The Herb Garden in Early Fall

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

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


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  1. The herbs that survived the weeds, heat and neglect this summer include comfrey, marshmallow, wild ginger, peppermint, marjoram, oregano, horseradish, green tea, bergamot, rosemary (but just barely), one small sage, garlic, walking onions, peppermint, chives and sorrel. There may be some others in there, but my basil didn't come up this year, the uva ursi died, I had chamomile and I hope it went to seed, but I think it died, too. These poor plants have to be tough to make it here since they get spring attention before things get busy, then they have to survive neglect on their own for the most part. Thanks for the tour, Kathi, your herbs look great!


  2. Fern, it sure is hard to give enough attention to everything, isn't it? Your herb garden sounds lovely and you have a large variety of useful things.

  3. Throw some of your extra herbs, especially the basil in the chicken coop. I put them in the nesting boxes too. Chickens love herbies! I also throw it around in the goat barn too. makes it smell good!

  4. Mmmm, what a good idea, Robin. I think maybe I'm lucky that my free range chickens don't bother my herbs, but I only have a pair of them. Fresh herbs in the chicken coop would smell good.

  5. wonderful herb garden. Anytime you want to get rid of the basil, put me in the pot. I can not grow basil to save my soul. :( Love it too.

  6. Bobbi, evidently basil loves the hot weather here in Oklahoma. I have trouble with things that other people can grow with ease. Plants are picky, aren't they?!

  7. Oh I have found another kindred spirit! I love your herbs and like you, I am trying to make mine last as long as possible. I will be posting about my fall garden and herbs soon. Hope you'll stop by!

  8. Amber, it's always fun to find a kindred spirit, isn't it! I'll stop over and check out your blogs (you have a lot of them!)

  9. Oh, what a joy to read your post today! I enjoy gardening so much, but this year because of a move, I wasn't able to plant all I wanted to. I so enjoyed seeing your herb garden, and I could almost smell the pungent joy from them! I did manage to plant oregano, basil, and rosemary, and will be drying them soon. We are to get a frost this week here. I enjoyed your post so much :) Have a blessed and beautiful fall day!

  10. I'm so glad you enjoyed the tour, and glad that you were at least able to get a few herbs planted after your move. You're expecting frost already? Oh my. Enjoy the fall days while you can!

  11. The photos of your herbs are beautiful. My rosemary (now three years old) is doing well as well as a new plant. My calendula has been blooming a few blooms at a time--I will have a jar of dried flowers for tea and salve. The chocolate mint, thyme, sage and lemon balm are thriving. And the basil keeps going to seed.

    I have ordered seeds for comfrey and hope to have it growing next year. Thanks for sharing your garden!

  12. Carol, your herbs are doing well too. I love that your rosemary is doing so well; I tend to kill it, and hearing that others can grow it encourages me.

  13. Everything looks so healthy. That basil is fantastic. We've had some difficulty growing it this year. Your garden must smell wonderful with that mix of herbs.

    Thanks for stopping in at The Maple Hill Hop.
    Happy Autumn!

  14. Thank you, Daisy. I hope you have a better year for basil next year!

  15. Your herbs look great! I'm so jealous of that pineapple mint!

    Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday. I hope to see you back this week.


  16. Thank you for hosting the Green Thumb hop every week, Lisa!

  17. I love your garden posts, as it has lot information, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning and tweeting.


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