dolorosa_12: (pagan kidrouk)
[personal profile] dolorosa_12
I've been in a sort of hibernation, which is why you haven't seen me around these parts that much. Whenever I get into this state of mind, I tend to retreat back to basics: a lot of cooking, a lot of decorating. I suppose you could call it nesting. This weekend, I added gardening to the mix.

I've been growing a few herbs in our little courtyard garden for several years now: rosemary, thyme, and a mint plant that dies every winter and returns with the spring. This weekend, I also went out and bought a chives plant, some garlic bulbs (the kind that grow over spring and are ready to eat in late summer), and am contemplating adding basil (although I'm dubious about its ability to grow in the English climate), scotch bonnet chili, and radishes. I think that's about the level of my ambition so far, but if these all work out, I might try proper vegetables next year.

It's really important to me to live in a house that actually feels like a home, with pictures and photos on the walls, candles, flowers and pinboards around the house, and growing things everywhere. For years after I moved to the UK, this wasn't possible: I lived in student housing, or moved around so much that I deliberately kept only what could fit into two suitcases, and then my PhD funding ran out and I was living on what I could earn for the twenty hours my visa allowed me to work a week. So I'm deeply grateful to be in a situation where this kind of gardening, nesting and slow building of a home is possible.

Those of you who garden — particularly in the UK or a similar climate — feel free to recommend other herbs and vegetables that you think I should grow. Herbs I use a lot include parsley, coriander and chives, and cook with a lot of chili, garlic and tomatoes, but anything other than that that you think I've missed and that would be easy to grow please tell me about. Any other tips (especially re: gardening techniques, essential equipment etc) would also be gratefully received!

How have your weekends been?

Date: 2017-03-12 06:04 pm (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
I expect I'm in a different climate zone than you are (I'm in south eastern Michigan in the US). I've had very good luck with sage of various types and with winter savory. Both of those do pretty well even when I don't water them (we do tend to get rain) and can overwinter even when it gets quite cold. My raised beds get about six hours of sunlight a day.

Some types of sage grow, over a few years, into bushes, and depending on your space and aesthetics, you might want to replace them every four or five years. Winter savory also sort of bushes but stays very low to the ground. There's new growth every year at the tips of each branch, but everything closer in stays leafless, so the plants get kind of ugly over the course of a few years and may also need replacing.

Date: 2017-03-17 07:27 pm (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
Golden sage and purple sage stay low to the ground or, at least, have done in my raised beds.

Pineapple sage doesn't, and I wouldn't recommend it as a sage anyway because it doesn't taste or smell like sage. The pineapple in the name is moderately accurate in terms of the scent.

If you're sure you can keep it confined to a pot, something like lemon balm might be pleasant. It smells wonderful, but it's a mint, so it will try to take over any space it can get at. Mint of any type, including catnip, will do that. Mints also cross-pollinate if they're close enough together, and what results may not smell or taste as nice.

I mostly grow herbs for scent. I'm allergic to a lot of scented flowers, so I've experimented a bit with other things that smell nice.

Rosemary can be grown well in a pot. It won't survive much cold weather, but it will overwinter if you can bring it inside. Fresh rosemary is amazing for cooking, and cutting bits off makes the plant branch and get fuller.

Date: 2017-03-12 06:10 pm (UTC)
kayim: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kayim
My hubby is a gardener and has his own blog at

Comment on one of his posts and ask for some advice - we're also in the UK and he'll be able to advise you on what is best to try and grow! Feel free to tell him I sent you!

Date: 2017-03-13 01:27 am (UTC)
venturous: (Default)
From: [personal profile] venturous
GROW BASIL!!! if you get sun, it will grow. Don't start it outside until the ground warms up a bit. In July it will make bushes of fragrant leaves.

I love lemon balm, but like a mint, it will spread, so contain it in a corner. Parsley is a biannual - plant should winter over once, and stays green in a warm winter or sheltered place.

try french breakfast radishes - they are long and deep pink & white, and a great early crop. also, refreshing not to bitey.

not sure about if I'll garden this year. new job eats all my time.And last year was a big disappointment except for the cucumbers.need to add better soil.

enjoy your nesting. I have spent a year anti-nesting and I'm envying my friends who keep making their houses nice and pretty.

Date: 2017-03-13 10:13 pm (UTC)
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
From: [personal profile] cloudsinvenice
Herbs are one thing we've had unqualified success with; the mint, if anything, rapidly got out of control! So far you've got the same things as us, and more, but as per the earlier comment, a neighbour has successfully grown basil, indeed in a sunny spot, so it seems worth trying.

Mum got us a pink enamelled tin bucket with a sweet pea growing kit in it, and we just got some free tree sees from the Woodland Trust that need to be potted, so we'll be doing that in the next couple of days.

Date: 2017-03-13 02:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My mum has successfully grown basil for two or three years now, and Finland has a lot harsher climate than the UK, so I think you should be fine.

Date: 2017-03-15 02:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, you're the third person to recommend basil (here and on Dreamwidth) in a similar or colder climate, so I think I'm going to give it a go.

Date: 2017-03-13 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Your garden and home sound lovely!

Date: 2017-03-15 02:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you!

Date: 2017-03-25 11:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love chives. I'm so happy they grow here where I don't have to buy them. We also have raspberries in the summer

Date: 2017-04-01 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, they're delicious! Mine are thriving, which is great.

Homegrown raspberries must be AMAZING!

(By the way, sorry for the slow reply — LJ comment notifications don't seem to have come through to my email, so I didn't know you'd commented until I logged in.)


dolorosa_12: (Default)
rushes into my heart and my skull

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