Friday, May 25, 2012

Herb Gardening.

I have to admit that I love herbs.  They spice up foods deliciously, they make drinks more delectable, they have health benefits galore, and most have fragrances that delight the nasal palate.  Add to this the fact that they are very attractive plants and you have a most dynamic combo.  Did I mention that many of them are highly attractive to butterflies and bees too?  I've just got to have them!

Many of the herbs in my yard are planted in this 4 x 4 raised bed.  At the back are Lemon verbena, common sage, French lavender, and Genovese Basil.  Just in front of the Lemon verbena is a Cinnamon Basil.  In the front are Lemon Basil, Pineapple sage, and oregano.  Raised beds are a good bet for herbs in the Southeast because they offer well-drained soil which is essential for many herbs that originate in the dry soils of the Mediterranean region.   I have plans to finish filling out this bed in the future.  I definitely don't have enough basil!

Some other herbs that I have planted around my yard are bronze fennel, dill, rosemary, parsley, garlic chives, and onion chives.  In containers I have chocolate mint, spearmint, and lemon balm.  There are so many myriad uses for these herbs that I could literally have a blog entry for each one - any maybe I will in the future.  For those of you that want a quick start, then I recommend basil, rosemary, and any of the mints.  These plants are practically unkillable.  In fact, don't plant mint where you don't want it to take over.  Rosemary thrives on neglect, as long as it is in full sun.  Basil grows like a weed and is delicious.  Get started in herbs and you'll never be able to stop.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"Superieur" than Most

In my growing up years I always admired the sweetly fragrant, profuse, and healthy roses that my Paw-paw grew in his yard.  We were forever picking bouquets of these cute little rose blooms to bring in to Maw-maw and make her day.  When I grew up, I realized that these roses were the heirloom China rose that is seen all over the South, Cramoisi Superieur.  

The blooms are crimson with darker petals on the outer edge and lighter ones inside.  The size is rather small, usually no more than 3" in diameter.  The fragrance is a light, but noticeably sweet one that is very pleasant.  

This plant blooms almost year round in the South.  This year's mild winter really made for non-stop blooms.  They are especially profuse in the spring.  

My plant has not reached full size yet.  It came from a cutting off my Paw-paw's roses.  I wanted to get mine from his roses because of the memories.  This is one of the healthiest roses on the planet.  I have never sprayed it and I have yet to see any disease on this plant.  The leaves are a rich bluish-green that contrast well with the crimson flowers.  This is also one of the easiest roses of all to propagate from cuttings, which makes it easy to pass along to friends and family.  Highly recommended for the no care yard!