Building a herb garden (376 days to go)

by Max Akroyd

Summer can be a bit over-rated – appearance-wise it’s the gone-over time. The reward for those long winter months spent trying to kindle spring’s awakening is this. Warm, warm sun and cool sea-breeze by day, evenings full of colour but defined by deep shadow. Being inside feels like an offence against your mud-caked winter self.

Since I’m not allowed to just sit in the long grass on the field all day contemplating the view, the next best thing I can think of to honour the season is construction of our herb garden. Until today this area was merely a large ‘L’ shape of plastic mulch punctuated by the ten lavender plants I got in yesterday. There also a fork, with a broken tine, lying in the grass.

Today saw the introduction of some more herbs grown from seed. Dill and valerian found places behind the lavender and chives and chamomile in front. It still looks terrible, but there’s borage, hyssop, parsley, rosemary, summer savory, achillea and foxgloves in the offing – so one day, maybe next spring, a fragrant but eminently usable scene will be set. Once the plants are established we intend to edge the area with some old roof slates and cover the plastic with gravel.

In the meantime, it’s always nice to stand back from your work in the garden and see how you’ve improved things. Unfortunately, right now my herb garden looks like an explosion at a bargain-basement garden centre. Fortunately there were some other interesting things around the place to post here instead.


"Look at that strange looking human"


On days like this even the mowing – which will occupy much of the afternoon – seems purposeful; a useful enhancement of a fine picture of Spring.