Gardening: How to get the best of your herbsBy Linda Fort
April 10, 2012
A number of my herbs – kept in pots by the back door – have died over the winter.
I suspect that failure to water over the long dry winter months may be the cause.
A visit to the garden centre has procured plants and seeds to replace the lost stocks.
Years ago I used to visit a pick-your-own fruit farm which had a huge ornamental herb border which I greatly admired.
I loved the subtle beauty of the leaves and flowers.
Once again as I pot up purple, ‘Tricolor’ and common sage (Salvia officinalis) I am reminded of that lovely herb bed.
It makes me determined to plant more of my pots with herbs this year.
I will keep my flowering pots for the front garden and plant more herbs in containers to put in sunny spots in the back.
I have a bronze fennel which always makes a tall ornamental plant.
It has been placed carefully in the centre of a paving stone, this time, because the last time I planted it, it grew enormous and I found it had rooted down into the ground through a crack in the paving.
I had to break the pot to get rid of it.
As well has the beautiful sages, I have flat leaf parsley, coriander, chives, common thyme and apple mint.
The lemon balm, common mint, rosemary and more several ornamental thymes have all survived the winter intact.
Elsewhere in the garden I have planted more raspberry canes after the failure last year.
I am quietly confident that these canes will finally produce raspberries worth eating.
I am watering them diligently – the early spring drought did for some of the new canes last year – and I am hoping the varieties Tulameen and Polka will turn out to be good choices.
Tulameen is a mid to late-season raspberry and Polka is an autumn-fruiter. I do not expect a crop this year, but next year I dream of abundance.
- This week, the annual Reading in Bloom competition was launched and you will soon be able to pick up the leaflets in libraries and public buildings across town.
You will also be able to find entry forms in the Reading Post and getreading over the next three months so keep a lookout.
The contest is open to domestic gardeners – on their own or clubbing together in community groups – to businesses, pubs and restaurants and allotment holders.
Whether you have wide open spaces or windows boxes, there is a category where your horticultural skills can shine.