May 14, 2009

My Herb Garden

I have an herb garden! My first one! :) Every summer my lovely neighbor Michele always has a huuuuuuuuuge, absolutely gorgeous and LUSH vegetable and herb garden. Right out her back door! She has really gotten me hooked on cooking with fresh herbs. This year, the weather has just been so nice and I’ve been looking for an excuse to spend more time outside- I decided I wanted to  give it a try myself! :) We have a front flower bed that looked *pathetic*.  See, here’s a pic..

It’s the one on the right, under the window. Ok, it doesn’t look that pathetic in this pic. But you’ll have to use your imagination here with me. See how it has those 5 bushes? Well, we moved two of them- I can’t remember why now, leaving only 3. And it looked really sad and empty. Then one of the remaining three bushes died. Like two years ago. And we never dug it up. Pathetic. I know.

My lovely neighbor Michele has rosemary and lavender bushes in her backyard and they stay evergreen. I thought it’d be cool to replace those standard boxwood bushes we had (that everyone else in the neighborhood has too) with rosemary bushes- It would smell great and I would have fresh rosemary year round right out my front door! :) I asked Michele what she thought and she agreed and gave me the idea to use lavender bushes as well- she suggested doing 5 bushes like this: rosemary, lavender, rosemary, lavender, rosemary. Then in the front I could fill in with some other herbs. So this past weekend, that’s what we did! :) Kevin dug up the old bushes, then tilled the bed. We put some good soil on top and tilled it again. Then I got to work planting my herbs! :)

{ Rosemary Herb Landscaping Bush }

Here’s one of my little rosemary bushes. It’s tiny now, but I really hope it thrives and grows. Michele’s has *doubled* in size since last summer and it is huge! (It’ll be 3 years old at the end of this summer)

{ Lavender Herb Landscaping Bush }

And here’s one of the lavender plants. They smell so good! :)

{ Italian Flat Leaf Parsley }

The herb closest to the house is parsley (Italian or flat-leaf)

Sweet basil

Then there’s the sweet basil…

Oregano

And Oregano…

Thyme

Thyme…

Stevia

And Stevia. Ok. I admit. This was a complete impulse buy. The salesman totally sold me on this and got me to buy it. :D Since this was my first trip to the nursery, I had someone walk around with me and hold my hand the entire way. ;) In the herb greenhouse, he picked off a leaf of practically every plant and was like, “Here! Eat this! Here! Try this one!” He even cut off a little baby asparagus head and was like “Here! Eat this!” LOL. When we got to the stevia plant, he was like, “Here, you really have to try this one!!” I did and OMG. It’s so SWEET! Eating one of the leaves tastes like eating a spoonful of sugar!! He said you can dry the leaves and crush them into a powder (I’m going to try it in the blender) and use it as a sweetener! Freaky! I totally have to give it a try. :)

And here’s a view of the whole bed:

{ My Herb Garden }

That’s the rosemary and lavender you see in the back row, and in the front row, starting in the bottom left-hand corner and going to the top right-hand corner, that out of focus plant is parsley, then basil (the only one in focus! :P), then oregano, then thyme, then the stevia. Got that? ;)

I also got two more plants to sit in pots on my front steps.

spearmint

This is spearmint. Pop one of these leaves into your mouth and it tastes better than spearmint gum! :) It also works better as a breath-freshener than those Listerine strips. ;)

lemon thyme

And lemon thyme. I’ve never cooked with lemon thyme before, but this stuff just smells soooooooooo good. I just couldn’t pass it up. :) And I bet it’d be great on chicken!

So that’s it! I hope all my little plants thrive and grow- and I especially hope the rosemary and lavender fill in and grow up to be nice landscape bushes. Keep an eye out over the summer and I’ll keep you updated with how they’re doing- and any yummy recipes I’ve made using them! :D

And if you’ve never grown herbs before, let me encourage you try it! :) Now’s the time to bring them home from the nursery and get them planted. Even if you don’t have a bed to put them in, you can pick up a one gallon pot and sit them outside somewhere where they’ll get plenty of sun. (Ask the friendly folks at the nursery how much they need to be watered.) At least get you some parsley and basil! :) (If I could only have 2, those are the two I’d get :))  And if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as best as I can! :)

And before I go, I have a winner to announce! :) The winner of the Scrapista 2009 mega scrapbooking prize pack is #4 Megan! :)

blog-giveaway-winner1

Congratulations, Megan! Your suggestion of a color class was a very popular one!! :)

Thank you so much to everyone who commented, I had a wonderful time reading through all of your excellent suggestions!!! I will have a hard time narrowing it down!! :)

Thanks for looking! :)



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49 Comments





1
Sherrie May 14, 2009 at 12:42 am

I love, love, love your herb garden. That will be so nice to have once it gets going. Keep us informed. I keep parsley, basil and rosemary in pots in my conservatory(UK). I love having fresh herbs around to use when I cook. And I have used the lemon thyme it’s wonderful on chicken or salmon and fish too.

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2
Heather R. May 14, 2009 at 5:00 am

your boxwoods looked like those commercials for the signal bars for that cell phone company! Very funny. Good luck with the herbs. I planted lavender last year and it not bloom but this year it has buds on it….so soon I should have pretty lavender blooms. Maybe I can make some potpourri.

http://www.groovygirlthoughts.blogspot.com/

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3
Cheryl Fillers May 14, 2009 at 5:13 am

I love that your getting into herbs. I have had an herb garden for several years and so enjoy them. I grow lots of herbs for eating and for medical too.
Fever few. comfrey. tansy. lemon verbena.and soapwart. peppermint.
Thanks for sharing. Cheryl
ps plantain and dandy lion and ragweed , clevers, nettles grow wild here in East TN.

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4
snarflemarfle May 14, 2009 at 5:23 am

Wow! That herb garden is going to be beautiful! We have a rosemary bush in front of our house and it really is lovely when it blooms…beautiful, tiny purple flowers! And it’s so fun to snip off a branch and use it in dinner. And I in our little nursery run a few weeks ago, I had to get some mint. I love making mint tea and you gotta have mint to make mint tea! (it’s got mint, lemonade and orange juice concentrate and it is oh so delicious!)

Thanks for sharing your life with us!

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5
Emily May 14, 2009 at 6:00 am

Good Morning Amanda!
I definatly want to start an herb garden this year, hopefully I will get the chance.

Also, there is a new product out that you can use instead of sweetener and guess what it’s called??? STEVIA! They say it’s a natural sweetener, and I didn’t believe them until reading your post!

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6
Janet B May 14, 2009 at 6:00 am

Thanks for the great idea. I’m tired of our boxwoods. They’re overgrown and out of control. I think I’ll head over to the nursery over Memorial Day weekend and get some herbs. j

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7
Tamara May 14, 2009 at 6:15 am

looks great!! I just wish I could smell it throught the computer screen!! Have fun with your garden!

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8
Crystal May 14, 2009 at 6:27 am

Love the herb garden! Guests walking up to your front door will be welcomed with such delightful smells! It was very wise to plant your mint in a planter…that stuff spreads like wild fire!

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9
Crystal May 14, 2009 at 6:57 am

Love the herb garden! Guests walking up to your front door will be welcomed with such delightful smells! It was very wise to plant your mint in a planter…that stuff spreads like wild fire!
Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

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10
Robin May 14, 2009 at 7:22 am

Amanda, you should also plant some different kinds of basil — there are so many! We usually just plant tomatoes, peppers, and basil to make pasta sauce. I love to make a sandwich of just sliced fresh tomato between two large leaves of basil. Yum!

Will you also cook with the lavender? I’ve had lavender tea. I can just see you now, posting later on about making sachet wands out of that fresh lavender.

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11
juls May 14, 2009 at 7:23 am

i love gardening and have some herbs just waiting to be planted along with about 20 other plants. we have 4 nice size planters tha we use for veggies but i plant my herbs in a container just outside my french doors.

love your house so pretty!!

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12
Catherine R. May 14, 2009 at 7:25 am

Great start on the herb garden Amanda!

I know you will LOVE it!!!!
I have been putting herbs in for many years.
I like the convienience of having them close too so I always put them right outside the side door of our garage!

I especially love my basil and cilantro! Can’t get enough of those two with pasta’s and salads!!
I usually groupput atleast four plants of each.
Being Sicilian I must have my oregano, basil and flat leaf Italian parsley along with lots of others!

I have been buying liquid stevia for a few years now. (have never found the plant though) I have the plain liquid and the one called Lemon Drop. They are actually in a dropper style bottle that is easily totable in my purse, which I love. I can use it in iced teas and water and all kinds of foods when on the go. We use the little packets at home. It’s always available at the health food stores and available in many flavors.

I wanted to give you a heads up on the mint… some will root and spread like wildfire and it is almost “impossible” to keep it in control. It’s wise to keep it in a container. You can put it in a larger container and then just sink that container right in your herb bed.

Your house is lovely, please, post new pics of your herb garden for us as they mature.

Have a great day and I ADORE your blog!!!!! ;)

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13
Carla May 14, 2009 at 7:41 am

Great job with your herb garden. I do have a question, what type of camera do you use. All of your pictures are so crisp, clear.

8 – )

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14
Pam May 14, 2009 at 8:12 am

I just bought herbs for the first time this weekend. I got some of the same ones as you, but I also bought lemon verbena. I don’t know how you use it but is smells fantastic! I will have to go back and get the stevia!

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15
Stefany May 14, 2009 at 9:13 am

Hey Amanda,
We’ve been using Stevia for YEARS and am glad it is finally being approved by the FDA to use publicly. I went to a restaurant a while ago and saw packets at the table! We have a plant too and love it. I am an ice tea gal and a leave in your tea works great (also ground into your Mojito mix is FAB!!!)

Good luck on the herbs. My father-in-love made me a salad bar box. (as seen on the Today Show!) I can wheel it around on my back porch when the sun moves, it is quite handy.

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16
Heather S May 14, 2009 at 9:13 am

It looks great Amanda!! You will enjoy that this summer!

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17
Jacqui May 14, 2009 at 9:18 am

goodluck with it all, looks fantastic!!

http://www.jacquiandjeff.com

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18
Kim May 14, 2009 at 9:28 am

I love the thought of growing fresh herbs. I tend to have a black thumb though. Let us know how it goes.

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19
Pati May 14, 2009 at 10:42 am

Wow, looks good! A couple of weeks ago I planted seeds for thyme (my favorite), cilantro (2nd), parsley, oregano, marjoram, dill, a couple flavors for basil, and a few others that I can’t remember at the moment. I can’t wait until they grow a bit so I can smell them, let alone use them! I grow many of them in my greenhouse here in AK since it can be alittle chilly for some of them, not quite the mediteranean weather they like. I haven’t had any luck with lavender up here :( The stevia and mint sound good, so does the mint tea recipe from another commentor! :)
I always love your pics. What lens did you use with your herbs?

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20
Amanda May 14, 2009 at 11:47 am

Carla & Pati,
I used the Canon XTi and my 50mm 1.8 lens. More info about my camera and equipment can be found here. :)

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21
Ashley May 14, 2009 at 12:44 pm

That’s adorable! They’re so tiny! haha.

I loveeee using fresh herbs, I’ve wanted an herb garden for forever! My mom has one and every time I visit her I steal a big handful! hehe. I’m going to have to try this, but I think it might be too late this year? Oh well, I can always do an indoor one! :D

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22
Alicia May 14, 2009 at 12:59 pm

mmmmm! wow they look great! photos are always fantastic!

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23
Linda May 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Amanda, I have wanted to write for so long to tell you thank you! One morning I woke up and you were the answer to one of our families prayers. No kidding! Our daughter had been working on trying to do a blog for me. We wanted to have it have our look and it was getting so hard. That very morning you had sent out the email about doing your own “blog background”. I couldn’t hardly wait until she woke up! She started working that very day. You can come over and see. We started taking pictures of things in our house and fabric.

Today I put up our favorite herb recipe using lemon verbena. Hope you enjoy and just know that you are a blessing to a lot of ladies!!!!! If it were not for you that day, we would still be wondering what to do. Thank you again for all that you do. Oh, love your pictures. I got my herb garden in last week.

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24
Ashley May 14, 2009 at 6:48 pm

the garden looks great! I would love to have a garden, but the hubby and I live in a small apartment with no place to plant anything… maybe when we move. haha…

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25
Amy May 14, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Hi Amanda,
I love your garden it is so cute! I bet is smells so good! What a great idea! So do you know does it have to be a warm climate? Im not sure what part of the country you live in? Thanks for all your ideas i love them!

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26
ashley morgan May 14, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Love it! We have had so much success with our herb garden over the years that it inspired us to try veggies this year.

I love stevia, and I’ve never seen the actual plant for sale. I’ll have to keep an eye out. I buy Truvia (which is stevia) packets at the grocery store.

And you’re a very smart girl for putting the mint in a pot. We didn’t know what we were doing when we first planted our herbs, and mint spreads like crazy. Good thing I love it!

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27
Jessica May 14, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Nothing better than cooking with fresh herbs! So beautiful!

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28
Linda May 14, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Sorry Amanda, messed up on my the url for my blog. Can’t wait to see how you use your herbs.

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29
Michelle May 15, 2009 at 12:51 am

Love your herb garden, you have me wishing I had got those herbs when I planted my Veggie’s. I almost bought some a few weeks ago when I planted my normal bell peppers and also habanero pepers there suposed to be really super hot…lol BF likes super hot peppers so we will see how they turn out. I had to plant all my veggies in containers cause of us moving as soon as we find a place. I did give in and buy one of those topsy turby tomato planters…lol Yes I am sure its not going to work but I have to say my tomato plant has really got to be a pretty good size for the short time I have had it. It still has a ways to go so we will see if the plant lives to produce anything. Well now that you have gotten a green thumb you will be hooked on growing your own. I know I was, I did it for the first time last year and when I went outside to picky my own fresh veggies that I grew it made me feel so good. Good luck with yours….

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30
Susie May 15, 2009 at 6:52 am

Great Job Amanda! You are such an inspiration! Keep us posted on the progress and thanks for sharing.

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31
Stephanie Arnold May 15, 2009 at 12:18 pm

CUUUUUUTE little garden :) Hope the little bushes get big so you can cook up some good food & gimme some recipes ;)

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32
Lynn May 15, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Hi Amanda! I never thought about putting one in an existing bed. I’ve used pots, but always dreamed of having an herb garden in the back yard. Next time you visit the nursery, get some chives. They are very hardy and last through all kinds of winter. They are great on eggs, salads, potatoes….very versatile.

Yours looks gorgeous. I am still green with envy on your laundry room, but think if I go by the same rug for my laundry room I will feel much better!!

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33
Jennifer May 17, 2009 at 11:05 am

I’ve been wanting to plant an herb garden… you’ve sparked my interest even more! I think tomorrow I’m gonna try to convince the hubby to go downtown and buy herbs so we can plant them together! We have strawberries, tomatoes, green peppers, spinach, and blackberries growing thus far…. why not herbs! :D

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34
cynthia May 17, 2009 at 8:57 pm

I really love you blog and have never left a comment before so I thought now would be a good time! I am about to redesign my blog and was wanting to know how you do everything at the bottom of your posts {the signature, dividing bar and comments link}. All your tutorials are very helpful and I would really appreciate if you could tell us about that. Thanks!

Cynthia

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35
cynthia May 17, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Something else random that might be helpful to someone: I noticed in you tutorial on blog scrapbook backgrounds that you couldn’t find rulers on PS Elements. I have Elements 6 and I was able to view the rulers so I could make a background without downloading a new program. I just had to go to view, and select rulers. Then I changes it to pixel the way you showed. I could not figure out how to create guide lines though so I had to create a white block in another window than add it as a layer and use the rulers to place it. Which worked just fine!

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36
Karen May 18, 2009 at 6:16 pm

There is something so simple and rewarding about growing your own, isn’t there?? Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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37
Jodi Erstad May 18, 2009 at 7:41 pm

Amanda,
You will really enjoy your herb garden! There is nothing like “fresh” basil and garlic in olive oil!

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38
Christy May 19, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Your pictures are perfect. I am looking for a good camera, can you tell what kind of camera you use or would advise to purchase?
thanks!!!!
c

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39
Christie May 22, 2009 at 10:16 am

Just stopping by to say hi from Erin’s blog. Looks like a great herb garden, by the way–and your blog is so stinkin’ cute! I’ll have to browse some more to get a look I really like with fonts and stuff. I’m excited ! Hey, I’ve heard of that stevia stuff. It’s supposed to be much better for you than sugar and all the sweeteners we use here but the FDA won’t approve it for some reason like Americans consume way too much of anything and so they don’t know how good it is in large quantities (but what is?).

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40
Niki Redenius May 24, 2009 at 11:22 pm

You are so flippin’ talented! I can’t handle my jealousy! :) Be super careful w/ your basil, though. It will get wiped out with any hint of a frost! I’m so proud of you that you’re teaching a class at a big workshop! Brent is looking over my shoulder right now, he wants me to tell you that we will be ordering our fall pics soon. We needed to stock up on frames and figure out where we would put them all. :) Love ya! Have a great beginning of summer!

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41
sohobutterfly May 26, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Mmmmmmmmmmm! I have a little herb garden too, and I must admit there is nothing better!!

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42
Kristin May 27, 2009 at 1:04 pm

I love Lemon Thyme. I dry some and save it for the winter and add it to my stews and pot roasts! It has such a wonderful smell and flavor!

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43
Misan May 29, 2009 at 3:45 am

Hi!

Sweden calling! I really, really like everything you do and am spreading the word to all my friends!

As for your herbgarden, may I make some suggestions? When planting many of the same sort, stick them together otherwise the feel of your garden will make an assymmetrical disorder. Did you know that lavendal attracts butterflies? Also, cut down those plants app. 10 centimeters every spring otherwise they will become woody and ugly. Good Luck and All the Best//Misan

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44
Jamie June 1, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Hi Amanda! I am so behind on reading blogs. Your new herb garden looks so neat and that sounds like such a good idea for spicing up some yummy chicken on the grill this summer. I hope everything is growing well.

Josh is out of town this week but maybe we could get together for lunch or dinner soon. Hope to hear from you soon!

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45
Cate O'Malley June 1, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Nothing beats fresh herbs – you’re off to a great start!

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46
Jenny August 23, 2009 at 11:24 am

I love the pictures of your garden!!! I have my little garden in my kitchen and I love to cook with fresh herbs. I have to recommend you this website which is ABSOLUTELY fabulous. http://www.rouxbe.com
It has videos on how to make some amazing recipes using fresh herbs and quality ingredients. I love this site and I thought you might like it as well.

Happy cooking!! :)

Jenny.

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47
Scott Badger February 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm

I enjoyed perusing through your website. I think it is formatted nicely and flows as one would expect. Finally, I enjoyed your comments which tell me that you are a couple with a great personality! Keep up the good work!

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