Monday, May 20, 2013

Growing Herbs, and Blue on Blue

My mother was a masterful gardener. She used to say, "Find out where something wants to grow, and then plant lots of it there." It's a good system. It makes you look like you really have a green thumb, when all you've done is just figure out where plants are happiest.

I''ve only grown herbs for two seasons, but I've made a few discoveries. First, I need LOTS of basil and LOTS of mint for the pastas and iced tea I consume all summer. (Here's Won Ton, showing off my newest purchase of basil (left) and mint (right)):

I've learned that mint is an aggressive grower. It needs to be corralled in a pot or by some system that will keep it in check. (If you just plop it in the ground, it will send runners out for yards and pop up in the most annoying places.) I grow my mint in a huge turquoise pot. The variety I grew last year, "Kentucky Colonel," didn't completely die out. Here are some behbeh sprouts, making a comeback around the edges of said pot:

I'm going to put the new mint in the center, where last year's plant has all died out.

I've learned that rosemary is quirky. Here's a Very Unhappy Rosemary plant, that started dying almost from the day I put it in a pot:

But right next to it is a Very Happy Rosemary, in the same kind of pot:

What is the difference? I'm sure I don't know.

I've learned that while I can grow basil in a pot, it REALLY likes growing in between tomato plants:

 Mr. Baby Basil, happy as a clam.

And it does NOT like growing all by its lonesome, four feet away from said tomato plants:

 Mr. Bitty Basil Plant is NOT a happy camper.

I've also learned that, when I see a bushy blue delphinium at the garden shop that literally makes me stop in my tracks and say, "AH!," that plant needs to come home with me.

Where shall I place it? It looks terrific sitting on the arm of my Adirondack chair, but that makes it hard to sit there:

It looks lovely tucked amongst the blue pots of herbs:

But maybe I'll put it in the ground near my turquoise bird bath:

I hope it thrives there. Mom would approve of the blue-on-blue, I'm sure.

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