Herb gardens old and new

Actually, before I launch into talking about my new and old herb garden, the main news this month is that I have new chickens. The idea is to breed meat birds from them – I’ll keep you posted with how that’s going! We went to Melton Mowbray Rare Breeds auction and I bought a breeding trio (that’s a boy and two girls) of Light Sussex.

Light Sussex cockerel

Light Sussex cockerel


Sorrel and Alex also decided to get into chicken keeping and came to the auction too. Sorrel only planned to buy three hens but the black and white one in the pic below was all on its own so she had to bid for it!

Wyandotte bantams

Wyandotte bantams


Right now to tell you about herb gardens. Last summer Keith built me a huge raised bed right outside the living room window to use as a herb garden. Previously the space was just bare concrete and we sometimes felt rather disconnected from the garden in the house. I’ve planted it up with around 30 culinary, medicinal and cosmetic herbs including mint, thyme, St John’s word, comfrey, sweet cicely and yarrow. This month it’s really off to a great start and I can see already that some plants will need lots of controlling – the yarrow is already invading the winter savory. But all in all, I’m really pleased with it and am sure it will look better and better as the season progresses.

New herb garden

New herb garden


Some of the plants came from the old herb garden. This is a rather grand term for a large box outside the back door! The box eventually rotted so badly I had to deal with it.

Old herb garden

Old herb garden


But once I’d dismantled it, I was left with a pretty non-descript space:


Keith solved my ‘what to do now…’ dilemma with a few huge but spare pots:


Other news on the herb front is that my plants for sale are coming on well. I was a bit late getting this off the ground as it was so cold and snowy and I didn’t have a propagater – next year will be better (isn’t that what all gardeners say?)

Herbs for sale

Herbs for sale


Elsewhere in the garden, we’ve been tidying up lots, sowing vegetable seeds, mowing grass and all the usual springy things.

I have been working on my organic herb course for Garden Organic, and am hoping to be doing some more teaching at Warwickshire College.

About Home on the Hill

Organic gardening, chook keeping, permaculture, knitting, sewing, cooking, in lovely Warwickshire in the English midlands.
This entry was posted in Chickens, Herbs and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Herb gardens old and new

  1. Sarah Head says:

    Lucky you getting some fowl! I don’t think you can ever have too much yarrow – I use it for oils, tinctures, tea and loads of other things. If you’re worried about it taking over, you could collect the leaves as they come up, cut it and dry it and then you’ll have it ready for tea whenever you need it. Once you’ve got a couple or more handfuls you can make some infused oil – fantastic for bruises and old wounds. I’ve just made a salve for someone at work to massage into her damaged finger.

  2. Linda Lee says:

    Thank-you for the beautiful ideas. I am not that creative, but great at mimicking. I never apologize for it. I love people like you that share the magnificence of their imagination. Thank-you, I am looking forward to summer.

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