Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Herbs anyone ?

I am a sucker for herbs ... ever since I found out that I could over winter some sages .. Golden and Purple sage (so far .. this winter has been iffy ?) .. and the lavenders too made me warm and fuzzy inside.
There is nothing like the scent of lavender .. not your messed up talc powder or ancient soap little old ladies use *GASP* ! ... fresh, gorgeous lavender picked from  your own plants !
Rosemary is another essential to me each year .. the smell of that in the Autumn when I am stripping the leaves off to jar .. that "essential oil"  on my hands is like human cat nip to me .. another "warm fuzzy' place type of atmosphere I can lose myself in : )

This year I placed an order with Richters  for some specific herbs in plant form.
It is a bit pricey .. but I was so curious and of course my best excuse is that I try it out for my fellow Canadian gardeners so they will know what the quality is like and perhaps be tempted to do so themselves some year .. reasonable excuse right ? I am doing this for all of us !! phew !

So .. what did I order ?
Well one of them was a plant that my friend Rose who lives a little further south in Ontario and has access to a lot of different nurseries (lucky woman !) .. she went ga ga over an oregano called "Kent Beauty"
All of the preceding photos are from sites on the net !

I think you can see why ? .. it is a very ornamental oregano and I am really curious to see it in real life !

Highland Cream Lemon Thyme .. a rather convoluted name for a sweet little variegated herb .. I have a hard time finding good strong plants of it here so I decided to try for a mail order type .. lemon scent is perfect of course (I am a lemon fan) and the variegation is so pretty .. brings your eyes to it quickly !

Raspberry Royal Sage ... is a later blooming sage and is supposed to be a real magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies .. well all the pollinators love it ... the flowers are brilliant and pack a little punch later in the season.
 Other seasons I have used Pineapple sage and it is amazing with true pineapple fragrance but it takes a long time for their bright red flowers to pop out so I am hoping this sage will be a little earlier.

To the lavenders we go !
I have quite a few lavenders sprinkled through the garden .. a ring of Provence in the back garden that I harvest in the Autumn .. they have long wands that are perfect to dry.
I love white lavender .. like I love white roses .. white grabs me for some reason .. so when I see white versions of plants they catch my attention.
I had a white lavender just a couple of years ago .. but it died out and I had no idea which one it was because I picked it up from a big box store table and didn't pay attention to the name .. the label could be hiding in one of my tag boxes but for now I am fixated on "White Spike" fingers crossed !!

"Melissa" lavender is new to me .. so my curiosity had to be satisfied especially with the colour change that is promised .. I can't wait to see what happens !

You can't go long without a new wonderful blue/purple lavender .. varieties are popping up all over the place. Blue Cushion   is a more compact , continual blooming one as long as the dead heading, or my harvesting, keeps up with collecting the flower stalks.
So hopefully all of my herb babies will be as wonderful as I am imagining here .. watching a snow squall happening ... supposedly with freezing rain to follow .. now what better way to spend my limited day dreaming time than envisioning a warm summer day with beautiful fragrant plants stretching out before me in my garden ?


Country Gal said...

Awesome ! Papa and I go to a wonderful garden center down here called Canadale Nurseries in the small town of St Thomas that we are just 20 minuets away from Oh I am soo looking forward to spring and summer this year ! Thanks for sharing your herbs and photos with us ! Have a good day !

Heather said...

Ah Joy.... sigh... I am jealous! I have tried growing lavender, but no luck... could it have anything to do with neglect... I don't know, perhaps I will try again someday... and oh, the herbs!!! I have ordered from Richter's before, many years ago, but I think it was more essential oils... anyway, looking forward to hearing your review. Cheers~

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Just as I started to read your post the sun came out and I could almost smell the wonderful scents you describe. Aaahhhhhhh. I hope they do well for you.

Cat said...

We have something similar to the Raspberry Royal Sage here, I love it and so do the humming birds!

RURAL said...

I love your header...that's just in case I forgot to say something and it's been up for a while, if it's new...then I love your header, lol.

Some of those plants are making my gardeners heart go pitter patter.

I've used the oregano in hanging baskets in displays at the's very striking.

Can't wait for your real life review of them this summer.


Marguerite said...

Nothing says warm to me like herbs. Great shopping choice for a cold day. I've grown lemon thyme before and it is amazing. Love love love that scent. Like you, not so crazy about old lady lavender potpourri but fresh bags of lavender tossed into my clothes drawers is heavenly.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello Elaine girl : )
Yes herbs always cheer me up .. who can not be when they smell how divine they are ? LOL

Heather girl hello there !
Lavender grows well when you are almost mean to it .. lean soil , great drainage and lots of sun and I promise it should grow really well with those conditions. The rosemary is the same .. they are tough and like it tough!

Lisa girl : )it is amazing what herbs can do for you isn't it ?
I am usually lucky although last year was not so much a good year, but then everyone had a kind of rotten year, last year ?

Cat girl hello there : )
There are so many different sages it is amazing .. golden and purple are so pretty to have in pots and so tough they are too easy to care for eh ? I hope to draw the little hummers in with this one!

Hello there Jen girl : )
Thank you so much! .. I like to swap it out often to make things look fresh and new ? haha
The scent of oregano is amazing with some of the specialized ones for cooking.
Fingers crossed that my plans go well! haha

Marguerite girl hello there!
You have to try lemon verbena for that intense lemon candy smell , if you haven't before ? It is amazing!
Nothing that special looking but OMG ! the smell is heavenly: )
I am always in love with my lavender : ) haha

Nadezda said...

Joy, awesome herbs! Sage, melissa. thyme - all these herbs are well known and I have them in my garden too. It's pity lavender doesn't grow here. isn't hardy.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Nadezda girl that is too bad about the lavender not surviving there .. I have been so lucky with the Provence coming back the next year .. soon they should have some cultivars that can put up with colder weather I hope for you !! : )

Barry said...

O.'Kent Beauty' is a delightful plant but does have a tenacity to be an annual! Having said such, clip it off and bring it in for the winter and you will be fine. It does look particularly delightful in a container where it can cascade over the sides..... there is another one O. 'Bristol Cross' as well, more upright in habit and less papery bract like flowers, but equally beautiful!


Omgosh, girl, I owe you an email. As soon as I clicked to get to your blog, I remembered. I'll get to it shortly, promise.

I love Kent Beauty Oregano but can't seem to keep it alive. That said, I want to try it again. And also all the other herbs you've got listed. Great minds think alike. :)

Randy said...

Joy, I kinda went a little crazy cleaning up the garden a few weeks ago. My intent was just to cut things back. BUT in my enthusiasm I just decided to start snatching things out instead. Just absolutely pulled it all up by the roots and drug it to the road. Tired and stumbling back into the garden I looked at the bed and said what in the he** did I just do? Well I hadn’t been satisfied by that bed for two years anyway, but I was clueless as to what to do with it. You have just inspired me to plant Lavender in it. And maybe a little Rosemary too… Thank you!

Rose said...

Hi, there, Joy! I can see you are getting antsy for spring just like me. That ornamental oregano is gorgeous; I'm going to have to look for it! We had a different basil in our MG garden last year that was also very striking; I keep meaning to find out its name so I can plant some, too. I'm looking forward to seeing how your salvia does--I love pineapple sage, too, but like you, mine usually blooms for maybe just a week before it gets zapped by the frost. My dream is to have a small herb garden someday--not that I'm a culinary whiz, but just because I love their looks and fragrance:)

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello sweetie ! and yes, I was thinking this beauty would be an annual but bringing in a few slips is a great idea and I want to try that too. Plus I have to look up this other cultivar you have suggested .. my curiosity is peeked!
Hope all is well with you and I know you must be getting excited with your new job coming up !!

Gracie girl I am on my way to do an e-mail for you .. got yours last night .. I am behind this morning and it drives me crazy when I want to do a lot and body says whoa !LOL

Randy my goodness you had me giggling about your meds : ) I am so glad you are feeling better and that they have "fixed" more than anticipated .. nothing worse than having to go back in and fiddle around.
I am also so glad to have given you inspiration for the lavender bed! mix it with rosemary and the scents combined can be amazing .. especially if you harvest some for drying and jarring .. nothing like that aroma on your hands with their essential oils !

Gracie girl ! I am on my way to an e-mail this very minute ! LOL

Rose girl I am far from a culinary wiz when it comes to herbs .. I do the basic rosemary/lemon roasted chicken type thing ? LOL
But herbs are amazing therapy and I truly believe they do so much good for our well being even if it is just for our sense of smell .. but they are such work horses in the hot dry climate our gardens suffer through in the summer .. they are gap stoppers when other plants just can't take it.
lets see how we do with our progressive herb gardens girl !!