The Herbs - Windermere Studios

Our landscape plan includes an herb spiral off the deck, close to the house for quick trips while cooking. Herb spirals are made of stones and, as the name suggests, have a spiral shape. We took a little artistic license and built a hexagonal garden from wood to use for herbs instead. 

It's huge - approximately 6 ft. across - with 5 outer sections and a large central section. Daryl built it in the garage in the winter, and I stained it while it was still indoors. We moved it to the back garden in April, and filled it with garden mix bales. 

I started some herbs inside in February, when I started the tomatoes. 

Oregano, Sage, Basil (lots and lots of basil), Thyme, 

Cilantro and Licorice Mint, which is actually a hyssop.

And I sewed some seeds directly in the soil in the spring.

Dill, More Cilantro, Wild arugula, Chives, Borage, Phacelia (bees friend).

I tested peppers here, and transplanted rosemary, chive and some mint plants. 

I'm really happy with the outcome, overall, of the herb garden. 

We had fresh oregano, thyme, mint, rosemary, sage on hand for almost all of the summer. 

The basil was mostly a fail though. I had two full flats of basil transplants that I companion planted with my tomatoes. The tomatoes totally overgrew them, and while we had some basil, it wasn't nearly the crop I hoped for. 

This was my first success with dill. Sadly, the cucumbers I'd planted in hopes to make pickles with said dill failed. 

I need to figure out how to grow cilantro such that it's ready at the same time the rest of the salsa ingredients are, as it had gone to seed long before I had ripe tomatoes. 

The wild arugula has great flavor, so I hope it's a perennial. 

This was also my first experience with borage. I planted it as a bee attractant, and it definitely did that job. Borage flowers are edible, and I think the leaves can be used for tea. It's a very robust plant, and out grew everything else in that center garden. To be able to out compete phacelia and lavatera is pretty remarkable. I ended up using a peony hoop to hold the borage plants up and keep them from smothering the rest of the plants in the garden. 

Borage definitely attracted the bumblebees, but the flowers of the cilantro, dill and arugula were also big attractors of pollinators, including honey bees, wasps, and a large variety of solitary bee species. 

I've left everything that wasn't harvested standing in that planter. What better for an insect hotel?

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