May 14, 2014

The New Herb Garden

When we lived in Michigan before moving here to Oklahoma, I was a good gardener. I planted seeds in the rich black dirt and they grew. I pulled weeds and harvested massive amounts of tomatoes and peppers and lettuce and beans and more. Then we moved to Oklahoma, where clay is king. Clay and rocks.



I've spent several years amending the soil here but it really isn't much better than it was when I started. I was hoping that at least herbs - many of which like poor, dry soils and hot temperatures - would thrive, but the few herbs that have survived the summer in my garden have never survived the winter.

So this year I have both my vegetable garden and my new container herb garden. The area in the vegetable garden where I was trying to grow herbs will be used for vegetables this year, giving me more space there.


So many things in gardening are out of our hands. Grasshoppers killed so much of my garden last year, and even some of our fruit trees. Drought and high temperatures are the norm here. This year we had a couple of very-late spring frosts. I can't control the weather, but growing in containers gives me more control of the "soil". Containers are easy to weed too. Fewer weeds will grow in the pots, and they are easy to pull out. I'm also hoping to thwart winter by bringing the containers of perennial herbs inside before the first frost.


And I want the herb garden to look nice too. That's not too much to ask, is it?


Remember this is only in the beginning stages, with seeds that haven't yet grown, so please imagine what it will be in a few weeks, instead of what it is now.

I made a small eight-foot-wide "patio" out of bricks, so that grass and weeds won't grow under the pots and have to be mowed. I was going to use wood chip mulch instead of bricks, but as soon as I shoveled the dirt, pulled out all the grass and roots and leveled it, Cracker remembered that he likes to dig in soft dirt to make a nice cool hole to nap in, so I changed my plans to include bricks. These bricks are from the floor of hubby's workshop in the barn; we rescued them after the barn fire and I think they look pretty neat with all the various colors. So much more interesting than just red bricks.

That wooden bear is nearly 25 years old and is showing its age, but like the bricks, it has character.

A shelf made from old lumber gives me room for more pots. It's been an excellent place to harden off seedlings.

There is room for expansion on either side in the future - and I do plan to expand. "Kitchen gardens" are supposed to be near the kitchen, so that you can step outside with a pair of scissors or a knife to cut a few sprigs of herbs you need to make dinner. This garden is much closer to the house than the regular garden.


The pots are seeded with several different basils, rosemary, lemon balm, lavender, chives, parsley, and more. Already growing in the other pots are chocolate mint, more lemon balm, more lavender. Still to be moved outside are aloe, catnip and oregano. In a few weeks I hope it will be filled in and beautiful as well as producing delicious additions to our food.


You might also enjoy:
The New Herb Garden
The Herb Garden in June
The Herb Garden in July
The Herb Garden in August
The Herb Garden in Late September
Ten Ways to Use Basil
How to Dry Homegrown Herbs

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


~~~~~

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24 comments:

  1. I love it and I think the bricks look fantastic (bear too!).

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  2. Thank you, Elizabeth. I can't wait until it's lush and green.

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  3. You may have seen on TV the clay pot hangers that screw to the wall and hold the lip of a clay pot...bought Mom a hunch of those and she has them on her porch posts. This year she planted herbs in them.Cute cottage look. Sounds like you have a great selection of herbs

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  4. That does sound cute, Michelle... pots full of upright and trailing herbs hanging on the porch posts.

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  5. Enjoy your herbs!!
    Looks wonderful :)

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  6. I think this is fantastic! I've tried to grow herbs in pots before, but I haven't had good luck. I can't wait to see pictures of everything growing! It'll be so pretty!

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  7. Thank you so much, Mary. I hope it will look as good in reality as it does in my head. LOL

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  8. Gardening in Oklahoma is soooo hard. The only person I know who can make it look effortless is my mother-in-law! I wish you luck this year, may it be bountiful for both of us!! ^_^

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  9. I hope your garden is successful too, Rose!

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  10. That looks so cute! I hope you`ll enjoy your herbs :)

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  11. Thank you, Cristina. It's fun to putter around in. I hope you are enjoying your gardening efforts too.

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  12. We have the problem of too much rain which brings disease to plants. I think the garden of Eden was the last place on earth for the perfect garden but with some elbow grease, we can still produce a beautiful bounty. Thank you for linking up at Art of Home-Making Mondays. I am now following you on bloglovin :)

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  13. Hi, I am hopping over from Strangers and Pilgrims' Art of Homemaking Monday.
    Your photos are beautiful, even without the lush green. I hope you show us pics later in the season! While we have had a vegetable garden for several years, I've never tried to grow herbs before. I may try this year, since we are living at a new place and starting a new journey.
    Your blog is lovely and I look forward to reading more.

    Blessings,
    Marcia

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  14. Hi, I am hopping over from Strangers and Pilgrims' Art of Homemaking Monday.
    Your photos are beautiful, even without the lush green. I hope you show us pics later in the season! While we have had a vegetable garden for several years, I've never tried to grow herbs before. I may try this year, since we are living at a new place and starting a new journey.
    Your blog is lovely and I look forward to reading more.

    Blessings,
    Marcia

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  15. You are right, the Garden of Eden was the perfect garden. Now we toil and sweat.

    Thank you for the follow on Bloglovin.

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  16. Thank you, Marcia. I'll be updating the herb garden in pictures later in the summer - if it's worth showing, that is!

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  17. Containers are the way to go when soil is not at its peak for growing. Good on ya for making it work! Your jars will be lovely when they are overflowing with goodies!
    Thanks for sharing this outdoor post on The Maple Hill Hop!

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  18. Thank you for stopping by, Daisy.

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  19. I know you'll thoroughly enjoy your new herb garden. LOVE the old brick. I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,
    Kathy

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  20. Thank you for visiting, Kathy!

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  21. PaulaA12:48 PM

    I love the chamber pot in your herb garden! I too had to transition from one region to another, Florida to Washington state. It's kind of mindblowing, everything you thought you knew....but hang in there, chat with others if you can, and you'll get it figured out. Like you did with the herb garden!

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  22. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead2:15 PM

    Paula, you made a HUGE move. I bet it was quite a garden-culture-shock for you as well. I wondered if anyone would recognize the chamber pot; you're the first one to mention it. ;-)

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  23. Great post. Followed you from the Art of Home-Making Mondays link-up.
    Love for you to come by this week’s Wildcrafting Wednesday and share.
    http://www.herbanmomma.com/2015/04/wildcrafting-wednesday-4-22-15/

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