Sunday, 6 September 2009

Planning a herb garden

My poor neglected blog! You'll (hopefully) be glad to know that I haven't got any less "herb-y" in my blog absence, I've just been really busy with other things.

One of the herbal things I'm working on at the moment is planning a small herb garden for my mum, who is turning her whole garden over to growing fruit and vegetables. I've been using a really helpful book called "Growing 101 herbs that heal" by Tammi Hartung, which takes you right through the steps of planning a herb garden (and which, funnily enough, was given to me as a gift years and years ago by none other than my mum!)

Now she's a busy lady so the focus of this garden is on herbs for cooking and for teas - no potion making (unless I'm visiting and just happen to have a bottle of apple cider vinegar stashed in my bag ;-). I've suggested some of the teas that could be made up on the plan below. As Christine has a tendency towards respiratory complaints such as bronchitis and coughs, I've included a couple of herbs specifically for this: white horehound and hyssop. These are not herbs I've used before so I look forward to meeting them.

Here is the rough plan I've drawn up (click on it to view larger):

Next week I'll be off to the Herb Centre at Banbury to go herb shopping - how lovely! I shall give some progress updates and photos from the garden once its planted.

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  1. Hi Elizabeth, sorry there wasn't time to send any herbs back for your mum with Caz last week. Can I ask why you want the feverfew? Ok, it's good for migraine prevention, but it also gives you quite bad mouth ulcers and will burn the inside of your mouth if you eat it fresh. Might fennel be a better bet, since your mum can use it for cooking and for chest problems. I don't see any sage or thyme, both of which are a must for cooking and for chesty things. It might also be an idea to grow some elecampagne if you have room - wonderful stately plant with beautiful blooms and you can use the roots for respiratory problems. Remind me to give you some of the hyssop/horehound syrup I've just made. Your mum can try it out and see what she thinks.

  2. Hi Sarah, thanks for your message. I just asked Caz on the off chance as I know you sometimes have cuttings looking for homes. :-) Good idea about the fennel, I'll swap it in instead of the feverfew. Sage and thyme are going to be in another part of the garden, but yes definitely there (and I expect I'll do some harvesting on my visits to make that lovely sage vinegar). The syrup sounds great - I seem to remember that I saw you had a date for syrups and cordials later this year, I'll have to check the date and see if I can make it. (Still need to deliver your sample of herb gardener's hand cream!)
    Best wishes, Elizabeth