Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Herb and Flower Bed Documentation


We spent several days doing weeding, thinning, and a little planting in the herb and flower beds. I am learning about really growing them for use this year so keeping record of things I have done and want to do differently.

I am loving the herb beds. Everywhere you walk, a new intoxicating fragrance wafts across the breeze. Fun!

This entry is as much for my own record keeping as anything. When spring comes and I'm standing out there wondering what is what, I will be back here, again and again.

I am still dealing with herbs that the labels were lost on, and I believe a couple were actually MIS-labeled in the store. So I am going to ask for your help in identifying some of these.

If you know what they are, or if you think I am incorrect in some of them, please comment your ideas. THANKS! I'll number them to make it easier.

Here is the first herb bed, just below the strawberry bed.

1. Here is the basil. Labeled Sweet Basil, from FedCo. I planted about 20 of them closely together in a 4 by 5 area. That was not the best, I think. So maybe 6 in the same area next year.

Here it is in flower. It's been in flower nearly all summer long. The first and only cutting I got to gave me two quarts of dried, crushed basil, so I'm good. I believe the reseed quite well, so I am wondering if I can just wait and thin what comes up next year.

2. Here is the Stevia, also from FedCo. They are a little more challenging to grow. I ended up with about 5 or 6 in this area. I wonder about cutting them back when first growing, to make them bushier.

Here it is in bloom. I will try to catch the seeds when ready.

3. Next up is a hidden patch of chives.

Just looks like thick grass.

4. Then we have our Zefa Fino Fennel. I never did dig up any bulbs to roast, darn it.

These also naturalize very well. I want to save some of these seeds to spread around in out of the way places to see how they do.

5. More chives. I do not remember where these came from. Could have been WalMart.

6. I am not remembering what this is. Any ideas? German Thyme? Oregano? Rosemary? I think it's one of those two...

YAY! Jo has a vote for German Thyme!

Here is a close-up.

7. Then I have our first really big mistake. This is, I believe, an accidentally planted mint, which was meant to go in a pot. However, now that I think about it, I did not buy any lemon mint. So perhaps this is the Lemon Balm I bought. It looks just like a mint, with square stems, and smells like lemon, but it is spreading like a mint and I'm going to have to dig this up, I think, and pot it.

EDIT ~ I DID have lemon mint! I just found the seed packet.

Jo says Lemon Balm!

Here is a close up.

8. Next is another one I am unsure of. It could be the German Thyme, Oregano, or the Rosemary. It spreads nearly at the same rate as does the mint or lemon balm before it.

And this, Jo says is Rosemary! Thanks so much!

Here is the close-up.

9. This is Summer Savory.


10. And I have this labeled as Winter Savory. However, it looks to me to be identical to the Summer Savory. Are they that close, or have I somehow ended up with no Winter Savory and instead a stray Summer Savory in it's place?

It's close-up.

Now on to the second herb bed down the hill.

11. The first one is a sage I was either given or bought, I can't remember, nor do I know the cultivar.

Close- up.

12. These are lavender. The one in the lower right corner was planted at the same time as the sage, above, but has not been thriving, as you can see. The other three are ones that my friend gave me, and I have just now gotten around to planting them. I do not know the cultivars of these either.

Another new grouping planted yesterday;

13. Sorrel.

14. Fever Few

15. Hyssop

16. Walkers Low Catmint. I thought this was catNIP, but I misread the tag when I bought it. It smells wonderful. I did a little reading up on it when planting it yesterday and it appears to NOT be invasive, despite being called a catMINT.


17. We have a long, open patch of ground that the sage did not come up in, except for this one lonely plant. This should be a broadleaf sage.


18. This is my Fernleaf Dill, FedCo


19. Caribe Cilantro, FedCo


20. Somehow, this got planted again. I think it is more Lemon Balm.

20. German Chamomile did not make a great showing. In the dry area of CA where I grew up, we had a very low growing chamomile that was all over the edges of our dirt roads. Horrible soil. It was all that grew there. Hardy stuff, but I wonder if that was chamomile that was usable?


The third bed down the slope.

21. This was a large planting that did not do well at all. I had probably about 24 of these planted, a foot apart, and the 2 or 3 that survived look like this.

Close-up. I don't know what this is. Rosemary? Oregano? Thyme?

22. Lovage - seems to be fairly happy. Very potent stuff!

Two that I just planted yesterday. These have been sitting outside for weeks now.

23. Mystic Blue Salvia

24. I have NO idea what this is.

25. Marigolds that I scatter seeded and raked in, hoping to transplant them into the veggie garden to attract beneficial insects. It never happened, but I love this bed.

And the final bed, which is all flowers ~ and weeds.

26. The sunflowers. I loved these and can't wait til next year. We already harvested what seeds the birds did not steal.

27. The spent cosmos, in pinks.

28. More Cosmos. Bright lights, arent' they?

29. Little pansies. Not much of a showing. I did not give them any care, just raked in some seeds and let nature take it's course.

And that was all for the beds. Just letting them go to seed now so we can save as many as possible.

I could garden forever.




  1. 6 is thyme.
    7 is melon balm
    and 8 is oregano

    I wish I had as much room as you do to really spread out!

  2. Jo,

    Thanks so much! I'm assuming you meant LEMON balm. LOL

    I know. It's astonishing how much room I wish I had!

    I would love to have every herb, and a little 4x4 (at least) spot for each. There are hundreds. I will need a rototiller. LOL

    A little at a time. These should hopefully be filled next year. Then I am also hoping to put in an herb garden below the greenhouse, which I hope to get up this winter.

    Now if I could only make it pay...


  3. I agree with Jo. I love all the pics...and I LOVE herbs as well.

    But I got to tell ya Faith. These last posts are starting to make me feel anxious! LOL...Good because of what I got to look forward to next season...bad, because of all the work and raised beds I have to make before Spring.Aye yi yi!

  4. SBF,

    I know. I am so behind, it's not funny.

    I was supposed to have my greenhouse, my new herb bed, and my cold frames all ready by now. :(

    Not much accomplished in the way of projects this summer. Still hoping for winter success, though.


  5. Now THAT'S what an herb garden is suppose to look like. Now I'm taking my laptop out to my herb garden and showing my little plant what they should look like. lol.

  6. SFG,

    Most of my plants need a good talking to as well. If that works, let me know! LOL


  7. 6 is thyme
    8 is oregano
    20 is lemon balm
    21 is rosemary

    watch out for that oregano, it will spread everywhere.


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