We are still under a pretty thick blanket of snow here in Vermont , but many of us have started planning that summer garden, and that’s half the fun of having one. But , especially if you are new to gardening , it can be a daunting experience looking though all those beautiful pictures in seed catalog after seed catalog. It’s overwhelming even for the very experienced gardener. So many ideas, so many color schemes, so many types of vegetables – and you sit there wanting to plant it all. Heck , half the time I get caught up staring at the artwork and photographs alone!
Well, take it from me , it’s not possible. Too many years of starting too many plants and not being able to get them in the ground on time ! Yes, that’s me , and I’m a professional grower to boot !
A little advice –
Start your gardening in bite size pieces. You will be much happier with the results. Try to enjoy the slower process of adding a few new ideas each year instead of becoming completely overwhelmed by attempting to create some grandiose landscape plan that you would realistically need to hire an entire work crew to accomplish.
If you are not fond of cooking , I would start with a herb garden or maybe just incorporating a few perennial herbs in with your flowers.
Yup, I did say if you are NOT fond of cooking because when you discover how ridiculously easy it is to cook with fresh herbs , you’ll be surprised how often you will be drawn to using them in the kitchen or, for that matter , all over your home ! I love arranging them with flowers – such beautiful textures and scents. They’re addictive . I guarantee you will start using them everywhere and in everything!
Fresh herbs super charge your recipes with flavors that far surpass the dried herbs you get in those little jars at the market. Most of the time those little jars sit on your pantry shelf for years, half of which you don’t even remember buying , right ? And have you seen the prices on those tiny containers of fresh herbs at market? Crazy !
That won’t be the case when using fresh-cut herbs from your garden. You’ll use them in everything from salads to soups to burgers ! You’ll make soap, infuse oils and sugars, you’ll dry them, freeze them , make wreaths with them – you get the idea ,they’re fun !
Start by maybe choosing a few perennial ones ( they come back year after year )and a few that are annuals. The annual ( single season ) herbs can even go into containers to decorate your porch or deck.
And fresh herbs are full of vitamins and nutrients. A simple dinner of lemon chicken with a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary beats that full of salt and whatever else rotisserie chicken available at the super market.
We are fortunate to have greenhouses, so we will start with seeding our dill this week. Dill is an annual and you can find it already started at a nearby garden center to pop right into a pot or into your garden. Just wait until well after the last frost date in your area , but it’s super easy to start from seed. Full sun, good soil and constant trimming ( use it up ! ) will keep the plants fuller for a longer period of time. If it gets by you , let it go to seed and use the dill seed head in some quick refrigerator pickles. Plant another pot of dill 3 weeks after the first one and you will have dill all summer long in case your first planting kicks the bucket a little too soon.
Dill just smells of summer to me. I don’t know ,maybe I’m craving that summer yogurt dill dip ! I do have summer on my mind this morning as I stare out my window at all this snow .It’s only 10 degrees out there !
And look how good dill is for you ! I had no idea it contained so much vitamin C !
Dill herb has all the characters to consider it as one of the most valued functional foods. 100 g of dill weed provides only 43 calories, but its phytonutrients profile is no less than any other high-calorie food source; be it nuts, pulses, cereals, or meat group.
100 g of this herb provides (%of RDA per 100 g): 37.5% of folates (vitamin B11),14% of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine),23% of riboflavin (vitamin B-2), 140% of vitamin-C ,257% of vitamin-A, 21% of calcium,82% of iron and 55% of manganese.
(Note: RDA- Recommended daily allowance)
So pick out a few herbs from that beautiful catalog or from your favorite garden shop that you know you already like and enjoy watching them grow , and have some fun in the kitchen with them this summer.
I would suggest a few perennial herbs that are easy to grow and super useful – Lovage, Oregano, Thyme, and Chives. These are all very hardy ( can handle some very cold winters), kitchen friendly herbs that will return for you year after year even if you don’t have a green thumb – yet !
Nature nourishes my life . I hope we can grow together a bit each week and share what inspires us towards better health and a happier , fuller life.
Ta DAH!!! My first blog !!
Hope you can be patient with me. I’m still learning how to work this site !!