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One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides.

~W. E. Johns~

Sage, Rosemary & Time

March brought rain and a mix of cold and warm weather. On one of those rainy days, I tackled the stack of gardening magazines left over from last year and came across several articles on cooking with fresh herbs from one's garden - published in the summer issues.

Great suggestions: 'spice up store bought pasta sauce with your fresh oregano, rosemary and thyme", "make basil pesto", "harvesting herbs", etc. What good are these articles if you didn't plant your herbs in the spring?
Gardeners everywhere are rediscovering the pleasure of producing their own herbs. While the selection in grocery stores has expanded, the freshness and flavor of home-grown herbs is far superior.
Herbs can be interplanted in the flower and/or vegetable garden, you can even grow them in pots on your kitchen windowsill. Grow them from seeds or buy small starter plants at your loacal nursery (and in some locations at the grocery store).

Annual and Biannual Herbs - usually grown from seeds

Sow seeds directly in the garden since, generally, they do not transplant well. Harvest seeds in late summer or let them self-seed for next year.

  • anise - annual
  • basil - annual
  • caraway - biannual
  • chervil - annual
  • coriander - annual
  • dill - annual
  • parsley - biannual

Perennial Herbs - grown from seeds or starter plants

A few herbs, such as mints, need to be contained or they will overtake a garden. Plant them in a clay pot or a large metal can/plastic bucket withe drain holes sunk into the ground.

  • chives
  • fennel
  • marjoram
  • mint
  • oregano
  • rosemary
  • tarragon
  • thyme

Care and harvesting

The soil does not have to be especially fertile, little fertilizer should be used. Generally, highly fertile soil tends to produce excessive amounts of foliage with poor flavor.

Fresh leaves may be picked as soon as the plant has enough foliage to maintain growth. To ensure good oil content and flavor,, pick leaves or seeds after dew has disappeared but before the sun becomes too hot. For dry, winter use, harvest leaves before the flower buds open. Pick the seed heads as the color changes from green to brown or gray. Wash dirty leaves and seed heads in cold water; drain thoroughly before drying.

Roasted Rosemary Walnuts or Pecans

  • 2 cups shelled nuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 teaspoons crumbled dried or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Melt butter and mix in remaining ingredients, pour over the nuts. Roast in oven for about 10 minutes until browned, shaking the pan occasionally.

Store in mason jar, cookie cannister or tin. Place a pretty ribbon on the jar and give as gift! Delicious!


April in the Garden:

Label your plants :
Plant Daylilies:
Put out Hummingbird feeders: