It’s been busy around here lately as I can finally be outside without gasping for breath. The vegetable garden is coming along and we have been harvesting for some time now. Still in lettuce, kale, cilantro, spinach and arugula. Arugula is so much more peppery when coming straight from the garden.

The zucchini are flowering as are the red pepper plants. So much fun to see all this abundance in such a small area. The peas and beans have really grown and the yellow squash is coming along.

We worked on the Herb Garden this week and the pots are doing really well. You can see sage and lemon thyme in this picture with some Iris growing around the willow.

The center of the herb garden is starting to fill in. Basil, chamomile, sage, marjoram, lemon balm, winter savory and tarragon are all doing their best.

Have been working on this side as well. Planted a couple of mixed pots and some daisies and oregano and one of my favorites, lemon verbena.

Lemon Verbena is the most lemony of the lemon flavored plants so I love to grow it. It’s a “tender perennial” so needs to be in a sheltered spot. I have it tucked against a stone wall which helps it stay warm in the cooler weather.

This year the peonies have done pretty well. They really don’t like to be this far south but I love their beautiful blooms so I try to cultivate them. I have them tucked in with some of my other plants for some protection and that helps. They always smell wonderful.

One of the best things about working in an herb garden is the aroma from all of the plants. When you brush a rosemary plant with your hand it has this wonderful smell. You can be surrounded by lemon scents, the distinctive scent of basil, and all the other unique and soothing smells as you work among the plants weeding and watering.

I talk to my plants…no I’m not crazy… but I think they respond to encouragement just like people do. If you tell them they’re beautiful and strong, I think on some level they hear you. Anyway, that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

Plants some herbs and enjoy the sensory stimulus they provide. Of course, you also use them in your cooking. Cutting and using the herbs actually helps them to grow into fuller plants.

Tonight we’ll be enjoying chicken in a marinade of pineapple, soy, pineapple sage and some garlic. Also, salad fresh from the garden sprinkled with a selection of chopped herbs and homemade dressing.

Enjoy your gardens!

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