“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.”
– Abraham Lincoln
A small land owner is probably anyone who owns a home in a suburban development or a city center. We have some outdoor space that we get to make our own. For me, that means turning grass into gardens where plants thrive and flowers share their beauty, and I grow some herbs which flavor life in our home.
In the picture above you can see two of my favorite herbs…chives, sage and just a hint of the basil that is also in that area. Gardening with herbs is very satisfying as you get to take the fruits of your labor and turn a mundane meal into something special. You can use them in your home decor bringing color, texture and beautiful scents to your home. They are some of the easiest plants to maintain and most of them come back year after year.
“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.”
– A.A. Milne
This is a picture of the beginning of my more formal herb garden. When we returned from being gone for three months the herbs were growing together with the ground cover a solid mat covering…what should be…open spaces. You couldn’t find the paths and everything was wet from all the rain we’ve been having. In short, it was a chaotic mess. Now it is almost back to normal. You can see the path is clear and you can easily walk into the garden. Herbs are not overly fond of too much rain so I cut them back and cleared out all the undergrowth, wet leaves, etc. to increase air flow and dry things out as much as possible. I’m still in the process of replanting some of my pots.
“The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.”
– Gertrude Jekyll
In the picture above, lemon thyme cascades over rocks that border the entrance to the herb garden. This is a wonderful herb that I use all the time in cooking. When you brush by it in the garden a beautiful lemon scent surrounds you and you are transported to sunny climates and warm breezes. It is always difficult for me to cut back something so wonderful but every plant deserves it’s own space in the garden.
“However many years she lived, Mary always felt that ‘she should never forget that first morning when her garden began to grow.”
– Frances Hodgson Burnett
Pots planted with flowers that attract pollinators are a staple in the herb garden. Cone flowers, echinacea, daisies, etc. add color as well as bringing bees to the plants in all my gardens. I love that most of them return each year expanding as they grow. Rosemary adds a great background for the colorful flowers. You can see the path curving around the peony bush in the background.
“Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade.”
– Rudyard Kipling
This rock wall flanks phlox, lemon balm, oregano and rosemary. The chinks in the rock are planted with phlox, lamb’s ears and mint. It was work to clean out this area and allow each plant enough room to grow while keeping the soil fairly dry. I love the different shades of green that each plant brings to the garden. All of the plants flower at different times of the year.
“When the world wearies and society fails to satisfy, there is always the garden.”
– Minnie Aumonier
This part of the herb garden flowers in the Spring. Peonies and yellow bark dogwood are pretty plants during most of the grown season. When the foliage disappears in the Winter months the dogwood has bright yellow bark that is a beautiful color on a gloomy day.
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”
– Marcus Tullius Cicero
Gardens don’t have to be large. These herbal container gardens sit by the screen porch close to the kitchen. I can access them easily when I need a few of the herb staples for cooking. I grow basil, Italian parsley, lemon thyme and chives in these lovely container gardens.
“The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway.”
– Michael Pollan
Herb gardens are useful, beautiful, and appeal to all of your senses. Gardening is a challenge but it is also a tranquil and meaningful way to spend time with yourself. Plants respond to thoughtful tending. You can also add music and conversation when you care for your plants. You’ll enjoy the peace and plants don’t talk back. LOL