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Planning some Ornamental Herb Gardens around the pool

Posted by tracydr 9 (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 26, 09 at 12:47

I'm planning to do three planting areas around our pool. They are currently full of bermuda and surrounded by palms and cedar trees but basically in full sun and covered with a thin layer of gravel, very poor clay.
I would like to do lots of ornamental, mostly perennial and edible herbs with a few varieties of chiles, maybe some of the more ornamental vegetable varieties. I may mix in some bushes and flowers, thinking some hibiscus and they grow very well here if slightly protected from our occasional light freeze.
Would like as much winter color as possible as well.
Looking for ideas and if anyone has pictures I'd love to see them.
Remember, we're desert with nearly tropical weather. Last week it was 99 degrees with lows in the high 60s if you can believe it! Today we will be 84 but we will have a very unusual low of 43. (I will have to put a heat lamp on the tomatoes or something)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Planning some Ornamental Herb Gardens around the pool

Tracy- I'm so jealous of your zone 9. :)

I would have jasmine, hibiscus, roses and lavender if I lived in your zone, along with all kinds of herbs that are only annuals here, like lemon verbena, summer savory, rosemary, bay, etc. Good luck on your garden, and don't forget the heat lamp tonight. My high is about 43 today. LOL

RE: Planning some Ornamental Herb Gardens around the pool

You are wide open to choices!

Any of the Mediterranean herbs would do well for you - lavender, rosemary, santolina, sage, lavender, thyme etc. Don't forget a bay tree.

For colour, you can't go past nasturtium, which can be trained over a trellis. In the heat, it will need plenty of watering. Roses are herbs. A chaste-tree (vitex) is very pretty in flower and never gets too big (deciduous). A Winter Tarragon (Tagetes lucida) is a very respectable substitute for French lavender, and has masses of yellow flowers in autumn. Think about daylilies (edible flowers), and calendula for colour, too. Bergamot and a whole range of Salvias (not all of which are edible - check them out before planting) can be very pretty, too.

Think also about foliage variation. You could plant a silvery-leafed santolina or a curry plant; or you could think about herbs like cardamom, ginger, arrowroot, turmeric, galangal for leaf interest. Also think of lemongrass.

Parsley and chives can make a very attractive border for your garden.

An interesting plant you could consider is Pepino (see link below). A small shrub which produces prolific numbers of delicious fruit in winter, tasting somewhat like rockmelon (cantaloupe).

Think about a grafted passionfruit vine.

Think about fruit trees like citrus, or perhaps something a little different like a Black Sapote, or a Japoticaba. Do a search for tropical fruits. This site is a starting point, and might give you ideas:

Here is a link that might be useful: pepino

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