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Thursday, August 20, 2009


Heat and Humidity, it must be August. So what's a gardener to do when the mercury rises and all you want to do is stay by the pool?

Let's play with Herbs!

I grow a large number of herbs here at Old Country Gardens, some are perennials, others are purchased every spring. This summer though I learned a few new things about my herbs. First of all, they are just as happy (if not more happy) growing in pots.

In fact, as potted plants they are easy to maintain, rarely needing extra care. Just a simple pinch here and there and watering if we haven't had a recent rain. Better yet, put them in reach of your sprinkler system and you hardly have to do anything at all.

In this photo you are looking at a Thymus citriodorus (variegated lemon thyme), Mentha (basic garden mint that was here when we moved in) and Mentha suaveolens 'Variegata' (pineapple mint or also known as apple mint).

Just as an aside, I do not call them by their botanical names in the garden, I'm just including those here for readers in other countries that are looking for the same plants.

My mouth starts watering when I look at this photo. There are two different basils featured here (Ocimum basilicum in botanical terms) with the solid green leaf and the variegated Ocimum citriodorum 'Pesto Perpetuo' (let's just say citrus basil).

The citrus basil is a new variety and is patented so propagation is prohibited but what I've recently discovered is that most herbs have been around forever and of course, nobody holds a patent on them. This means that you can propigate most of your herbs till the cows come home and that's exactly what I'm going to do here.

It turns out that many herbs are quite easy to propigate with simple cuttings.

In this smaller pot are three plants, Cymbopogon (Lemongrass), Ocimum 'African Blue' (African Blue Basil) and Oreganum vulgare (true Oregano). Yum, all three are excellent for those fun summer dishes.

Here's a close up of the African Blue basil, a favorite of mine. I do admit that I let it go to flower as those blooms are just so lovely.

So tell me, what herbs are growing in your garden?


Autumn Belle said...

Ah, this reminds me of the TV show, The Naked Chef where he plucks fresh herbs, chopped them and sprinkle on to the dishes. I am now trying to grow coriander and spring onions.

Dave@The Home Garden said...

The herbs are doing great this year. Several kinds of basil, oregano, chocolate mint, spearmint, thyme are quite happy!

sweet bay said...

All we are growing currently is basil and rosemary, but I love to use those in recipes.

Hà Xuân said...

We Vietnamese use a lot of herbs in our meal. In fact, there's always some kind of herbs in our recipes. But not many of us have a herb garden!
Your plants look so 'delicious' that I want to go out and plant a few pots of herb in my garden right now :-).

Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...

Everything looks so healthy even in this heat. All so tidy in the pots. You should see my husbands herb bed...not so neat.

Chris and his Chocolate Mint said...

First of all, plant patents is absurd! I'd propagate them too just to spite people. ;-)

I have Japanese Mint, Chocolate Mint, Oregano Thyme, a Gotu Kola and a Peppermint. I also have mangoes and tomatoes as my non-herb babies.