Basil, coriander and dill are annuals, parsley is a biennial, flowering in its second year of growth.
Basil flowers are insect pollinated, and different varieties flowering within around 150’ of one another may cross. On a garden scale, if you want to grow several types of basil, just keep picking the flower stalks off of all the varieties apart from the one that you want to grow for seed. Once several flower spikes have set and the flowers have started to wither, mark those spikes for saving seed from, and you can then allow the other varieties to flower. The seeds are ready to collect when the spikes turn brown and dry out. Don’t worry about the seeds dropping out – they are well attached, and actually need quite a lot of rubbing to free from the dead flower heads.
I say Foeniculum vulgare and you say Foeniculum vulgare var. azoricum
Each morning I pick a beautiful green bouquet of leaves from the garden to juice. I use cabbage, kale, dandelion, tansy, mint, tarragon, rocket, radishes (including roots and leaves) and chard. I add cucumber, ginger, a lemon and a green apple. Learn more
We were introduced to the notion of aquaponics in our permaculture course, so I thought I would do a little research into how it works to see if it might become part of the permaculture design project.
So what is aquaponics? Learn more
February is a good time for planning next steps. This part of the garden stands alone and so it is easy to plan this bit without having to make a definite plan for the rest of the garden. I’m starting small with a self contained project, this helps me not to get overwhelmed.
At the moment, I have all my herbs in pots at the front of the garden, there are concrete slabs that I hate and stones and bushes. I don’t like the area and some of the bushes are non-native and not serving a purpose. I have some good healthy herbs at the moment in pots and will be able to recycle the stones to go in a path in zone 3.
I’m thinking of building a spiral herb garden in my zone 1 right in the front of my house. A spiral herb garden is is a round garden, spiralling up in the middle with herbs planted around the spiral. It is about 1.5 metres high and wide. This will allow me to make excellent use of a small space, because of the curves and the height. This design offers various micro climates depending on which way the sun crosses, the winds flow and the how the plants interconnect with each other. Oil rich herbs such as Rosemary, Thyme, Lavender and Sage can be planted on the top south side, while the north, moist and sheltered side is good for leafy herbs like mint, coriander and parsley. The biodiversity is good for the plants and also the insects and wild life. Learn more
I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Cynthia today at Forest Glen Herb Farm near Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. It is no wonder that she has won so many prestigious Canadian gardening awards. She weaves seamlessly between growing, producing and creating spectacular dried flower arrangements, artisan produce, soaps, teas and fragrant products. The first thing that hits you when you enter the shop is the overwhelming smell of healing herbs. It is truly a sanctuary and a place to recharge. Learn more
The weather has changed this week, it’s cooler and almost autumnal. The garden now looks like a market place, full of ripe vegetables ready to be eaten. Lots of golden runner beans, courgettes, lettuce and tomatoes ready. I have planted more lettuce for a late crop along with Christmas Cabbage King, a variety that will be ready for Christmas. Hopefully, the Cabbage Whites will leave this lot alone! Learn more