I’m no gardener.
I’d like to be, but historically plants have had a tendency to die within days of being in my house.
Probably due to them not being prioritised really – watering plants was way down on my priorities, even though having greenery in the house really puts a smile on my face.
Adding this as a chore to my household tasks schedule.
Once it was written down I was much more likely to do it – and stick with it.
The result – pretty happy plants (for the most part!) and a renewed interest in my ideal that is to have my own food growing in my garden (or bits at least!).
So, it was time to venture out into garden……
I have bought the books and read about it – but the actual starting a garden still alludes me slightly.
I now think I am putting it off due to lack of confidence – but I am determined to get over this as my daughter would get so much out of growing stuff and eating it!
The natural start therefore was herbs.
A herb garden would be the first step into the “grow your own” ideal.
Herbs are pretty hardy, so I’m told – and the more you cut them the more they grow.
Sounds good so far!
The extra bonus was that we had the perfect spot for this – a contained bed that was on the patio area, and it was really forgotten and forlorn – see for yourself!
I wanted to look out and see plants from the kitchen, and also be able to go and grab herbs as and when I needed them.
So we set about the following:-
1. We got the whole bed lined so that the office (the room behind) wasn’t going to get water coming through the wall, and everything was contained well.
2. Filled with soil (big job! who needs the gym!)
3. Planned out roughly what the bed should hold
4. Shopping at the garden centre (my favourite part)
5. Arrange the plants in an attractive way
6. Plant them all and water
Simple really – but this was the TO DO list I had. Breaking up the project into manageable chunks really helped to progress it quickly and not keep putting it off (which can be very likely in a task that is large like this).
Look at the whole picture
When I looked at what to put into the bed I thought about also adding in other plants to make the bed more interesting and add some extra colour.
I looked at the garden as a whole, and picked different colours for different areas of the garden (and different beds) – that way we get loads of colour but it doesn’t feel too busy, and feels a little more organised (which of course, I love!).
To ensure that we ended up with the garden finished how we wanted it, it was so important to think of it as a whole, and not just the bed we were tackling at that moment.
Its the same with your home, looking at all rooms and storage you have and allocating spaces to certain tasks and items makes it a lot easier to get it sorted.
And this is what we ended up with:-
I absolutely love it!
We chose white flowers to complement the green of the herbs, and spread the herbs around the bed so that there was a balance of texture, colour and food!
So far so good – we are a couple of months in now and everythings growing really well (the mix of English sun and rain seems to be a winner!), but I have learnt a couple of things already:-
Herbs grow FAST – plant them with plenty of space between each one as they will fill the space quickly – and the more you cut them the more they grow – which is great when it comes to having a constant supply for cooking.
Use them – it sounds silly but it would be so easy to just look at them and not use them – so we have tried a few things like adding them to breads and to meat – its also so nice to not have to spend a fortune on herbs when needed for a recipe – its money saving too!
Label them – Seems a silly thing to say really but just so that anyone can grab the right thing, labels work really well. We used gorgeous wooden ones ** that I simply wrote in black permanent marker (my daughter also labelled the flowers as hers!).
The results are a usable, interesting and good looking flower bed, much better than the empty one that was there before, and I hope to be able to report back next year (after winter!) that everythings still OK, theres always time for my non-green fingers to emerge ;o)
Its definitely worth having a go at your own herb garden, as you can either plant outside in a bed, in pots, or inside on the kitchen windowsill.
They are flexible and pretty easy to grow, cost a lot less than buying every time a recipe calls for fresh herbs, and they look great!
Whats not to love?
Do you grow herbs at all? I’d love to hear about how its going – please leave a comment below – thanks!