Tag Archives: rosemary

Starting Point


Hey, we’ve all got to start somewhere. And that I suppose is the theme this month in my garden. There are no showstoppers. No amazing spring miracles to report. No beauty shots of a well kept spring garden. It’s just this ol’ work in progress, folks.

Here are some photos of where things are at today, April 17th 2015. It’s been a very long time since my last post in 2013. My 2014 garden had it’s ups and downs, on which I did not report. Instead I took some time to reflect, focus on the work of the garden and mostly–tend to my May 2014 baby boy. That boy is turning 1 in a few weeks. I intend to give him–and his siblings–the gift of a beautiful garden in 2015.

So, here goes. We start here.

Well. This WAS the lemon tree. I'm not sure what happened. Perhaps I left it out too long in the cold weather earlier this spring. Or perhaps a curious three year old removed all the leaves. No one can say for sure.

Well. This WAS the lemon tree. I’m not sure what happened. Perhaps I left it out too long in the cold weather earlier this spring. Or perhaps a curious three year old removed all the leaves. No one can say for sure.

By the end of May I'll remove last years bean vines from these pots, add some new potting soil and get new beans started.

By the end of May I’ll remove last years bean vines from these pots, add some new potting soil and get new beans started.

This back bed contains perennials, but also garlic. My daughter planted 22 oriental lillies in here last weekend. She would like to have a cutting garden this summer.

This back bed contains perennials, but also garlic. My daughter planted 22 oriental lillies in here last weekend. She would like to have a cutting garden this summer.

It's always a happy day when the rhubarb returns!

It’s always a happy day when the rhubarb returns!

My son planted 30 gladioli in this small garden under the play set. It's pretty shady, but if they grow it will brighten up this spot quite a bit.

My son planted 30 gladioli in this small garden under the play set. It’s pretty shady, but if they grow it will brighten up this spot quite a bit.

I've made my way to about the middle of this garden bed, so far I've planted radishes, carrots, peas, pak choy and some flowering broccoli. Lots more to come in here.

I’ve made my way to about the middle of this garden bed, so far I’ve planted radishes, carrots, peas, pak choy and some flowering broccoli. Lots more to come in here.

I'm wondering if this clematis will do anything. It barely grew last year but is showing a few buds on the old growth. I'm hoping for the best.

I’m wondering if this clematis will do anything. It barely grew last year but is showing a few buds on the old growth. I’m hoping for the best.

Onions and garlic now poking through the surface of this garden bed. Teeny tiny spinach and arugula seedlings are scattered on the other end.

Onions and garlic now poking through the surface of this garden bed. Teeny tiny spinach and arugula seedlings are scattered on the other end.

Strawberries are in a new location this year. Looks like at least some of them will grow just fine here.

Strawberries are in a new location this year. Looks like at least some of them will grow just fine here.

Chives seem to be the only green visible in the herb garden.

Chives seem to be the only green visible in the herb garden.

Oh no! I don't think this rosemary survived the winter.

Oh no! I don’t think this rosemary survived the winter.

The kids have been collecting materials to create a fairy garden.

The kids have been collecting materials to create a fairy garden.

These peas we planted in March are coming along.

These peas we planted in March are coming along.

Raspberries doing their thing.

Raspberries doing their thing.

Here are my starts. There will be another tray planted soon, but for now I have various kales, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and parsley.

Here are my starts. There will be another tray planted soon, but for now I have various kales, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and parsley.

Excited to see the chocolate mint once again.

Excited to see the chocolate mint once again.

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Photos from the month of April.


To better view the photos in this edition of “Photos from…” click on a photo.  You’ll be able to scroll through a slide show of all the photos.

The beet ravioli recipe is here:  Michael Symon’s Goat Cheese and Beet Ravioli.  I substituted ricotta cheese for the goat cheese and sage for the tarragon with delicious results.

Photos from the first week of February.


First signs of spring, these are tulips.

 

Some brave chives emerging on a February morning. It's pretty early to see chives, but our weather has been several degrees above average for months, and now with the snow cover gone they are feeling heat from the sun.

 

This parsley is showing new growth. Normally we'd have snow cover, but this year is different. It's fun to see how the plants are responding.

 

The mint is starting to send up green shoots.

 

Indoors, the rosemary has been doing well and enjoying the extra sunshine we've had.

Photos from the third week of June.


Lavender is beginning to flower. Soon it will be attracting beneficial insects to the garden.

My honeysuckle has been attacked by aphids.

Garlic scapes are the flower stem of garlic. I harvest them and use them for pesto and salads. They have a light garlicky flavor.

Beet greens with water beads after a rain.

Fennel fronds hold beads of water after a rain.

Nasturtium leaves also make a nice resting place for water beads.

This rosemary plant is getting bigger by the minute, I've already harvested from it too! I'm so happy I decided to replace the rosemary I overwintered in the house. This one is much healthier.

I use this veggie bed to rotate crops during the season. Currently it has lettuce, tomatoes, peas, corn (which gets eaten every night, I wonder if we'll get any of it), beans, squash and garlic. Seem like alot? The peas, lettuce and garlic will soon be pulled to make more room for the other plants.

A look at the final baby robin to leave the nest as he contemplates taking the leap.

Photos from the first week of May.


Planted a strawberry pot, but oops! didn't buy enough strawberries and need to go back to buy a few for the top of the pot.

 

Why yes, I do love my garden.

 

The buds of this burning bush are visually interesting.

 

This clematis vine is sending shoots straight up. I can't wait to see these flowers in a few weeks.

 

A bug's eye view of the tulips.

 

The honeysuckle is growing at an astounding rate now that it's May. Soon it will welcome hummingbirds.

 

A new rosemary plant. My previous plant started to look very sick in recent weeks and I wasn't able to revive it. Sometimes it's best to start over.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Time


What a difference a year makes.  The span of time between putting my first herb seedlings into a freshly filled raised bed and harvesting from second year plants is relatively brief–just over one year.  But for an herb, that one year makes the difference between infancy and adulthood.
In spring of 2009, I recruited my husband to build a raised bed to be used specifically for herbs.  Only 18 inches wide, it’s easily accessed from either side, and herbs have room to spill over the sides if necessary.  It also provides a nice border for the small patio garden where most of my garden grows.

Newly built raised bed with seedlings.

 

In 2009, I planted parsley, chives, dill, sage, rosemary, thyme, lavender, oregano and basil in the raised bed.  All grew, though some did better than others.  The rosemary never grew taller than six inches, and remained thin.   The dill did fine for a few weeks but seemed to go to seed very quickly, and since I did not sow a second or third crop we didn’t have any by the time other veggies were ready to harvest.

Overall, I was pleased with the abundance of parsley, chives, sage, lavender and oregano.  That summer I came to know the herb garden and all of it’s smells and flavors.

First year herb garden mid-season.

But it was the following year in which the herb garden really came into it’s own.  Early spring saw chives shooting up through the snow.  Soon after, tiny green leaves began to grow on what looked like dead wood of thyme, oregano, sage and lavender. 

Rosemary and parsley did not survive the winter.  It’s just as well.  I found a new spot in the bed for the parsley and moved rosemary to a pot where it has been much happier.  Now the rosemary can come inside with me for the winter and be used in winter soups and sauces.

Potted rosemary can live indoors or out.

Year two was one of pruning back.  The sage became huge, almost tree-like in the way it became thick and woody, stems reaching all over the place.  Chives needed constant cutting.  In fact, by the end of the season I removed three plants, knowing I wouldn’t need them next year.  This could free up space for something new.

The best part of the herbs’ second year was the beautiful flowers.  All edible, all beautiful.  And they attracted the most interesting insects and butterflies to our garden.  I can’t wait till next year when the flower show begins again.

Herb garden, year two. Basil in nearby container.

Lavender flowers delighted us all season.

A sea of herbs.

I wonder what the herb garden will look like in its’ third year?  Will it overgrow its small space?  Will plants come back just as healthy?  Will I need to replant anything?  I especially wonder about that parsley.  Biennial, it should come back this spring if conditions are right.

Time will tell how the herb garden will grow.  After two years with it, I know this: I’ll never have a home without an herb garden again.  Herbs brighten up our food, look and smell great in the garden and are a conversation piece for guests to our home.  They attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  My kids can’t help but grab an herb and munch on it while they play outside.  We’ve come to appreciate our herb garden more than we could have imagined when we first set out.  I simply love my herb garden.