Garden in review: Part 2

Herb garden

BASIL. This was my favorite herb. I used fresh basil several times a week, and loved it. Also, I made pesto this year for the first time! (Which I plan to do more of in the future but I'd really like to get a food processor first. Chopping cups of basil leaves took a considerable amount of time when I was doing it by hand.) I found a great recipe, made some up, and then spooned it into ice cube trays to freeze them. Then I popped out the cubes and put them out into a freezer bag. I've used some of those cubes already- on homemade pizza, in pasta, and in spaghetti and pizza sauce. So good. And *so* much better than store-bought pesto.
Next year: Plant more basil. Make lots more pesto!

ITALIAN-OREGANO. I used this maybe a dozen times. It was nice to have on hand.

ROSEMARY. This plant grew beautifully (and smelled great) but I rarely use rosemary, and I think I only used it once this year.
Next year: none.

DILL. Our dill grew fine for a few weeks and then it sort of died out. I used this only once or twice.
Next year: none.

CHIVES. I used our chives a few times.
Next year: none.

THYME. I liked having fresh thyme on hand.
Next year: yes.

CILANTRO. This is the herb we would have used the MOST (next to basil) in our garden and yet... our plant was not healthy. I got one good picking from it this year for some Pico de gallo, and that's it. I had to buy cilantro several times at the grocery store and this made me crabby, since it was supposed to be growing in our garden!
Next year: more plants.

Overall, I loved having an herb garden. Aside from having to shoo the chickens out when they were in the yard, it was a good location, too. Next year I want to focus on basil and cilantro. (As many plants as we can cram in.) And add mint, italian-oregano, and thyme, too. (If there's room).

Here's our herb garden, newly planted. Unfortunately this is the one-and-only picture I have!


  1. Hi Stacy :) I wanted to suggest a couple of herbs that Ella might enjoy growing with you. Nasturtiums for "flower salads", and camomile for "flower tea." They are fun, and delicious, and pretty in the garden.

    I also like lemon verbena for tea, and cresses for tea sandwiches and herb butters.
    Love, Q

  2. We have a food processer you can have.
    We never use it and I have thought about getting rid of it but haven't because it is so nice and new-ish it seems wrong.
    I'll bring it next time I see ya.
    I love the rocks lining your herb garden looks SO great.

  3. Hi Stacy,
    I have attempted ot perfect my cilantro growing for years. One year it was fantastic, just one. I have no clue what I did different. What I have noticed (in Central CA weather - weeks of 100+ day's) is the herb grows better from seed and under a tree that gets a little shade during the day. (Maybe some protection from the intense heat). I plant in late April and by the end of early June I can harvest. I cut new leaves once the plant gets to looking like it can handle it, 5ish inches tall. I try to keep it topped, so it won't turn woody on me. Once the stalks get tough, I yank the plant and plant more seed. There are a few weeks in the summer I have to buy cilantro but ususally I can keep it growing through the fall.

  4. I think you'd be the perfect neighbor. I could borrow pretty much EVERYTHING from you!

  5. You can make pesto in the blender and if you add enough olive oil you won't even need to chop the basil! Also, if you like coriander, let some of your cilantro go to seed and dry the seeds to use. Mmmm, so yummy, I can eat the little seeds by themselves. A word of warning about planting mint- do it in a container, and set it on concrete, because it will take over your garden, your yard, and maybe your neighbor's yard too!
    How was that for a whole lot of unsolicited advice?
    Good job with the garden, and with the notekeeping on it.
    I found a book at the library called "Zinnia's Flower Garden" about a little girl and the flowers she plants and it's fantastic. Both the kids love it. It follows her through the year, from planting to cutting flowers, saving seeds, and dreaming of next year's garden. It's very sweet and educational too!
    Okay, maybe I should just write my own blog now. :>

  6. nice herb garden, i have tryed to grow herbs. but i didn't feeling good with it.

  7. Quinne,
    Thank you for your suggestions!

    ARE YOU EVEN SERIOUS? REALLY!?!?! Oh I would *so* love that!

    Thanks for the cilantro tips. We certainly don't have the heat problem like you do but who knew it was so persnickety? Maybe it's just not easy to grow? ... Next year we'll buy seed (per your suggestion) and give it another go!

    Wouldn't that be fun? :)

    I had heard that about the blender so I tried it. Didn't work (at least not in our blender). So then I had to pull out the oily basil leaves from the blender and chop them THEN.
    Thanks for the mint tip! :) Very, very good to know. And the books sounds great!

    Welcome! Thanks for stopping by!


  8. Stacy,
    Madi LOVES pesto, I will have to get your recipe. I have never made it before. Your herb garden sounds lovely, I have always wanted to plant one, maybe one day...though Dean's mom usually plants some and shares them with me :)
    --Carrie (from Indiana)

  9. I love growing herbs! After reading about your cilantro, I don't feel so badly about mine-- I had to buy it at the grocery store several times and was not happy about that fact, since I had TWO cilantro plants that were supposed to be supplying us with all that we wanted...
    Anyway, about pesto: I just learned this neat trick. Add a couple of crushed vitamin C tablets to your pesto and it will keep a bright green color! I don't know if it would stay bright even through freezing-- I've never frozen mine. But it's worth a try!
    And I love the rocks around your herb garden!

  10. Lovely!!!

    I'm going to start an herb garden next year -- i just love fresh herbs TOO much, and they are just TOO expensive at the store!

    Your garden is beautiful!

  11. I love the rocks around your garden, I grew basil, rosemary, mint & dill (used the dill in pickles yum).

  12. How much you must have in your garden. I have never been blessed with green thumb, and I admire so those who have the gift.

    I just came across your blog and thought I would say Hi. I enjoyed my visit.


  13. I am with you on the herb garden! Ours is still a container garden - right outside my kitchen door on our back patio. I love it because I can step out and snip a few of whatever I need and step right back in to snip them into the pot, bowl, etc!!!
    I grow tonnes of chives because we use them A LOT! And I also have trouble with cilantro. But we use basil, cilantro, and chives at least 2-3 times a week so I will focus on those this next season!!

    Thanks for your update - I have been looking forward to this 2nd installment!

  14. Stacy,

    You must be gardener extrodi-NAIRE, girl! Man, I only dream of veggie gardening, but you actually DO it. And with three little ones too. Amazing...guess that little excuse I use needs to go! ;) Mostly, I putter around with annuals and perennials. Anyway, I've loved reading about your garden. I'm back to the blog more regularly (I think) now.


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