Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme...

manature(9B Sanford, FL)March 31, 2008

...la, la, laaaa...

Singing about herbs this morning. I have never grown parsley in the ground before, believe it or not, and generally managed to use it all up in one season from my herb containers. Last year, I put some larger parsley plants in my rose garden. They came through the winter beautifully, and are now putting up tall flower spikes! I never even knew they did this!

Of course, I Googled it and found out that parsley is a bienniel, and will probably die after blooming. Another tidbit I never knew. But I'm here to recommend it as a very pretty edging plant for two years, anyway. I have the flat Italian parsley, which I think has more flavor and it has made lovely, green mounds around the edges of the bed. They have withstood heat and cold like champs!

If you haven't grown herbs for decorative purposes before, I recommend trying a few. Nothing like the silvery leaves of sage mixed in with your flowers, as one example. And I have both dill and fennel growing in the middle of my rose bed now, too. (They are taller than the weeds, so I can tell they are there! But the weeds are coming OUT this week, and I'll be able to see them much better!)

The dill is blooming now, and the fennel is making a much thicker clump, with new stalks forming. I'm guessing it will last longer than the dill, but I need to go read up on it a bit more.

Anyone else have some good ways to use herbs in the landscape, besides just for culinary purposes?

Marcia

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corar4gw(JAX9A)

At a hotel in Philadelphia, I did a double take then went back and tasted the little foot high hedge running along the sidewalk. It was MINT! In my experience, mint was always leggy and running all over the place. It was such a nice, neat little hedge! cora

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 12:33PM
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minibim(FL z10)

I grow parsley in the ground year round. I like the look of the curly better, but it seems to be easier to find seeds for the Italian. I only grow it for the butterflies though.

The seeds grow easily just scattered on the ground and I have the parsley interspersed with carrots, when I find them at the grocery with the tops. That and dune sunflower, couple of salvias, angelonia, native lantana, sweetspire and tons of milkweed, make a nice little butterfly garden. All of the ground cover keeps the milkweed from looking so bad.

In another area I have Italian parsley mixed with rain lilies. I like rainlilies when they bloom, but they are ugly scrawny little plants the rest of the year. Mix some parsley with them and I have caterpillar food and the rainlilies look better.

I don't have any luck with the fennel or dill though.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 12:48PM
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naomilovesflipflops(9b FL)

Any tips on growing the angelonia minibim? I've tried two years in a row and it always looks completely scary by June and I've ended up chucking it. It's so pretty.

Naomi

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 1:35PM
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castorp

I'm very interested in this subject. I'm actually finding I like the green garden look of beds planted mainly with herbs, with only a few ornamental flowers tucked in here and there. I really love the airy look of most herb flowers too. Ill mannered gave me some arugula that's bloomed beautifully for over a month now with airy little cream colore blooms. My perennial arugula is lower, with mustard like yellow flowers. My dill is blooming also. I'm growing parsely around a silver palmetto (also, technically, an herb), perilla for filler in shady spots. I use mustard more as a veggie than an herb, but I have it growing everywhere, especially the purple leaved kind. It also doubles as a nemacidal cover crop.

My main challenge right now is figuring out how to grow rosemary, sage, thyme, scented geraniums, and other humidity sensitive herbs over the summer. Right now I have most of these growing in pots, but I'm doing divisions cuttings just to see how they'll do in the ground. I'm thinking the key may be good soil, and plenty of space, both for the roots and air circulation.

Bill

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 2:02PM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

Bill, I know there are types of rosemary that are better suited to Florida than other types. Tracy at Seminole Springs could give us pointers in that regard. I have a friend who once had one that was HUGE. Like nearly 3' tall and just about that wide. It bloomed with lovely blue flowers and was very happy in a hot, sandy spot in his yard.

I, too, love the look of herbs. I'm crazy about Colonial style herb gardens, laid out in geometric shapes, too. But it's fun to find herbs that will "fit in" with the other flowers and plants in a mixed border.

Anyone growing nasturtiums in their herb gardens or flowerbeds? I think it is getting too late to start them here, but I so love them! Especially the "Alaska" variety with variegated leaves. Those leaves are wonderful in potato salad, and on sandwiches (like cress). And the flowers are edible, too. They maka a great garnish on salads and the like.

Bill, what do you mean by "nemacidal cover crop?"

Marcia

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 2:11PM
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an_ill-mannered_ache

not too late for nasturtiums, which are much tougher than you might think mine lasted in july last year, no problem. best time, of course, is right after the last frost. (they are quite sensitive to frosts.)

i have four kinds growing in my garden this year -- some with fetching faces (like pansies)... i got seeds from swallowtail. very easy to sow in situ. kids love 'em, too.

i'll post some pics of mine.

i've had parsley last a year in a pot. did you know that you an buy a single pot and then, very carefully, divide them out into a bunch of small plants? both castorp and i had read that you cannot do it, but i did it this year with no problem. one pot from the produce store gave me five nice plants.

if you're looking for a great edible sage that doesn't bolt, try Berggarten. i've had one in a pot for years. nice, clumping, tame.

finally, you MUST try papaloquelite. very pretty blue-green leaves. survives summer. a little goes a very very long way.

bill -- have you tried the cilantro experiment?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 2:47PM
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tannatonk23

Marcia, chives are another herb that you may enjoy growing. Mine just started flowering last week. Nice light purple flower. I use them a lot and they come right back after being cut down to just a few inches tall.

I'm going to try to add more herbs to my beds. Never tried dill or fennel down here but I've not nothing to lose and everything to gain! Thanks for the idea.

~Betsy

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 2:51PM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

Ill-Man...do you mean I can still SOW nasturtium seeds? Or buy the small plants from HD?

No, I didn't know about dividing the parsley. Will definitely try that out.

Berggarten is my favorite sage! I love the big rounder leaves on it. I use it where you might want lamb's ears, which I've never had any luck with down here. I have to say, I don't usually cook with it sage, though. I just like having it around. I also like the variegated cream and white one and the tri-color one with purple tones.

Where do you find something that sounds like papaloquelite?
I never even heard of it! You "veggie farmers" know all about interesting edibles that I've gone 64 years without ever even seeing! You amaze me!

And I don't know what the "cilantro experiment" is, but I HAVE eaten that, and I hate it. Tastes like soap to me. I don't even eat salsa that has very much cilantro in it. I'm stickin' to parsley! I love that one!

Marcia

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 2:56PM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

I love chives, Betsy, but for some reason, I've never been good at growing them. I've never kept them alive long enough for them to flower. I'm not giving up, though. What are your secrets? They are so cool looking, I'd love to succeed with them.

Marcia

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 2:58PM
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an_ill-mannered_ache

oh - if you don't like cilantro, stay away from papalo, which is makes cilantro taste sweet and tame.

i think you'd still get plants and blooms from nasturtiums. mine got killed by a late frost, and i replanted. they are only just now coming into bloom. they like a bit of warmth to really get going. you might give it a shot -- pick up a packet from HD.

and let me throw out scallions as a great, attractive plant that blooms nicely. did you know that you can take the very bottom of a scallion, say the bottom 1/4 inch, and, so long as it has a few little roots, plant it and it will regrow its green top, get huge, and then bloom? very pretty stuff. whenever i buy scallions, i save the bottoms and replant them. works really well. some of them even come up "double" -- two sets of greens for one little start. they get much larger than the original from the grocery store. never bulb up, thou.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 3:22PM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

I might still like the "look" of the papalo, Ill. I grow other herbs just for the look, or the scent in the garden. For instance, Mark & I both dislike the taste of rosemary...way to musky for me...but I adore it in the garden. It just LOOKS right. Maybe papalo is the same? A pretty or interesting look to it?

I love scallions. Now I have a good reason to buy them. Can you plant them this late in the year? I'd love to try starting a few here and there. And I'm going to look for nasturtiums, too. I just love everything about them, from their happy, carefree look to the snappy, peppery taste. I meant to plant some this fall and forgot. For me, they've always done better in cool weather, but heck, it's worth a try if yours are doing well.

Thanks for the info. Hope to see you at Nova's!

Marcia

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 3:31PM
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pnbrown

Speaking of green onion, does anybody want to try walking onions in fla? I'm very keen to see if they will go through their cycle there, but I'm not around long enough to try it myself, and my kinfolk don't share my interest. They are very decorative, IMO.

Be glad to send any number of topsets out come August.......

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 5:16PM
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castorp

Marcia, by "nemacidal cover crop" I mean I plant a patch of mustard, let it get big, then hack it down and turn it all under with a shovel. It adds organic matter to the soil and supposedly something about the mustard decomposing in the soil reduces nematodes. I usually eat a lot of mustard while its growing--and I think the purple leaf types are nice as ornamentals.

The cilantro experiment is planting a 99 cent bag of whole coriander from the Mexican store, or the Mexican section of the Publix, and seeing if cilantro with grow from it. I haven't tried it yet but I'm about to check the pantry to see if I have some coriander. It'll probably bolt quick since it's getting hot but it's worth a try.

I'm probably going to Seminole Springs this weekend so I'll ask Tracy about Rosemarys.

In my humble opinion, papaloquite is a weedy look'n' thang--and the taste is just awful. But maybe the blooms are nice? I don't know because as soon as I tasted mine I tore it all out.

Bill

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 6:24PM
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an_ill-mannered_ache

pnb -- i tried the walking thing (just fruits).

maybe with more shade, it'd work... but mine just melted in the august sun. don't bother!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 7:33PM
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castorp

Here are a few photos of herb combos I'm using in the landscape now.

Here's dill and a Spanish brocade marigold

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And here's the arugula Ill gave me, with some chervil in the in front (the photo doesn't do justice to the way these blooms play in the light).

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And here's some young purple mustard and green mustard planted around a Madame Lombard Rose.

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And here are some reseeded nasturtiums. I can't get them to climb the tee pee. Whenever I try to train it up the vertical vine dies. It seems to prefer to cascade or ground cover. In the background is mutabilis rose.
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And here is tropical sage, cuban oregano, with a perennial arugula (flowers close in the evening).
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    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 8:24PM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

Ooooh, great combos, Bill! LOVE the look of the mustard with the rose. I'm going to have to try that! I'm in the process of moving out about half of my OGR's to other spots, so I can grow other perennials and interesting things in the bed with the remaining half. I decided I needed some things that look good ALL the time in the bed, and my roses definitely DON'T. When they look good, they're great, and when they don't, they're AWFUL. So...more herbs and things for that bed now!

Thanks for sharing the photos. I'm getting good ideas, here.

Marcia

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 10:06PM
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the_musicman(z9 FL)

Yes, cool things everyone!

Herbs in the landscape...hmmm...
I wish I had more good current pictures to show. Until then, here's what I've got:

*Rosemary as a shrub has been mentioned. But you should try Southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum). It quickly grows to about 5' in a thick masses of silvery feather-like foliage that smells like lemon-cedar. Loves sun, drought and crappy soil, and is good for a variety of medicinal and household uses.

*As sort of a practical compromise between garlic and onions, I grow Society Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea) which has a flavor somewhere in the middle of those two. It can grow in sun/shade/sand/soil whatever. Nice border plant.

*Another good one is Mexican Tarragon (Tagetes lucida), which really does taste like tarragon and can be used as such. It makes a fantastic tea. It blooms in summer and fall with masses of yellow marigold-ish flowers.

*My favorite is Lion's Ear (Leonotus leonurus). Outstanding shrub. Drought, sun and sand tolerant... And an array of medicinal uses...

Yay herbs :)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 11:35PM
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an_ill-mannered_ache

nasturtiums, roselle, dill, oregano... pretty, no? this was in june.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 7:50AM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

Great new photos...I'm enjoying this thread! Musicman, I love society garlic, too. I chop it up in scrambled eggs all the time...yum! And I also love Mexican tarragon, which is really a perennial marigold. It tastes great, butterflies love the little yellow flowers, and it is a tough, hard to kill plant. I've never tried it as tea, but I do use it with sauteed chicken and things.

Ill, your plant combo is beautiful! I have to say my roselle doesn't look anything like that, though. For one thing, it has green leaves, even when tiny. I've GOT to get me some nasturtiums! So pretty!

Marcia

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 9:26AM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

Thought I would share a photo of my dill blooming right behind my coral honeysuckle. The colors looked so pretty together. They are both planted in the center of what was my OGR bed, but what it rapidly turning into a mixed bed with SOME OGR'S and plenty of other stuff.

Marcia

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 1:03PM
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castorp

Love that combo, Marcia. The dill yellow and the coral--it creates a mood. I'm going to give that a try.

I have a honeysuckle and herb combo, too. This is curly parsley under a silver palmetto, with coral honeysuckle in background. (We eat lots of parsley).

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Ill, did those nasturtiums climb those poles for you? I need to start growing oregeno and more Mediterranian herbs in general in the ground. The silvery leaves make such a nice contrast.

Bill

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 7:37PM
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tampafred(Tampa (z9))

Oooohhhh....I love me some herbs, especially in big, BIG pots on the front porch so friends and family can smell them as they walk in. Right now, my 2 dill plants are monsters. My basil is struggling, but all the parsely, oregano, sage, rosemary, cilantro, culantro and lavender are thriving.

Hey musicman, can you tell me about your Lion's Ear? I just bought some at Greenfest and have never worked with it before. How do you not kill it? Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 10:38PM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

Bill, that looks super! Boy, you MUST eat you some parsley! It makes a great edging plant, doesn't it? And I love that silver palmetto! How pretty!

Marcia

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 10:52PM
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atreelady(9b SW Orlando)

Everyones herbs look so nice. I like the natural unfussy look of herbs. I have a big ole rosemary growing next to the AC unit and dryer vent. Talk about an inhospitable place for a plant. I got it years ago from Home Depot. It looks like a bush. I use it alot in cooking.

I have Mexican tarragon in my herb garden too. I love the little yellow flowers. Then there is rue. What beautiful little silver leaves. Both those are easy to grow. I have had them for years.

I have no luck with chives. I have tried them in several places. So I use the tops of onions or bunching onions as I would chives. Still I would like to have some decent chives. If there is a secret to growing it I would like to know. Also no luck with nasturtiums. I think the seeds I used were old.

Arugula seems very popular lately. I bought it once thinking I had spinach. What a surprise. Tasted like skunk. :( It is in a salad mix I planted and I pull it up when I see it.

Lion's ear looks so neat. Anita gave me a clipping to root but it didn't make it. Is it easy to start from seed? Or where would be a place in Orlando that I could buy it?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 11:43PM
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naomilovesflipflops(9b FL)

They have leonotis at Lukas in Oviedo- not sure what variety b/c I don't remember it being marked. I saw it about 2 months ago and there was LOTS. :-)

Naomi

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 9:04AM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

Mine (lion's tail) is very tough, ATL. I can whack it back when it gets leggy, and it pops back out again with lots of blooms. They SAY it is a hummingbird and butterfly magnet, but I have to say, I've never seen either anywhere near it. I just like the bright orange color and the unusual look of it.

Marcia

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 9:07AM
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atreelady(9b SW Orlando)

Thanks Naomi. I will call Lukas and see if the still have it.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 5:57PM
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the_musicman(z9 FL)

Yes,

tampafred and others,

Lion's Ear is very very very easy to grow. It thrives on sandy dry soil, full sun, and neglect. I got mine as a seedling 8 months ago, and it has become a thick shrub about 4 feet tall with tons of blooms. I have pruned it once, when it started to get a bit leggy. Otherwise the plant takes care of itself. Simply keep it watered when newly planted. It quickly establishes and then bursts forth.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 12:50AM
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