Hi – My name is Anne and I’m a gardenaholic. Hi Anne… My addiction to gardening began about 15 years ago. I woke up after living in my house for about a year and a half, and saw the potential for colorful gardens, rooms full of cut flowers, and collections of adorable garden art. My gardens are probably the thing I am most in love with at my house (OK housemates and Muffin excluded), and the thing I will miss the most if/when I move. I built them all from scratch, and I know the botanical name, and history of every single plant on my property. I was there when they were born, when they spread out of control, when they had children that popped up in unexpected places around my yard, and when some of them had to go to the compost pile because they outgrew their space. I felt like I lost a family member when some of my plants didn’t emerge from the ground in the spring, because they didn’t make it through the bad winter. I have spent more money on plants, fertilizer, gardening books, garden art, new plants to replace the plants that got eaten by the deer, and more garden art that won’t break when we have a hurricane – than I care to add up. My front garden is a little bit late this year, but this is what it will look like in about 2 weeks:
It takes my breath away every year. Funny thing though, as much as I love to grow flowers, I hate to grow vegetables. I think it’s like baking- too much science and not enough creativity. They require far too much attention, precise amounts of water, sun and fertilizer, and even then you wait all summer and hope that you get what you planned for, but often (at least in this part of the country) you don’t.
I do grow herbs though. They are forgiving like flowers, and they allow me to be creative in my cooking. Nothing perks up a dish like fresh herbs, and for some reason, the food tastes even better when the herbs come from you own garden (I guess I would say that about vegetables if I had the patience). A while ago, I wrote about ways to reduce salt, sugar and fat in your meals, and cooking with lots of fresh herbs is one of the easiest way to do that. As a bonus, herbs can offer lots of health benefits because many are high in antioxidants.
The best thing about herb gardening is that you don’t need lots of space. Even with the huge gardens I have, I prefer to keep my herbs in a pot on the patio, close by so I can run out to snip even if I’m in the middle of making dinner. If you haven’t planted your herb garden yet – it’s time to get your hands dirty! And if you need help deciding what to grow, or how to use various herbs in the kitchen, please read this excellent and helpful post by Lauren Innocenzi , which ran on Eatright.org.
Do you have any favorite herbs?