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Saturday, 26 May 2012

Herb Garden

Just spent two days re-edging the herb garden beds. The winter and spring rains washed away the edging and compacted the soil which needed breaking-up. Establishing plants has been slow with some adapting quickly to the soil and climate and others dying after one hot summer.

Looking back at our original plan we had listed 50 herbs to grow but have so far managed to establish around 20 but we are adding more every year and are on the lookout for varieties suitable to the Mediterranean climate.

We plant some annual herbs monthly to ensure a continual supply of coriander, parsley and rocket. The basil is started early in the propagator and we plant plenty to permit us to dry enough to keep us going until the next planting.

Perennial herbs which have done well include chamomile, chives, comfrey, fennel, garlic (we use the tops and allow the bulbs to re-germinate every year), lavender, various mints, oregano, rosemary, sage and.lemon balm. And our bay tree is now getting to a decent enough height where we no longer feel guilty removing a few leaves.

We have self-seeding marigold, linseed, poppies and dill. To fill gaps we sow sunflowers and have two large areas of Jerusalem artichokes which, if we can as they are notoriously difficult to clear completely, we will re-locate when other herbs are available to fill the space.

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