Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Herb Garden Dreams

Sundial
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.



14 comments:

  1. Hmmm...I need to add that book to my collection! It's funny, I was just going through all of my seeds, doing inventory for the business, and thinking how happy I was that I expanded our herb garden last year. I keep tucking herbs into perennial boarders and flower beds as well, because there's nothing better than walking by and crushing a few leaves for an instant pick-me-up. However, I will be moving my Provence lavender from the front walk border, because as much as I love it--poor Mikey got stung last year from the bee party. It needs a different location, because bees by the front door aren't necessarily welcoming to everyone. ;-) You will love adding more room for your herb garden! Thanks for the info about the book--I'll look for it!

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    1. Julie, the aromatherapy of herbs (and also other plants like even tomato or sweetgum) is reason enough to grow them in my book. Lavender is one of the best! You'll enjoy that no matter where you put it.

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  2. This sounds like a must have book! I love the idea of a Harry Potter herb garden. My younger boys are both into Harry Potter right now and this sounds like a fun way to tie in gardening.

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    1. Karin, there are several garden themes intended for children in this book. I thought the Harry Potter garden sounded great, but there are lots of other fun ideas, too.

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  3. Great garden themes. Sounds like a great book for ideas of plant groupings. I love herbs.

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    1. It kind of helps someone like me focus a little bit, Janet, and not buy one of everything. For a pizza garden, you just buy the things you would use on a pizza...no need to get that Spanish lavender this time.

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  4. I've got big plans for an herb garden too! I want to put in a long stock tank container, like a trough, and consolidate all my potted herbs into that on my deck. Right now I have a million little pots cluttering up the space. I think this will look nice, if I can find one that fits the idea in my head...

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    1. Jen, I'm not sure how big you want, but you might be able to make one like the one in your head. Here's a cool article you might be interested in: Make Your Own Hypertufa Container

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  5. Alas, all my herbd, save rosemary, go in containers on the patio. We thank the deer for that. They love them some herbs! KLB

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    1. Deer are such a frustration! Usually herbs are quite deer resistant, but there's almost nothing they completely stay away from. I've never had them bother any of mine (unless you count rosebuds in the herb category), even with herds grazing through the backyard. But they love the azaleas. And hosta, daylily, sedum...these are all regularly eaten to the ground.

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    1. Your blog is lovely, Angel. Thank you for stopping by.

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  7. What fun theme ideas for herb gardening! I'll have to check out that book. I can't wait to read more about your progress. Happy gardening!

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