Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Herb Garden Dreams

The Maumee Valley Herb Society Herb Garden at the Toledo Botanical Garden photo by herbgardener 12 via Flickr

This picture of an herb garden in Toledo has inspired me to push back the grass in my backyard just a little more.  Don't tell my husband.  But, really I think he would enjoy a scene like the one above just as much as I do.  He'll realize that when he sees it...I hope!

Besides the picture, there's a book that I've been getting inspiration from.  Herbs!  Creative Herb Garden Themes and Projects is 192 pages full of tips and ideas.  Author Judy Lowe is an award-winner writer and editor who has many years gardening with herbs in many different climates.  She has covered just about everything you could possibly want to know to get started with herbs and enjoying using them.

Herbs! Creative Herb Garden Themes
and Projects

by Judy Lowe
Cool Springs Press
paperback, 192 pages
Here are just a few items from the book that might make you want to head out to the yard and start digging:
  • An aromatherapy garden with herbs to soothe or invigorate
  • A pickling herb garden 
  • A biblical herb garden with an herbal tree feature
  • A Victorian herb garden
  • A tea garden
  • An herb garden for Thai cooking, or one of many other culinary themes
  • A Harry Potter garden with herbs that might be used at Hogwarts
  • Find out which herbs attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds
  • Get suggestions for an herbal wedding
  • Cook with recipes to go along with many of the garden themes
  • Visit a public herb garden
  • Find out how to use the herbs you grow

I'm partial to illustrations in gardening books.  They play to that dreamy aspect of gardening when everything is still possibility and potential.  Elayne Sears' paintings at the start of each section kind of kick-start your imagination that way.  Then, Lowe's suggestions and growing information about dozens of herbs help you get practical and begin to realize your herb garden dream.

I also like how the author encourages adding herbs to your landscape, rose garden or in with your vegetables.  There's no need to designate a separate spot for herbs, but if you want to, you have lots of options.  Many herbs do well in containers and some tolerate shade as well.  Everyone should have at least a few...that's my opinion, but I'm sure Ms. Lowe would agree.


Cool Springs Press provided a copy of this book to me with no expectation of a positive review.  But, as a rule, if I take time to write about a book here, I liked it.