Indoor herbs

indoor herbs tended.wordpress.com

I can grow fresh herbs year round in my garden. But there is something about herbs growing in the kitchen. They’re right there, ready to use, they look pretty, and they smell amazing. Most herbs will grow quite happily next to a window. They will need more water than your houseplants – probably twice a week. Small leaved herbs (lavender, rosemary, thyme) won’t need any special care. Basil and mint will want their leaves washed occasionally or they will get spider mites. That’s about it.

The other thing you can do is think of them as cut flowers and just replace them with new plants when they start to look ratty. It’s still less expensive than buying cut fresh herbs for cooking. You can get potted herbs most of the year at Trader Joe’s.

Two handled vase from Wisteria. Small bowl made my my mother.

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Italian Kitchen Gardens

Kitchen Garden in Cinque Terre, Italy

This is just one of the Italian kitchen gardens I saw in Cinque Terre. Gardens ranged in size from big to tiny, but they all used every square foot for growing herbs, fruits, and vegetables. None were anyplace close to the size of an American yard but they supply their households with all of their produce year round.

Even the smallest plots were gorgeous: they were all beautifully tended and used only natural materials – stacked stone, gravel, terra cotta, and supports and edging of lashed-together wood.

All the gardens I saw were very simply arranged, in rows or grids. Trees and taller plants were planted along a wall, fence, or on the north side of an open garden, so they wouldn’t shade the shorter plants. Plants were grouped by water requirements: rosemary and thyme don’t need much water, tomatoes and basil need a lot.

Here’s what was growing: basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, sage, fennel, tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, and squash. Citrus, fig and bay trees were either in the ground or in pots placed right in the garden.

GET THIS GARDEN

Twig towers, supports and fences: build, build, or buy. And one more good one article with trellis, supports, and tomato hoops here.

I just go to my local nursery or hardware store for plain terra cotta pots, but there are some stunning ones here.