making the pollinators happy growing in a tangle with chives and a very prominent black eyed susan that I didn’t plant. It is always a big surprise as to where the black eyed susans will show up each year!

Thyme that makes it’s way into egg salad, chicken salad and bean dishes. And is the perfect ground cover for herb gardens.

Zinnias and Cosmos (Mr. G’s Fav) running amuck in that beautiful way they do in the fall.

Nasturiums — because they are so dependably pretty and fun to add to salads.

Lambs Ears because of it’s color, texture and the fact that every child loves it. Behind the Lambs Ears is the lovely ‘Pretty Polly’ Almond scented geranium.

Okra … that should have been picked last week. Note: I don’t have a full on vegetable garden but add favorite veggies here and there around the garden, on the deck and on the driveway!

Banana peppers … that should have been picked last week. Zinnias were hiding them.
Chard … for smoothies and just for pretty.
Rosemary … because it’s beautiful, fragrant, delicious and has been used for years in a family favorite recipe – rosemary baked potatoes!

Plants that are here but have finished for the season…

Peonies, yarrow, sweet peas, sweet william and larkspur had their moment and have come and gone. The world they lived in was much more tame!   Look, no jungle in late May!

Herbs you don’t see in my “Herb” garden…

Mint… the last plant my mother bought for me was apple mint. That was more than 25 years ago. While I’ll never be without mint for the memory of her and for the fact I use it all the time, it is planted safely in a pot where it’s “roaming” tendencies are kept in check! 😳

Oregano… has been taken out to the veriest back of the property where it can run amuck. It’s yummy but it is like mint in that it desires world domination!

Sage… It is one of my two favorite herbs. I love it for so many reasons — I love the flavor and I love the holiday memories attached to that flavor and that smell and I love how it looks. You don’t see sage in the herb garden because it lives and thrives in another area of the garden where conditions are dryer. While it looks so good with the other herbs, it’s happier elsewhere.  And, it does very well beside it’s neighbor that doesn’t like the herb garden all that well either… Lavender – my other favorite. Who doesn’t love lavender!?! Is there a more relaxing fragrance in all the world? Not for me. I do plant both sage and lavender in the herb garden each year and while they mostly survive for a season, they don’t thrive. So, to have plenty, it is best to have “extras” where they are happier!

And, this brings us to Roses… they greet you as you enter. As it should be.

Thanks for stopping by for my herb garden tour. Now you know that my herb garden, like all the other “rooms” in my garden are a combination of plant types. Most of them tasty and many so aromatic — making it a destination I can get lost in!

Let’s all take a deep breath and inhale the earthy fragrance of herbs. I’m wondering what are your favorites? Is it sage or lavender or….

I bet there’s a story behind your favorite and I’d love to hear it! ❣️

Bloom Thyme Friday: Outside and In

The temps this week are getting more and more frosty and time for some of my favorite fall tasks. I am a bit late in getting some of these things done, but sometimes the “best” time to do things is when you have the time and I did.

Things like welcoming back in the houseplants that have enjoyed the sunshine and rain all summer but certainly don’t want to stay outside in the cold!

Bringing into the garage potted herbs and flowers, I hope to over winter. Note: Sometimes this works for me and sometimes it does not — but always worth the effort. These plants are put in a dark, slightly heated garage and get watered once a month until early spring and go back out! Most do make it!

By far the most fun task this week was clipping herbs and flowers to dry. Since there are only two of us, we don’t need as many cooking herbs, but this is a process I would do even if we never cooked — for many reasons. First of all I love every part of the process… gathering them and enjoying their fragrance. I love how they look in their little bunches hanging around! And, another huge bonus, it takes me back to those days when I was a stay at home mom and had a small cottage business of making potpourri and herb and flower wreaths. A local garden center requested them and it was so fun to do! Mr. G made me drying racks of all kinds for the bunches and bunches of herbs and flowers I needed. Hydrangeas, roses, lavender, grasses, yarrow, sedum, artemisia, tansy, sage, feverfew and such. Yes, sweet (and savory) memories.

In those days many of these dried bunches of beauty were also used as main decorations for the Christmas tree. Things were different every year. As the kids got older they helped to bring things in and of course in decorating. #familyfun Let me just say that both of our grown children are gardeners. I guess it is in their genes or at least in their memory banks!

You can read about my daughter’s garden here. My son has to have herbs for cooking and is always chasing the best tomatoes to plant!

POTTING SHED FUN THIS WEEK:


BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK:

Many bloomers were great at the beginning of the week but not so much today.

Thanks for stopping by.

I hope you have beautiful treasures from your garden to enjoy outside and in.

 

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY

Bloom Thyme Friday: Celebrating Overachievers

Today we celebrate overachievers!

This summer we have had steamy, hot conditions and tons of rain. I mean R A I N. When it rains, it RAINS. Rain coming down like never before. Inches and Inches of rain. Most of us are well aware that roses like water BUT they do not like being drowned. I have roses out there who are asking for a life jacket. GULP!

But, there are also those overachievers … rain or shine they just keep doing their thing.

Here are 5 of my current favorite overachievers:

PINK CARPET ROSE
This blooming machine does not care if it is rainy, does not care if the Japanese Beetles come to town, or does not care if the rain doesn’t come. It is also forgiving of the huge tree that is encroaching upon it’s very being!

It just blooms and grows in the enchanting way that I love — not quite upright — not quite a climber — not quite a rounded shrub — just rambles around, hugging up to the fence and covering the ground in that perfect cottage garden way. It sure gets an A+ in my garden! The pictures here are of a group of 3 pink carpet roses.

YARROW
I have a love/hate relationship with Yarrow. Regardless, I will always have it in my garden.

It IS lovely.
It comes in so many colors.
It works well in a vase.
It is a welcoming host to so many good bugs
It is loved by pollinators.
It dries well.
And, it has medicinal properties.

Grow it but, keep an eye on it, it will take over and you will hear the low cough of it neighbors as they gasp for space!

DAYLILIES
So much bang for your buck. I really thought all the rain we’ve had this summer would be difficult for the daylilies. It has not been. They have done wonderfully and filled my garden with lovely blooms! Warning: here comes a ton of pictures!

HYSSOP

Hyssop is a herb that is truly a beautiful garden plant and beautiful compliment to roses. However it is a part of the mint family assuring it’s place as a major overachiever. The pollinators cannot get enough of this beauty and neither can I. Hyssop is also considered one of the Biblical herbs as it is mentioned in the Bible many times. One of the most heart wrenching passages mentioning hyssop is John 19: 28-30. Read about that here.

DAISIES
While daisies are not my favorite usually, this year they have stood up to the rainy conditions in a wonderful way. On the days when we are seeing the garden more from the inside than outside, the daisies stand tall and proud and are providing a bright light in all the gray. So, let’s hear it for the daisies! True to self, they are definitely exceeding their space this year, so I plan to divide them in the fall. I’ll have plenty of extras to share!


Just checked the weather and they are predicting a perfect day tomorrow. Low humidity and 80 degrees. Perfect. After a busy week, I need a day in my garden. And, after the pounding the garden has had this week — it sure needs me.

Hope tomorrow is just perfect for you too.

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday

 

The Language of Flowers

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Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to tell those you love that they are special to you. To me that message is best conveyed with flowers and food …a special dessert … a special meal … or CHOCOLATE. (Chocolate is food right!)

The Victorians were serious about their flowers and even developed a “love language of flowers” that included herbs, shrubs, roses and more. Don’t you just love that! These arrangements were often given in a small nosegay called a Tussie Mussie. Mothers of that era were directed to teach their daughters religion and the art of making a well-made bokay. Talk about your priorities! 🙂

Since we do not have the advantage of floral dictionaries common in Victorian days, we might have to explain the flowers offerings we share. But, I’m thinking it might just be worth the effort to make someone’s day.

Here are a few of my favorite herbs and flowers and their meanings….

Basil: Best Wishes
Black Eyed Susan: Encouragement
Daisy: Beauty, Innocence
Parsley: Joy
Pink Carnation: Gratitude
Rosemary: Remembrance
Lavender: Devotion
Lily of the Valley: Sweetness
Lemon Verbena: Enchantment
Red Rose: I love you, desire
Pink Rose: Appreciation
Yellow Rose: Friendship
Lavender Roses: Love at first sight and enchantment
Zinnia: Thoughts of absent friends

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FROM ME TO YOU…

I am virtually putting together a Tussie Mussie for you. It includes yellow and pink roses with a touch of rosemary, basil and lemon verbena. 🙂

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

💌💌💌