Friday, August 13, 2010

The Herb Circle

Well a month has past since my last post. I've been dealing with a shoulder injury that has prevented me from doing much work in the garden, plus it's so miserably hot as well, so the inclination to do much gardening has not been there. With a month of images to post I thought I'd start with the herb circle. Early last fall, an article in one of my gardening magazines caught my eye. It showed a small bed divided into triangular shapes using bricks. It was beautiful. Figuring on trying it on a smaller scale, I cleaned out the very small circular bed a co-worker helped me put in. First, it needed something in the center to serve as a focal point. Glancing around, I quickly realized that my favorite bird bath with dragonflies would fit the bill and placed a cement paver underneath to stablize it. Some rocks for drainage, soil and sedums quickly filled up the basin. Some rocks dug up in the garden were placed around the plants to add more texture. Don't the sedums look great? I love the feel of running my hand over them. [too bad two of the three have now almost bitten the dust since I planted them. Two weeks of rain came down after they were planted and I guess their roots got water logged. bummer. At least the Dragon's blood one is still alive... so far anyway.]
I was going to originally divide up the circle into pie pieces with rocks but being such a small bed it seemed a waste of planing space. Also, the herb circle soon became part herbs and part temporary bedding space. Several divided plants ended up here - a bunch of Stella D'Or daylilies, Coreopsis, Shasta Daisies, and Gallardia. All of these seem to really enjoy the bed because a year later they've spread and some of them have been move to other beds in the garden. The herbs I planted this spring, on the other hand, are hit and miss. The catnip is doing well. The Genovese Basil and Thai Basil wanted to go on life support a few times but finally seem to have taken root. The three different types of parsleys and the dill were quickly found by the caterpillars and eaten to ground level. I actually had expected that and was willing to sacrifice those rather than the other plants in my garden. And the butterfly population has gone up this summer. And if those little buggers would stay still long enough I'd have non-blurry images to prove that! The two plants that are really struggling are the lemon balm and spearmint, which is odd. Both should be doing well in the heat and dry dirt. But then, killing plants that are supposedly "easy growers" and "the plant you can't kill" seems to be my speciality!


  1. I love herb circles but sometimes the brick pie slice effect can look a bit prissy. I lke how you have edged yours - is it an iron ring? You're doing well with your sedums in the birdbath, given how much drainage they need. And lucky to have butterflies - virtually none here :(


  2. Hi, Laura! It's just metal edging. Eventually I plan to add pavers around it to pretty it up and hopefully help with keeping the Bermuda grass out. I swear that stuff is like cockroaches. No amount of pull, hoeing, pickaxing, etc. seems to be able to keep Bermuda from working its way back into the beds. The sedums are unfortunately dying on me. I think I may have to try another type next summer. The butterflies have totally been worth sacrificing all the parsleys. They add such life and movement to the garden.



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