IF YOU USE A LOT OF HERBS, why not design a small, formal garden in which to grow them? I did just that for my own array of aromatics, utilizing a sliver of land on the west side of the house. Here, in a 19×26-foot space outfitted with raised beds, gravel walks, and comfortable seating, are all of the herbs I use for cooking. Have a look:
Here are the contents of the raised beds (pictured above, in clockwise movement): #1 Bok Choy, a stir-fry indispensable; Lemon Verbena, a must for white wine; and Lovage, a celery-flavored perennial. #2 Flat-leaf parsley for flavor and garnish; lavender ‘Munstead’ for icing cupcakes; common sage, which I fry as an appetizer, and cilantro for salsa verde. #3 Green leaf lettuce, purple sage for who-knows-what; French tarragon for sauteed mushrooms and herbal mayonnaise; pelargonium ‘True Rose’ for vodka drinks, and rosemary for shirred eggs. #4 Red oak-leaf lettuce; oregano and thyme for pizza and pasta sauces; winter savory for winter stews.
Because this garden is located in the “L” formed by two wings of my house, fencing was needed on just two sides. Climbing the fence are morning glories on the west, and cucumbers on the north. Interspersed beneath these are purple and green basil, and white, evening-scented nicotiana.
Seating, to me an absolute necessity in any garden, is here provided by a rocking bench, two Adironack-style chairs, and a table that seats four. All these are placed at the south end of the garden. There the hot afternoon sun is tempered by a wing of the house.
Colorful sights, pleasing scents and comfortable seating — these are the things which make this herb garden a relaxing retreat. Why not plan a similar venture for your own enjoyment? If you use, as I did, inexpensive pressure treated lumber for the fence posts, wire mesh for fencing, pea-gravel for paving, and simple pine for framing the raised beds, you will find this satisfying, easy-to-maintain garden can be achieved for about $150. Really.
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