Seed Swaps

Tenth workday; what's with this weather, part 2

29 Apr 2012
Cloudy 15°C / 59°F

So I started by spring work days in unseasonable heat in March. Now, at the end of April, when we’re typically over the hump, we’re dealing with freeze warnings.

It is supposed to warm up later in the week, so I was originally planning to hold off on a major rebuild/transplant project. However, it’s also supposed to rain every day, so I decided to take advantage of the clear, if cold, day and go ahead with it.

What I rebuilt was the Savory Bed. Finally put in a reasonable facsimile of a raised bed, which was the original plan for it, but I couldn’t figure out how to construct it, as the area is an odd shape. There are now these clever raised bed corners that allow you to do odd angles, so I was able to construct it. Naturally, it’s a hot mess, because this is the Queen of SIUY (Screw it up yourself), but it’s functional.

So I constructed the bed out of some wonderful hardwood scraps I found in the basement. All you woodworkers here avert your eyes, because it’s quality wood, way too nice for this use, but it was free. I had to dig out several massive, ancient herbs—a 15 year old oregano, a 5-year old taragon, venerable thyme—as well as several self-seeders: dill, parsley, coriander.

I laid landscape barrier, then filled the bed with today’s grass cuttings and _all_my compost. (This means that I can now rebuild the compost pile, finally, since it’s nearly empty at last.) I divided the massive herbs, and potted several up for an upcoming plant sale (first picture), then replanted the best of the bunch in the bed. I’m hoping I can train the thyme to trail over the side. Hyacinth beans to climb the lattice. Gonna try to get rid of the morning glory (wish me luck). There will be a concord grape vine climbing up the porch.

I’ve got some calendula volunteers that I’ll move over here between the bed and the iris, but I want it to get a little larger, and the weather to get a little warmer, before I move it.

I’d love suggestions for an interesting herb to put here. I’ve got room for two or three largish plants.

Picture 2: before (hooray! I remembered to take the before picture! Unfortunately, I also had some “during” pictures, but had neglected to put the datacard into the camera.)
Picture 3: After.

Not quite sure what I’ll do with the lower half of the area. Sage and rue are still there in the front (pruned because they were leggy and unweildy.) I’ve put a salad burnet and a wormwood in the raised bed, but may move them down so I have a kitchen area and an ornamental area. The rosemary will also go in the lower part.




Garlic chives are nice but they multiply quickly. I have sweet cicely in my Grotto Garden just so I can chew on a leaf now and then, fresh in season. I don’t have much use for it’s liquorish flavor but I like the fresh feminine look of it. It’s rather large.

Nice results with the wood. I love those ‘odd’ connectors; gets me thinking.

Posted on 30 Apr 12 (over 3 years ago)

How about Comfrey? It’s big and architectural-looking. If you want something you can eat a Cardoon is very cool-looking (although not an herb).

Posted on 30 Apr 12 (over 3 years ago)

How about lovage?

Posted on 03 May 12 (over 3 years ago)


Folia Helper

United States5

Love the lovage. It gets 3-5 foot high in the second year, but doesn’t get unruly. The scent is heaven and if you let it go to seed they are fantastic for cooking. The root has various medicinal and cosmetic uses. The stalks can be used as a celery substitute. In fact, it was so easy to grow that I doubt I’ll ever try growing celery.

Posted on 04 May 12 (over 3 years ago)

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