Donít forget herbs when planting that special garden that will become
your own unique human habitat. Plant a variety of herbs around the
perennial shrubs and youíll enjoy a fragrant haven that both soothes
and stimulates the senses.
Here are a few herbs that will work great in your human habitat.
There are several varieties of sage but I think one of the neatest is
Sage Bergartten that originated in the Bergartten Botanic Garden in
Germany. This variety rarely blooms but instead produces an abundance
of leaves that can be enjoyed as is or clipped off to use in marinades
and stuffing. Grown in full sun, it will reach a mature height of
around two feet.
If youíre looking for something a bit more showy, thereís a variety
called Sage Pineapple salvia elegans. It has a delightful pineapple
scent and produces tubular red flowers that are quite stunning Ė and
edible. Iíve heard from people who tell me they make tea from its
bright green leaves and those red flowers will attract hummingbirds
and butterflies to your human habitat. Cheryl and I use the flowers as
garnishes or an unusual addition to salads and fresh fruit dishes.
Allium shoenoprasum, commonly known as chives, are the most delicate
member of the onion family. The bright green foliage has a grass-like
quality that can bring out the colors of other perennials around which
it is planted.
Chives grow quite quickly in full sun to a height of 10 or 12 inches
and produce purplish-pink flowers that can be added to salads along
with the tangy, tasty leaves.
I love the fragrance of oregano so much that I planted some near a
garden bench so I can enjoy its fresh perfume in the morning as I
collect my thoughts for the day. The masses of bright green leaves
are delightful to look at, and if the sight and smell of oregano
wasnít enough, it tastes great too. Add the peppery leaves to Italian,
Mexican and Spanish dishes straight from your garden and youíll never
want the supermarket variety again!
Oregano is a versatile perennial herb that can grow in full sun,
partial sun or shade. Plant in a well drained location and keep it
watered. You can start snipping sprigs when it is about six inches
tall. An unsnipped plant will reach a mature height of about 24
Also known as mentha requienii, Corsican mint produces masses of tiny
aromatic leaves that are used to flavor crŤme de menthe liqueur. It
spreads quite quickly and forms a fragrant mat around other plants and
can be used as a groundcover too. Itís the ideal herb to plant
between the rustic paving stones in your human habitat. The little
leaves can withstand light foot traffic and release that wonderful
mint aroma when stepped on.
Corsican mint performs best in moist, fertile soil in full sun. It
can be divided in spring or autumn. If you are concerned about it
spreading, you can also plant it in a container but youíll miss the
fun of wiggling your bare toes in it on a summer morning.
Rosemary officinalis prostratus, or creeping rosemary, is a fragrant,
perennial, evergreen shrub with the added benefit of being edible. It
is a good choice for a rock garden or atop a dry wall and makes a very
aromatic ground cover, spilling over pathways and trailing up to four
or five feet.
Creeping rosemary is easy to grow in almost any sunny, well-drained
location and is hardy to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. It produces pale blue
flowers from early to mid summer.
Thyme, lemon upright
Lemon upright thyme (Thymus x citriodorus) would be a delightful herb
to include in your human habitat. It has a bushy, upright growing
habit and small, dark green leaves that give off a remarkably strong
It prefers full sun and light, well-drained soil, but can tolerate
partial shade. It can also withstand light foot traffic and can be
used as a fragrant groundcover. We love to snip off some sprigs and
add them to fish and chicken dishes.
If you missed the two previous columns on creating your own human
habitat, you can find them at my Web site, www.landsteward.org <http://
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