herb garden beginnings

It looks like this week we will have nice weather for winter – 40’s and 50’s – for the week. That means I need to get my rear in gear and start my herb garden.

We had a lovely spot in Missouri that actually did quite well for us first-time herb gardeners. I think the key here was that the compost was augmented with gravel and sand so it drained well.

Step one: get me to the recycling center. I need to drop off my plastic and cans, and they also have corrugated cardboard that you can pick up for free.

Score one for intolerance: Just got back from recycling center where the lady behind me in her car kept honking at me and got out and yelled at me because I didn’t move my car up in the line fast enough and hit the disabled workers! Later, the guy behind her told me she must have been off her meds! I’m thinking no family visited her during Christmas! Peace be with you crazy lady!

Step two: mark out the area. We will be taking out some of the lawn under the dining and breakfast room windows. You lay down the cardboard (or newspaper) as weedblocker. The best time to do this is in the winter (not spring or summer) as the grass is generally dormant. I need to decide how we are going to edge this garden so to separate it from the very invasive lawn. I am thinking something like this or this.

Step three: pile on a mix of horse manure, sand and pea gravel. Most herbs like very well drained soil and I think where people go wrong is overwatering and not letting the plant’s roots get dry. Owning horses, I have a source for plenty of horse manure 🙂

Step four: remove a tree. This little seedling marked the grave of a hamster and the kids insisted that I leave it be. However, it is now huge and growing right out of the house foundation so needs to go. I feel bad about killing a tree, but it’s had a good run.

Step five: put up a screen (this couldn’t be the aforementioned tree as the tree was 8 feet out of place). This area is close to a neighbors window and she just happens to be very obnoxious. It would be funny to put up something borderline white-trashy as this would really tick her off. However, for our conservative neighborhood, most likely it would be a lattice. I really like this and this but I don’t think I would be able to find the right sized branches in the quantity I would need to make it happen.

Instead of working with a spade, I would rather imagine the plants I’ll be putting in:

Anise Hyssop

Basil (at least 3 varieties)

Bee Balm



Lemon Balm

Marjoram (which I prefer over Oregano)



Sage (two varieties)

Savory (winter and summer)

Tarragon, Sweet



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