Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Garden 2011 - Part 2

The Sparrow Haven 2011 garden is complete. The herb garden, and a few chili peppers, have been planted. Just in time, too. It has been raining several times a day since Saturday, which was an absolutely gorgeous day.

Saturday, PeterC had a riding lesson in a small town in Quebec. I tagged along with my nalbinding and sat in the shade watching him ride the halflinger gelding, Johannes. The wind was cool but the sun was very warm. Of course I managed to get sunburned, even though I was in the shade.

You're probably asking "what does that have to do with gardening?" Well, on the way home we passed through Alexandria and decided to see if the Canadian Tire there had the herbs I wanted to plant this year. They did have decent looking tarragon and rosemary plants, so I grabbed a pot of each. They also had a styro-pak of really lovely chili pepper plants. I was surprised since chili peppers are not a popular garden plant around here. I didn't plant chilies this year but I couldn't pass up the chance to get healthy plants, many already with blooms forming.

Sunday, we went to the Cornwall Canadian Tire. In the past this has been the only place to get herbs, much less healthy ones. This year was very different. The herbs had already been picked through and the ones that were left were in a fair state of, well disaster really. The only individual plants that looked okay were plants I never intended on buying. I sucked it up and purchased winter savoury, a perrenial, lemon verbena for teas, a sad little chamomile plant, and a common sage, also a perennial in our zone (zone 4a-5 depending on who you ask).

To get the basil, marjoram, and coriander I wanted I had to buy two different "kitchen planters" which included even more herbs I hadn't planned on buying. In the end I got two decent looking basil plants, 2 more sage plants including a purple one, a coriander, a curly leaf parsley, two more rosemary plants, french lavender, and a variegated marjoram.

We planted everything as soon as we got home and about two hours before the rain started falling again. We set up a blue barrel planter for the chilies in front of the house. They should get 6-8 hours of sun there and they will get watered every time it rains, along with all my other garden beds.

If all the plants survive, and do well, I will be drying even more herbs and peppers this fall. If I am really lucky all the perennials will make it through the winter and I will have only half the space next year to fill. Hopefully the nursery will have a better selection of herbs for next year.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

what are you doing with all the herbs. Drying them, but how long do they last for flavor, what uses do you have for these?

Dee said...

HI,

I cook with a lot of herbs in my daily meals so dried herbs don't actually sit around to long. I have found that if they are dried completely then sealed in an airtight container the flavour will last a long time, a couple of years at least.

The basil we use in pastas, pestos, etc.
Coriander is for any Mexican and some Indian dishes.
The rosemary we use for beef and lamb.
Sage, which dries well on the bush is used for chicken, turkey, and some beef dishes.
Marjoram is the same as basil.
The lavender is a new herb for us so I have to learn how to use it.
Chamomile, lemon verbena, lemon balm, mint, and catnip are for teas and making the cats very mellow.