When it comes to no-maintenance herbs, I am an awesome gardener.

The herb garden

My growing-like-mad herb garden on the south side of the Manse; I am very proud of it. Note nice new sign! (A gift from Raymond.)

Having yesterday shared with you a gardening tale that may very well have no happy ending – that is, my wish that I could grow lavender here at the Manse – I thought that tonight I would post something about my big gardening success story. It is… my herb garden!

Which, as you can see from the photo above, looks extremely healthy indeed. It’s just what I hoped for when I ruminated long ago about my desire for a flourishing herb garden. And doesn’t its newly acquired sign (a gift from Raymond) just add the finishing touch? (Along with the nice bit of bright-red colour from the adjoining oil tank, of course.)

Yes, my tarragon, sage, marjoram, rosemary, basil and especially Italian parsley and oregano are doing very well indeed. In fact the Italian parsley has, unfortunately, overshadowed, overgrown and kind of killed off my previously happy chervil. And the oregano has gone nuts.

My one issue with the herb garden is one I’d never faced with previous herb gardens. It gets so much sunlight, and the soil seems to be so accommodating, that things are growing a little too well. In addition to the aforementioned Italian parsley and oregano, the curly parsley is showing signs of overgrowing and not being nice anymore. I now think I was supposed to cut back these plants a bit when they started to grow so well, to keep them under control. But since never before have I had a herb garden that grew so prodigiously, I was blissfully unaware of this requirement. It’s a lesson for next year.

Anyway, the best thing about my herb garden is that herbs basically need zero maintenance – aside, I guess, from cutting them back a bit when they get too boisterous. This means that when it comes to herbs, I look like a success as a gardener even when I’ve basically done squat.

Now that is my kind of gardening!

7 thoughts on “When it comes to no-maintenance herbs, I am an awesome gardener.

  1. The only thing you need to cut back on a parsley plant is any sign of a shooting flower head. Keep using in in cooking to control the overgrowth Basil also lasts longer if you keep the flower heads nipped off. Oregano always seems to go wild, but pruning back at any time of the year will not harm it. Chives will winter over as well, but they spread their seeds far and wide, also true of lemon balm.

  2. herbs are wonderful for that. sage and mint i had to put in a pot or else they’d take over. but that took 3 years to get around to.

    • I knew about mint being best put in a pot, Pearl, but advice to do that with sage as well is new to me. Bug given how much my sage plant has grown and spread this summer, it now makes perfect sense to me – thank you!

  3. These are beautiful, Katherine. You’ve done a great job at filling that space near the oil tank. And your other photos of the gardens at the Manse are wonderful, too. I wish I had your expertise when it comes to growing basil. Mine never does well, so I’ve stopped trying. All of the other herbs that I grow in clay pots on my balcony do very well, but basil never makes it.

    This year, with the sad news that the impatiens were in serious trouble, I planted tuberous begonias. I knew beforehand that sometimes they have issues with fungus, and now I’m finding this out. So, off to the garden centre to buy sunny New Guinea impatiens. Live and learn, I guess. If you have any tips about how to grow basil successfully, I’d love to read about it. Thanks.

    • Sash, you are the first person ever to ask me for gardening advice! I am thrilled and humbled. My experience with basil is not that extensive, but I’ve never had trouble with it – though now that you mention growing it in pots, it strikes me that when I did that at our place in Montreal, the basil didn’t do nearly as well as any time I’ve planted it in the ground. If you are limited to container gardening, maybe it would be better to plant the basil in a really big pot that has lots and lots of earth and space in it. This is pure surmise and guess on my part, but my gut tells me it’s right. I hope it might help!

      • Thanks, Katherine. Now that you mention it, it seems that anybody else who has had success with basil has grown it in the ground. I don’t get a lot of sun on my balcony, but yet the other herbs all do well. So, I think you’ve nailed it with the basil. I wonder if the same is true for my poor tuberous begonias. The waxed begonias are OK, but the bigger ones are in bad shape (soon to be replaced by New Guinea impatiens.)

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