Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Herbal Tea Garden: How-To

   A few years back one of my farm girls was a master gardener apprentice at our local extension. Her weekly assignment there was the large herb garden. Peace and tranquility came from those precious days among the scents, sounds and savories...she longed for such a place here at home. After some serious consideration and planning, our herbal tea and rose garden became a reality.
   The first thing she did was deep till the soil and remove as many grass/weed clumps as possible. Barn gleanings were added to amend the soil, then worked in.
   Our next feat was making raised rows in the soil. Each row is raised about a foot high for good drainage and two feet wide for easy reach. The rows vary in length due to the layout of the plot; a square ripple from the central point- our windmill.

   The path way between the rows is being lay with wood and wood chips. Although not pictured here, we have placed weed barrier cloth under the wood to keep growth down. Once old fence boards were set in place, wood chips were scattered over top for ease and comfort.
   Once vital key to the herbal garden is mulch; lots of it. Leaf clutter is our primary source; applied deep and seasonally. When side dressings of compost are given to nourish the plants, leaf mulch is easily brushed aside and reset. I love the natural look of the mulch and the contrast of color it adds.
   While herbs provide lush beauty in the form of varied greens and deep purple, our girl loves color. To resolve this deficit, she intermingled hibiscus, lantana, marigold, nasturtium, and a variety of roses. These majestic additions lend not only color, but height as well. Recently there has been added a few berry canes and small citrus trees...bringing a new element to the garden.
   The herbal tea garden fulfills our farm girl's desire for solace and peace; it's beauty lends her calm in the storm. Her goal may seem accomplished, but with gardening that is never so..our tea garden grows and changes with each passing season. Some things vary and change as our needs and creativity may lead us, but some things remain the same...His grace is always found in the paths and rows of the beauty growing here.


Dicky Bird said...

Good ideas. I have some herbs in raised beds...well, now it is just mostly...herb - spearamint. I have to get tough and cut it all back and dig most of it up. Then maybe some of the others will grow better. Blessings from Wisconsin.

Simply Scaife Family said...

Admittedly, we regularly have to give each other a pep talk and dig back the mints (even thought they each have a raised bed of their own--they travel!). Our goats/chickens/donkey love it as a treat..makes us feel a bit better. We also offer the divisions up to friends interested in growing mints. Thank you for visiting!

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