Since my teens I’ve grown herbs. I’m not sure of what triggered my interest but there’s such a deep history and folklore about them. I guess I’m also drawn to plants that are practical and have uses other than just looking pretty or filling in gaps and herbs fit that perfectly. In the main, they are also easy to grow, can be put to use and don’t take up much space!
The Convent garden is giving me the opportunity to now indulge my herb interest on a grander scale, and again, fits in with the garden concept of plants that serve a purpose. So far I have many of the usual suspects (some many times over). The garden gate path edging is home to Lavender, Thyme (Common, Lemon and Silver Posy) as well as Catmint. The driveway edging is similar, just replacing Lavender with Tuscan Blue Rosemary. The back garden wall is home to Sage, more Rosemary, including Prostrate, Winter Savoury, Chives, Mint, Triple Curled and Italian Parsley, plenty of Perennial Basil and French Tarragon – pretty much a gamut of kitchen herbs. A Bay Laurel sits in a pot in the midst of the raised garden beds.
The far side driveway garden bed houses a wider variety, including multiple Lavenders and Rosemary, Lemon and Lime Verbenas, Lemon Balm, Hyssop, Rue, Borage, Variegated and Pineapple Sage (which is providing great enjoyment to the Honeyeater birds). I’m trying out Chamomile in the lawn and also have some of the oriental herbs for cooking such as Coriander, Lemon Grass and Kaffir Lime. The Dill has finished but plenty of seeds have been sewn for next time around. Some Bergamot is planted but not flourishing. There’s also the flowers that double up classification as herbs such as the roses, marigolds, daisies, Heartsease.
I’ve now run out of space and know that some plants are not in the right areas. When I get stuck into the front yard, there should be much more area to work with. Until them I’m trying so hard not to order from some of the great online nurseries that have a broad selection of herbs that are not found in the local nurseries. Apparently there used to be one of the really good specialty nurseries near here at Capertee that has now closed down when the owner died. It is still spoken so highly of by the local gardening community.
To date I mainly use my herbs in a fairly mainstream way for cooking but in future hope to be a bit more adventurous with oils, teas and various herbal treatments.
The range of herbs and their uses continues to impress me. You could almost just collect the Thymes and have such a broad variety – same with Rosemary or Lavender. Anyway, I’ve posted some photos of the start of the herb residents in the garden and expect it to expand rapidly over the years.
Others that have made it into the garden include Lovage, Chervil, Sorrell, Chicory and Fennel. I’ve just discovered Cinnamon Trees but will need to hold off on that for now as they are very large trees. Maybe when I have the block next door…