Herb Garden Reboot

The herb knot in the snow a few years ago.

The herb knot in the snow a few years ago.

You know you’ve lived somewhere for a while when it’s time to replace perennial gardens you planted.

One of the first gardens we established when we moved in eleven years ago was the herb garden. That garden is now looking sad—the plants are aging, and this summer’s dry hot, weather took a toll. The beautiful Celtic knot of lavender and rosemary is overgrown and the plants are dying in patches. The clay pots we nestled into the ground to contain the mint are cracked and crumbling. A few of the surrounding shrubs are dead.

We’ve also been talking about some changes to the flower garden that flows into the herb garden. When we turned it from driveway to garden about seven years ago, it was meant to be full of annual flowers, but no matter what I’ve done to it, it still feels like I’m digging in a driveway every spring when I plant out the annuals. Perennials would really make more sense there.

It’s time for some planning!

2016-04-03 13.15.16 smMy daughter went out there this afternoon with clipboard and tape measure and measured off the area, including features we want to keep, but ignoring everything else. I took those numbers back to the office and made a scale drawing of the space on the computer.

Now comes the fun part.

I’ll print out blank copies of the space, and we’ll scribble garden ideas on them. The pages will float around the house. We’ll draw ideas over breakfast, after dinner, at odd times of day and night. We’ll list all the things we “need” to have in the garden. We’ll take our sketches out into the yard to try to visualise them. We’ll argue about how many rosemary plants we actually need, whether the lemon trees would prefer the warmth of the northeast side of the house or the better soil on the southeast side, and how many artistic installations is too many.

We’ve got roughly 285 square metres to play with, which I’m sure will seem like not enough as we plan, but will feel like way too much once we’re in there pulling out plants and reconfiguring the space.

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