The herb patch

When Andy and I first looked at the cottage in 2012, we partly picked it for the good sized garden (for the price) that came with it. I knew that I would want to remodel it, as it hadn't been at all well planted, but when I lost Andy, just three months after moving in, gardening was the last thing on my mind and for a couple of years I left it all to do its own thing, while I tried to recuperate and regain my own life. Which eventually, I did.

I always had this small patch of garden ear-marked for a herb patch, including bee friendly flowers.  It was a fairly picturesque huggle-muggle of things randomly planted by the previous owners, which looked pleasant enough in the summer, but not so much in the winter. And most of the plants were weeds or 'thugs' (as Jean-next-door calls them). I've always found pots to be a useful and quick screen; they look pretty and cottage-y, and you can shift them about to change the scene.

There was also the issue of the hideous washing pole set in the centre, in a  lump of concrete, which was a labour of Hercules to remove.


Not to mention the rampant pussy willow trees by the fence, which blocked the view and drained the patch. So they went too; I'm not a fan of cutting down trees, but I'm also not sentimental about removing things if necessary. Then the whole lot was cleared and deep dug, as there were years of embedded roots choking the soil.

We put a couple of small troughs in, which the birds enjoy. 

Over the last three years, I've gradually cleared it of everything, but with finances being so rocky and my mental collapse last year, it's remained static, apart from a couple of thyme plants which are thriving. I honestly didn't know, this time last year, if we'd even still be here in 2019. Happily, we've turned things around and for the first time since moving here six years ago, I've been able to look ahead and even buy some small herb plants.

I've had enough time to mentally plan how I want it to look, and to start with, I have put in some quick growing lemon balm to hide one of the old tree stumps (which annoyingly won't come out). The rest of the fence side of the bed will have hardy, bushy perennial herbs such as the curry plant, sage and rosemary cuttings, which will eventually grow to a good height and fight off the grass, nettles and weeds that are always trying to invade from the neighbouring field.  


It's very much a work in progress, as I'm planting slowly, carefully and within my means, but  I hope that at some point, this bed will be chock full of useful and insect friendly plants.


There has also been a lot of seed sowing - which means more garden clearance. It's the best therapy I know, and I am grateful for Spring arriving in good time.


Lin said...

It looks great! And will be even better when you see the plants blossoming in their new home.

Shrimpton and Perfect said...

Fantastic job Gretel. We've been in our house 2 years now and are still
renovating the house as and when we get the funds and of course the time. We've only done a bit on our garden so far, but each time we finish one bit more it feels great. Gardens are a joy I'm glad you've started remodelling yours and making it your own, it will always bring you pleasure.

Jess said...

I'm the same with trees, I wouldn't remove one unless it was necessary and if it's to make room for your new plants then it has to be done! Your garden's going to be fantastic, there's no better way to cook than with home grown herbs.xx

the veg artist said...

Looking good! I'm someone who keeps every seed packet they come across, things I'd fancied growing and never got around to as well as freebies. Can I ask - is there anything in particular you'd like to try that you don't have seeds for? I can't be the only one with well-intentioned seeds looking for a new home.

Caroline B said...

I'm glad you are able to get to grips with the garden this year - it's the greatest therapy, especially when the weather is like it is at the moment. Have fun!

BumbleVee said...

I'm so glad you have decent weather ... already. Well, already we had a few days of pretty decent...but, it snowed again today and was pretty damp and dismal.

It'll be so exciting to see all your little plants and flowers when things really get going.... bring on the bees and butterflies..... woohooo......

Soozcat said...

Oh, you can already see how beautiful it's going to be!

Tiffany Dawn Smith said...

It *is* the best therapy, no doubt.
Also couldn't help but think of your washing pole removal as Excalibur :D
Greta, I used to read your blog back in 2010/2011 and am so nostalgic to see you are still at it. Back then, I was "Zen Forest" though I wouldn't expect you to remember.
It is so nice to be back. What a sanctuary this quiet blogspot space can feel like, oddly enough, if you find the right folks.
Happy Friday to you.

x Tiff

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

It looks fabulous! I cannot wait to see all of your progress. I am not very good with growing things, I like to plant posts but I always end of being overzealous when I water them.