|Culinary herb bed: violets, lavender, oregano, |
sage, thyme, sweet basil, and rosemary
My herb and flower beds were neglected quite a bit this summer. Our front yard in general was pretty much neglected, and that's where my herb and flower beds are.
Some of the grasses that grew were easily uprooted. The wire grass (Bermuda grass) however is tenacious and has been spreading. This is my biggest headache. Mulch helps, but Bermuda just takes it in stride and sends its stolons up and over to quickly conquer.
|Chicory is still blooming|
The other problem I had was that something was eating my chicory and echinacea. Right down to the ground.
|Echinacea trying to make comeback|
We know deer have been making themselves at home in the back of our corn field all summer. We've seen the flattened grass where they lie down. We also had a young ground hog try to take up residence under the front porch. Ground hogs are herbivorous and this one was likely the culprit. Dan blocked the opening it had pushed in some loose bricks, and things seem to be finally recovering.
|Yellow cosmos, sweet peppers, & a tomato|
I had a number of seeds never germinate: pyrethrum, poppy, valerian and basil. On the plus side, I've been able to enjoy fresh culinary herbs for cooking, dehydrating, and canning. I dried yarrow and thyme for the goats. The newly planted horehound and spearmint got well established, enough to get one modest cutting. I discovered that chopped thyme, sprinkled over moth hole riddled cabbage plants, did a wonderful job of shooing those moths away.
I also had a volunteer tomato grow huge and wild in the front bed.
|Sprawling volunteer tomato, never staked|
I never have the heart to pull volunteers like this, though I neglected to stake it. It's sprawled to the point of taking up most of the bed. Even though it didn't get enough water, it's provided us with an odd tomato or two. Pepper plants were planted nearby, though they haven't produced nearly a year's supply.
The other thing I'm happy about, is the St. Johns Wort. I thought it didn't make it, apparently has!
|This looks like St. Johns Wort to me! Does it to you?|
I discovered it when I weeded the zinnia bed last week.
|Weeding the zinnia bed, badly overgrown with grass|
What an eye sore this had become. I should be ashamed.
My long term goal is to have the entire front yard in herb and flower beds. I haven't made plans for a new bed yet however. The reason for this is because rebuilding the front porch may be next summer's house project. The porch floor is badly warped/buckled and Dan says there are problems with the floor joists.
We also hope to get at least part of our rainwater catchment system in place, which will help with watering. With just the two of us however, progress is slow on our many plans and projects. Being patient with them and ourselves is always a challenge. We often wish we'd been able to start our homestead when we were younger, but that just wasn't the course of our life. Even so, I'm thankful to be doing it at all.