Discover Wellness In Your Landscape…Part 1: Herbs

Discover Wellness In Your Landscape…Part 1: Herbs

At Country Garden we know that plants, gardens, and beautiful landscapes are healing, life-supporting places. So we were very pleased to see an article in the New York Times this week on how many hospitals are including plants and gardens in the healing therapy programs for their patients. We are aware, however, that you don’t have to be hospitalized or ill to take advantage of the ways plants promote wellness in our lives. Peaceful, green surroundings soothe us at the end of busy days, flowers lift our spirits, fresh, organic vegetables nourish our bodies, and fragrant, flavorful herbs supply healing properties and aromatherapy.

Here’s the good news: herbs are easy! You can grow them in gardens or in containers. Put pots around your patio, plant them in your window boxes, create an herb garden out your kitchen door, or integrate them in and among shrubs and perennials. The possibilities are endless. All you need is at least 5 hours of direct sun that includes the noon hour.

Look below for tips on growing herbs, and come into the garden center in May for the best selection of these plants that promote wellness.

This gardener planted herbs (and tomatoes!) along the walk that led to her front door. In this cottage style garden herbs mingled with perennials and shrubs to provide fragrance, flavor, and season-long charm.

Many pot up herbs that grow outside all summer, and can come indoors in the fall.

This homeowner used pots of herbs to ring his patio. This is a great way for foodies to find all the fresh flavors they desire.

Young herbs grow quickly. When you buy a small herb, plant it in a much larger container or directly into the ground in late May. You’ll be amazed at how fast the plants grow!

Tips for Growing Herbs:

    • When growing in containers, plant in fresh potting mix such as the Coast of Maine Bar Harbor Blend or Espoma Organic Potting Soil. Fill the entire pot or box with soil; no gravel, shards, mulch or other “bottom filler” and be sure your containers have drainage holes that aren’t blocked.
    • Plant herbs in well-drained soil. On Cape Cod, where we tend toward sandy loam, use a bit of organic compost such as Bumper Crop or Coast of Maine Quoddy Blend, but don’t amend soils too much. Herbs are more flavorful and fragrant when grown in a leaner environment.
    • Water herbs deeply when the soil is dry, but don’t over water. Containers should be well-soaked when the potting mix is dry. Herbs in the ground can get deeply watered every 5 to 7 days. Do not have herbs on an automatic irrigation that sprinkles every other day, and do not rely on hand watering.
    • The following herbs are perennial on Cape Cod and the Islands:  Sage, chives, thyme, mint, lemon balm, and oregano. Plant rosemary, basil, parsley, tarragon, lemon verbena, chervil, and coriander (aka cilantro) every spring. Dill is an annual but tends to self-seed.

      When planted indoors herbs can provide some fresh flavors and fragrances for a month or two. Don’t count on indoor herb pots for on-going harvests through the winter, however.

We’re celebrating herbs at our Ladies Night Out event this spring! On Friday April 12th we’ll have an evening of herbal cocktail demonstrations, snacks, beverages, talks about herbs and a make-and-take pot for you to create while you listen to a presentation about discovering wellness with herbs. Advance registration is required.

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