Fresh herbs always make a
Smelling these delicious herbs from my garden.
Me, gathering mint from my herb garden for our mojitos.
The mint is an herb and a cancer killer. The berries are loaded with anti-oxidents and very good for you.
I did all the prep work in advance so that all we had to do was to plant everything. I even added some new herbs to our garden this year. Shopping for everything is the fun part. 🙂
I always like a mix of herbs and flowers.
Planting Purple Basil
Chives and Italian Parsley
Italian Oregano and well as regular Oregano
It All Starts Here
The base of a healthy meal.
Wash the Herbs
Then you eat them!
Our Excellent Stuffed Pasta Shell Zucchini Dinner
I was brought up to view food as medicine, because that is what it is.
You know when you were a little child and you got sick, your mother gave you this nasty tasting spoon full of medicine that you choked down and it tasted nasty but then later on you felt better?
Well, that is what food is. I will sometimes eat something that I don’t like but I know that it is good for me and it will make me feel better later on.
It’s my medicine.
We’re mother’s so let’s educate our children and grandchildren on how they can be healthy too and survive in this age of unhealthy.
Our wars right now are being fought over fuel, our future wars will be fought over water. Probably sooner than we expected. There are towns in Texas that have no water left because of Fracking. California will have no more water by next year. No water means California farmers can’t grow their food. Food prices will go up, so start digging up your pretty yards and planting gardens. Swimming pools will no longer be for swimming, they’ll be for catching and storing water.
We’re all connected. What happens to one, will affect the other.
And that is why I am so upset about this!
HE GOT MY SNAKE!
HE IS EATING MY SNAKE!!
That little snake lived in my garden. He ate the bugs in my garden and protected my herbs and plants and flowers. He didn’t bother anyone. He was not dangerous or poisonous. He lived here too but now he’s gone. He curled his tail so cute, like a corkscrew.
He was cute and never hurt anyone.
I’m going to miss that little snake. Sugar and I would see him occasionally when we were outside.
The raised border makes our herb garden area look that much nicer.
The photo above left is of our ginger plant that we acquired last September from a woman that grows ginger and donated them to our last fundraising dinner for Habitat for Humanity. She gave Gordon one and he planted it into our garden in it’s own pot. That is important, that it have it’s own pot. Now just going on 9 months later it is sprouting new shoots and it produces the prettiest flower. Almost looks like an orchid. Can’t wait to see the ginger when it starts to appear.
We cook with ginger quite a bit. Very healthy for you. Tough antioxidant that can even prevent the flu and the common cold. So eat up!
My herb garden is thriving! I’m so proud of it.
I like mixing pretty floral plants in with the herbs to add some color. We have many squirrels in our yard that chew on some of our plants and flowers but they do stay away from herbs. They don’t like the smells.
A few years ago Gordon and I started an herb garden in our backyard beside our house. The sunniest spot to be exact. At that time we had so many oak trees in our yard, and our neighborhood surrounding yard, that this small patch was our only sunny spot. (That has since changed with our neighbors removing 3 trees that bordered our property). The garden area was much smaller when we bought the house. Gordon did expand it by several meters. We started out with just a few pots and a few herbs and it just grew from there. We wanted to incorporate more fresh herbs into our diet as opposed to the dry varieties. Fresh herbs are healthier and can prevent certain cancers.
Fresh basil to die for!
At first it was trail and error in finding which herbs thrived in this section of the yard. How the herbs that we grew in pots did so much better than the herbs we planted directly into the ground. All of our rain plus our sprinkler system were just too much water for the herbs planted into the ground and would drown them. So now everything is in some sort of pot or planter.
The first step in getting started with your own herb garden is to locate a sunny spot in your yard that won’t be disturbed. Then create your blank palette. Above I have cleared out this area of weeds and leaves, placing pots and planters in various spots. I then decide what herbs I want and how many I want of them.
Julie shopping for herbs.
Our ‘happy cart’ above with everything except our herbs for our garden. (They come in the next load). Gordon, at right above, picking out what herbs that he wants for our garden.
Ready to Start the Herb Garden
Here we have 3 different kinds of oregano, 3 different kinds of parsley, ginger, chives, tons of basil, dill, thyme, rosemary, 2 different kinds of mint, aloe, lavender, vervain (One never knows when one may encounter a vampire.), 5 different kinds of hibiscus, and last but not least, sage.
Working in the Garden
In addition to the fresh herbs you wish to plant you will need some good potting soil as well. For this big project I used about 3 cu. feet of potting soil.
Find Which one is the Dessert
1 pkg. (16 oz.) Oreo Cookies, crushed
1 pkg. Chocolate Instant Pudding and Pie Filling
3 cups of milk
1 (8 oz.) container of Cool-Whip
Plastic cups or safe flower pots.
Place your Oreo cookies into a plastic bag and use a wooden hammer or rolling pin to crush them.
Make your chocolate pudding according to the package instructions. When ready, add the Cool-Whip.
Next add about half of the bag of crushed Oreo cookies to the mixture.
Add some of the crushed cookies to the bottom of your cups or flower pots.
Next add your pudding mixture to the dessert cups.
Now to add your toppings.
Here I’ve added some candied gummy “worms”, some of our chocolate mint growing in our garden, some crushed peanuts and some of the crushed Oreo crumbs left in the bottom of the bag to look like dirt, hence the name, Dirt Cups.
If you like then why not add some flowers? These are silk but you could add some edible flowers as well.
Oh, and keep refrigerated.
Sunday Night Garden Mojitos
I love spring here in Florida as it is always the perfect temperature to be outside. Not too hot, not too cool, just right. So we do tend to spend a lot of time outside, last night was no different. Mojitos in the garden with our own mint and some farmer’s market blackberries that I picked up on Saturday. Notice the pretty floral headband that I have around my glass? It is a child’s headband that I picked up at the Dollar Tree, I thought it was cute but I would never use it if we had children here. It was just me and Gordon so I placed it on the glass to distinguish which one was mine. I do think that if a child were here and saw that it might temp the child to drink it. So I don’t recommend making alcoholic drinks look “fun” when children are around.
In both photos top, you can see our mint. In the photo top left in back of our little table you can see our spearmint, that mint was used in our mojitos. In the photo top right, we have a big pot full of chocolate mint, great in drinks and desserts. The old black metal chair belonged to my great-grandfather. I think at one point it was red because red paint is showing through. It’s old and rusty but I love it.
Mojitos aren’t that hard to make. Just buy a ready made mix and add a good rum, some herbs and some berries. We’re using a Shellback brand rum here.
Photos I took in the backyard.
A Perfect Hibiscus
Those darned squirrels chewed most every rosa-senesis bud off one of my hibiscus plants so this called for desperate action on my part, I bought a fake falcon. Now let’s see you go near this one! I dare ya!
Our Key Limes Make Such a Great Gift
Along with a good base mixture, our key limes also make great Limeade. Cool and refreshing especially in this Florida heat!
To all the beautiful gardeners out there who toil the land to bring us such goodies.
A little touch of Christmas in the garden.
I did this a few years ago when Gordon was growing okra in our garden. He was away for a few months with his job, and was not here to monitor our crop so it got very large. You don’t want to grow okra over about 4 – 5 inches long. This okra grew way to big. But instead of getting rid of it, I got the idea to bring it into the house and hang it up to dry out.
It dried beautifully! So I painted some glitter paints onto them and then strung them together, added some pearl strands and some small ornamental balls. I think they look lovely.
Whether they are hanging on our trellis outside or on our wall inside, they look very nice. Another way to use okra besides in delicious recipes.
Key limes from our tree. We are going to have such a huge crop this year judging by the abundance of flowers we had on the tree.
Here are the first that have come in, we took them over to our Canadian friends that were staying in the condo as a gift.
Julie and Gordon