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greenbeans
25-03-2006, 23:34
what are the best plants for a beginner starting a herb garden?
we have grown a few herbs on windowsills before but were looking to go a bit more ambitious this year, and build up herbs for cooking, healing and beauty.. I have a book but it is a bit advanced. ideas? (oh, and I love nice smells!)

sharpchick
26-03-2006, 02:40
For perennials, I would suggest sage, a couple of thymes (one prostrate or creeping, the other upright), garlic, oregano or marjoram, your preference of mint (contained or it will wipe out the others) and lavender.

Depending on your climate zone, for annuals I like basil, rosemary, and dill (don't kill those caterpillars, they make monarch butterflies). . . and if you pot the rosemary, you may be able to overwinter it inside.

If you like pretty flowers also, you might throw in some nasturtium, calendula and scented geranium (the annual variety).

Don't be overly fussy with the herbs - with the exception of the mints, they prefer lean soil and to dry out between waterings to get the best concentration of oils in the leaves.

greenbeans
26-03-2006, 03:11
thanks for the advice sharpchick!

Silverkitten
26-03-2006, 05:35
If you like scents, one of my favorites is melissa, or lemon balm. It is a hardy perennial here in my zone 5, but it can get away from you like a mint so use caution where you plant it. I love to run my hands over it in the mornings when I walk the garden with my coffee.
Another is Anise Hyssop, that I like for the same reasons. It has beautiful leavesthat smell of black licorice, and puts out tall stems with purple columnar flowers.
Also there is Monarda, or Bee Balm that has pretty pink or red flowers, is a beneficial herb tea, and the butterflies and hummingbirds love it as well.
For color variations you could grow some Tri-colored Sage, White Sage, and/or Artemesia. They all flower with purple or red flowers too.
Oh and be sure to include chives. They are very easy to grow, have a cute little purple flower bulb, and return every year.

Those are just a few of the things that I love that are in my herb garden that were not already mentioned. As previously stated, don't be too fussy with herbs, they pretty much seem to take care of themselves.

Donna

Ankou
27-03-2006, 00:12
I love herbs, but have no real green thumb to speak of. The herbs that seem not to mind my bad gardening skills are, chives, basil, dill, rosemary,oregano and I'm going to try sage this year.

I also recomend lavender from a start, even if it doesn't bloom for you the leaves have a wonderful fragrance of their own. Also keep some marigold near your herbs out side, it adds color is easy to grow and keeps most bugs at bay.

Happy Gardening!!!

Ankou

wizzle
27-03-2006, 04:14
Parsley. Somehow home grown parsley is always better than the store bought kind.

You might want to visit some herb gardens in your area for additional ideas about what grows well where you live.

redflash
27-03-2006, 05:56
This thread has come at just the right time ! Our garden is waterlogged from too much rain at the moment but as soon as it dries up a bit I am all ready to start on my first ever herb garden, can't wait ! I want to be able to add my own fresh herbs to food, but I also need them for spells / incense / charm bags etc. I have a terrible record when it comes to keeping plants alive so I'm hoping I can make a go of it x

sharpchick
27-03-2006, 06:32
I have found most herbs to be fairly easy to grow - very good beginner's plants.

I live in the deep south United States and my summers are very hot and humid. There are always a few plants that will not hold up to our summer climate, but I haven't really wanted to grow any herbs that would have a problem here, except white sage. In the US, it is grown in the mountains of California, where the summer humidity and heat is much lower. I content myself with buying white sage smudge sticks.

redflash
27-03-2006, 15:48
I have found most herbs to be fairly easy to grow - very good beginner's plants.

I live in the deep south United States and my summers are very hot and humid. There are always a few plants that will not hold up to our summer climate, but I haven't really wanted to grow any herbs that would have a problem here, except white sage. In the US, it is grown in the mountains of California, where the summer humidity and heat is much lower. I content myself with buying white sage smudge sticks.


Summer, hot, humid? Ahhhhhh yes I remember what that means, its when that big yellow thing in the sky comes out ! LOL we don't see it much here!

greenbeans
27-03-2006, 16:17
I know what you mean redflash, it is supposed to be spring but its cats and dogs outside!
thanks for the ideas everyone, this will be a good starting point for my very un-green fingered self!

jayelemx
04-04-2006, 19:04
mints are lovely in pots. sage & rosmary go good together. Vervain. Lemon verbena is gorgeous. So is chamomile. Happy planting

HudsonGray
05-04-2006, 10:33
I'm in zone 5 and find that basil (any kind), mint (catnip, spearmint, etc.) and chives are the strongest, fastest growers here.

sieteveins
16-11-2006, 10:06
Our garden is waterlogged from too much rain at the moment but as soon as it dries up a bit I am all ready to start on my first ever herb garden, can't wait ! I want to be able to add my own fresh herbs to food, but I also need them for spells / incense / charm bags etc. I have a terrible record when it comes to keeping plants alive so I'm hoping I can make a go of it x

For that kind of garden i recomend Pennyroyal (Menta pulegium) and Plantain (Plantago lanceolata). They are "weeds", but also are very useful and noble.

BodhiSeed
16-11-2006, 10:31
If you aren't going to be moving any time soon, I highly recommend building raised beds. It's easier to amend the soil and these beds provide excellent drainage. I use bone meal, compost and fish emulsion for fertilizer and rely on Neem Tree oil for pest problems (all organic).
My favorite herbs to grow:
basil, rosemary, chives, lemon balm, catnip, lemon verbena, thyme
Living in the Deep South (South Georgia) keeps me from growing a few plants because of the heat and humidity, but that's probably a good thing -- otherwise I'd turn my yard into an herb farm!

Good luck!
Bodhran