Friday 13 June 2014

Herbs, herbs and more herbs!

I always have lots of herbs growing in my garden, but now I have even more. Jane won in a competition an "Instant Compact Herb Garden" from Rocket Gardens, so of course she has passed them over to me. The name was somewhat of a misnomer, because although she won the prize round about Christmas-time, it was only delivered in mid-May! It was however compact... The kit included small plants of 8 different herbs. The contents of the kit varies according to the season, but the ones we received were
Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Marjoram, Chives, Flat-leaf Parsley, Pineapple Mint and Garden Mint.

For various reasons I did not find the opportunity to plant the herbs permanently until last weekend. Initially I was unsure about where to plant them. These things take careful thought you know! There is not much space in my garden (certainly not vacant space), so I had to move things round a bit. I transplanted the Primroses that had been growing in my rectangular "Cotswold stone" planter, and have put four of the herbs into it:

From left to right: Chives, Marjoram, Rosemary, Thyme.

The Sage plant has gone into a small terracotta pot (you can see it at the bottom left in the photo above). It is a very small plant and I felt it might easily get swamped, so I will grow it on and plant it out in a permanent position a bit later on.

Since Mint is inclined to be invasive I'm taking no chances with it. The Pineapple Mint has gone into a big plastic pot where it can be contained easily.

And the Garden Mint has gone in amongst the Aquilegias along the side of the house - not a prime position by any stretch of the imagination, but if anything can thrive there, the Mint is it!

The least promising of the 8 plants is probably the Flat-leaf Parsley. Well, actually the problem is that it is not just "a" plant. It's about a hundred, all crammed into the one little pot, so they are very leggy and under-nourished. I have put the whole clump into a little space in one of the borders and we'll see what happens, but I'm not expecting any great results.

Some of the older, well-established pots of herbs are looking good right now. Here you can see Greek Oregano, Moroccan Mint and Thyme and Chives - with some Aquilegia plants too.

The Aquilegia is over now, but the leaves have taken on a sort of purple tinge, particularly at the edges. I think it looks quite pretty next to the Chive flowers.

Meanwhile, in the border... This is Sage.

This is Winter Savory. Ironically, the plant which I had in a pot inside a coldframe died during the Winter, but this one, out in the open, survived.

This is feathery Fennel, with Golden Hops climbing the fence behind it.

The Lemon Balm is huge now...

This Broad-leaved Thyme. In the Winter this plant was practically bare and I thought it would die. Just look at it now!

To finish off for today, here's a photo of my up-and-coming Bay tree (It has a long way to go still!).

This little chap is destined to replace one of my potted "standard" Bay trees. It started life as a sucker (offshoot) of the big Bay tree at the bottom of the garden, coming up just a couple of inches away from the main trunk. I used a sharp knife to sever it just below ground level (where it was still white), then potted it up in some damp compost. It has evidently rooted well, because it has all those fresh young leaves at the top. In another five years or so I should have a viable tree!  


  1. Lovely herbs. The broad leafed thyme looks very pretty. Is it as good as common thyme?

    1. The Broad-leaved Thyme is less versatile (harder to use) than the Common Thyme, but it looks nice - especially the flowers. The aroma and taste of the leaves are much the same.

  2. So many herbs, and they're all thriving. It makes me want to add to my small collection when I see how well yours are doing.

  3. How wonderful! I simply adore all herbs and always look up for some new to add them to my herb collection.

  4. I really enjoyed reading about your herbs, Mark. It appears we have something in common beside growing vegetables. I have recently posted about additions to our herb bed, as well. Thank you for this information.


  5. What a nice herb collection. Hope you will eventually share some of the ways you use them in your cooking!

  6. Fantastic herb collection Mark! Herbs are my favorite edible to grow. I always feel like I get the biggest bang for the buck growing them as they tend to be expensive at the grocery store. What do you use your lemon balm for? I have three large plants and could use some ideas of what to do with it :)

    1. Jenni, I don't actually use the Lemon Balm - I just like it as a plant, and the flowers are very attractive to bees. I find the plants self-seed very profusely and I have to take steps to keep them in check.

  7. Lovely collection of herbs Mark, I need to up my game, there are so many seeds I haven't sown yet.

  8. Your herbs look great and reminds me that I need to get some basil going. I have tried to start some twice this year and killed it both times :( I do have some thyme, sage, oregano and a few others growing though, if they haven't been taken over in the garden I never seem to get to anymore :(


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