Friday, April 13, 2012

Herbs in the Garden

Lemon Thyme. I planted this two or three seasons ago and it just flourishes, with no attention on my part. I can cut it for recipes all through the year. And if you brush against it, the fragrance is lovely. My fave tv cook, The Barefoot Contessa uses it in almost everything, so I know she must have a bunch of it in her herb garden too. There are lots of flavor varieties of this woody herb, and it fills in spots in the garden with ease. I may have to put more in, just for the exhuberance it exhibits.

I put sage in this pot last year, with tarragon and parsely. The parsely is still growing but I see no signs of the tarragon. The sage however has flower buds on it. Sage uses include roasts, stews and soups but all the au courant chefs are frying the leaves and using them to flavor buttenut squash ravioli. O my.
There is also variegated sage in the garden, and oregano galore, but the early Spring stages of them didn't warrant a photo.

This year I am planting herbs amonst my flowers, especially the basil. Here are a tiny cluster of basil leaves, which I started indoors in my foolproof wet paper towel on plate under plastic wrap greenhouse. When I see shoots happening, I use a tweezer and place the seeds in peat pots full of seed starter mix. These can go into the garden after a few days of hardening off. So easy.

Cilantro seeds
Nasturium seeds along with poppy seeds. Only one seed has sprouted, as these take a week or two of soaking to emerge. The poppy seeds are from last year, and I have little hope of seeing them sprout. But it pays to try.
Nasturtiums are great in salads, both the flowers and the leaves. But I just love them for their vigor and the great color.
I just bought more seeds, mostly because this variety has variegated leaves. So pretty. I also have the trailing variety, which really grow long long stems, driving Dave nuts as they trail out of the beds and into the walkways. This year I will try put them where they won't annoy.
Dark Opal and Purple basil seeds...really hard to find at the local garden shops. I finally found these at Home Depot in Chattanooga. I am also putting these in the flower beds for contrast, as well as eating. I can't remember if their flavor is any different than green basil, but we shall see. Since I have soooo  many seeds. I may make up some pots of them too, as gifts. Lots of my friends don't have gardens, but love pesto, caprese salad, etc. I already made up a big pot of basil seedlings for my sister. was here when we moved in, and altho we tried to remove it, of course one never can. It is great in tea, or alcoholic drinks like Mojitos.

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  1. Then, the garden survived the cold snap?!

  2. Thanks for the reminder of your wet paper towel method of starting seeds. I am trying that right now!

  3. Oh, beautiful! I also have Lemon Thyme, will take a pic tomorrow and post on my blog. My most spectacular herb is my Rosemary. I love seeing your healthy plants and they inspire me to ignore my knees and get out and plant!
    Martha Ginn

  4. I love your paper towel greenhouse. I showed my son and we started two plates today!

  5. To plant poppies, I sow the seeds into the flower bed in late Aug. or Sept. and walk away. They germinate and make small plants, then winter over and in the Spring they grow up and bloom. Have been doing it that way for the last 10 years. I have beautiful poppy beds!


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