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

Keeping it Cool: Rose Ice Cream

Denise Schreiber, garden friend and author of Eat Your Roses, shared a wonderful, super easy rose ice cream recipe with me recently.

ROSE PETAL ICE CREAM

¾ cup of dried edible rose petals
1 quart of good quality vanilla ice cream
1 tablespoon of rose syrup (I used Monin)
½ cup of finely chopped pistachios 
1 teaspoon of cardamom (Optional)

Soften ice cream. Crumble in your hand the dried rose petals (from roses that have not been sprayed with chemicals) as you would dried herbs. Stir in slightly then add rose syrup. Taste test first to see if you desire more syrup. Refreeze then serve. 

For more recipes like this one, check out Denise’s Facebook page here

What a treat! I used Rugosas petals in our ice cream and it was delicious! Yes, yummy rose flavored ice cream is a great way to enjoy summertime in the rose garden.

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Do you have recipes that use roses and other flowers?

Overwintering Plants

When winter approaches I typically bring potted plants I want to save into the Potting Shed where there is controlled warmth and light (geraniums, mint, lavender, etc.), except for my large potted roses, they are taken to the garage (no windows). The roses go dormant and “spring” back to life in the spring. Because of “over crowding” in the Potting Shed, I took this pot of herbs to the garage too.

Last week I brought the pots out of the garage and couldn’t believe how well these herbs sprang back to life. They never lost their “green” completely and now they look almost robust! Today they are outside getting some sunshine and intermittent light rain. Let the thriving begin!

The roses left in the garage are doing quite well too.

I typically cut any spindly growth completely back and let the roses start fresh. But this one is recovering so fast that I may do minimal pruning and she how she does. Meet the “winter in the garage, in the dark version of the Coretta Scott King” rose. Anemic though she may be, I think we are going to start from here and see what she does.

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Coretta Scott King in the garden last summer…

Coretta Scott King
Coretta Scott King

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Happy Spring!