I’m of Greek decent (no, I don’t own a restaurant…but my brother does) and I love to cook. So, when I wanted to start my own garden, I had no room or time for much, just a simple herb garden. After all, when you enjoy preparing a meal, you realize that the freshest ingredients make a meal tastier and it doesn’t get any fresher than picking something from your own herb garden and using it right then and there.
I planted our first herb garden outside the kitchen of our former home. Nothing fancy, just a small row of basics; parsley, oregano, basil, rosemary and thyme (isn’t that a song?). It was the perfect garden for me then…low maintenance and productive, and it gave me the bug to create and build an even better herb garden when we moved into our “dream home” two years ago.
We’ve created our herb garden in our new home by bordering our beds with downed cedar trees, filling them with rich soil at a minimum of six inches deep, surrounding them with crushed rock and installing a drip system for watering (beware not to make the beds more than six feet wide to avoid having to step on your plantings and/or smush the soil under your feet). We invested a little more in our herb garden because I plan to keep it. One of my favorite past-times after car pool is to sit at the outdoor table beside our herb garden and stare at it while I sip on a cup of tea. It is so Provencal and earthy and simple and sophisticated. Everything (most of the time) in our herb garden is a beautiful shade of green, perky, edible and fresh…ready to use or simply admire (just keep it alive and help it thrive).
Another plus in planting an herb garden is the instant gratification it offers after you plant. Nothing to fruit or wait to harvest. Use a few sprigs right away to prepare a meal or garnish a dish (it spruces up take-out a notch, too).
My selections this year include stevia (my kids love to have their friends taste it), sage, curled and flat parsley, lemon mint and peppermint, leeks, and sweet basil. I also added in lettuce varieties and spinach this spring as the cool spells we’ve been having have helped them continue to thrive (they don’t do well in summer heat).
We really invested in a permanent spot, but mind you, a few pots filled with good potting soil, a small shovel (or large spoon), your favorite herb selections, a watering bucket of sorts, topped off with sunshine and voila….you are good to go. How elaborate your garden will be is up to you and your desires.
I think (I hope) I will always have an herb garden.