For some reason autumn speaks to my soul. I love the crispness of the morning air, falling leaves, and the color and direction of the daylight as the sun moves from summer to winter.
There are changes in the herb garden too. By this time, the herbs have grown and filled out and look wonderful, but there are subtle signs that fall is coming and the year is waning.
Last year I put this container herb garden together because our soil is poor and I have such trouble keeping plants alive when they grow in the ground. It's a combination of culinary, medicinal and aromatic herbs plus a few flowers and vegetables thrown into the mix.
My basil plant is over three feet tall now. I had several plants last year and had enough dried basil leaves to send a big jar full home with each of my daughters when they visited this summer, as well as two large jars in our own pantry. I planted fewer seeds this year, but the plants grew twice as big, so I'll have the same "problem" this year.
I can tell summer is ending because the basil is producing flowers and seedpods. Every morning I pick off all the ones I see so the plants will last a bit longer. I need to start harvesting. The basil smells so good, sharp and pungent and spicy.
This lemon balm plant is nearly as tall as the basil next to it. I have several lemon balm plants but the others are tiny, even though they're older than this plant.
The calendula hasn't bloomed much this year. The plant was broken a month or so ago, probably by a dog, and it's taken it awhile to recover.
The comfrey has continued to grow very quickly. My four little plants have grown into good-sized plants, and I know they'll soon be huge. I've picked a couple of leaves to feed to the goats, who didn't need any encouragement to eat them.
There were two smaller roots included in my package when I received the comfrey I ordered, but the smaller ones didn't survive my neglect. I'm glad I ordered large roots.
The walking onion bulblets have made baby onion plants. I did help a bit: I directed the bulblets on the ends of the stalks to a good soft spot in the soil. They did the rest on their own.
I bought this pineapple mint at a greenhouse closeout sale. It was in poor shape and I didn't think it would live, but with some tender loving care it has grown well. It doesn't smell like pineapple to me, but the variegated foliage is pretty.
This flower stalk on the pineapple mint developed in the last couple of days. It's ready to go to seed, but I picked off the flower stalk after taking the photo.
Even the rosemary plant is doing well. I've killed several of them in the past, but this one seems to like me.
This feverfew plant is new this year. I used to have migraines quite often - thankfully I don't get them as often now, but I will be trying a "migraine tea" next time I have one. The friend who gave me this plant told me to make a tea from feverfew, peppermint and lemon balm.
Catnip is a calming herb that is good in teas but I also grow it for our indoor cat Collins. He goes crazy over it! Not all cats like catnip, it's a genetic thing. My outdoor cats aren't affected at all.
Right next to the herb garden is my little rose garden. I have four bushes, two pink, a red, and an orange-red. The roses and a birdbath are in the shade of the fruit trees, and create an oasis in the yard. Homesteads can be kind of rough and ours is no exception. I like having this pretty little corner.
I collect the rose petals and use them in various herbal preparations and body care products. Rose hips are a wonderful source of vitamin C.
There are more: peppermint, chocolate mint, thyme, another variety of basil, a hot pepper plant, oregano, marigolds... I plan to add even more plants, and have a list in order of importance.
What are you growing?
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
DIY Cayenne Pepper Powder
Harvesting the Herb Garden
My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a
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